Digging into the gardening season

Although Mother Nature has unleashed a heavy dose of snowy winter weather across Kitsap County, the Washington State University Kitsap County Extension Service is already looking forward to the spring planting season.

Beginning Jan. 16, the extension service is offering a series of community horticulture seminars at the Norm Dicks Government Center covering a wide array of sustainable gardening practices.

“Every year at this time from the end of January to the middle of April, we have horticulture classes for Master Gardeners,” said WSU Extension Horticulture Coordinator Peg Tillery.

Although the classes are aimed at individuals seeking to earn their Master Gardener’s certification, Tillery said the classes are open to the general public as well.

The first class on Jan. 16 covers botany basics, and subsequent seminars, which are every Friday through March 20. The classes focus on topics ranging from composting to integrated pest management to native plants and trees and noxious weeds.

“Some of the classes are taught by Master Gardeners and others are taught by extension staff and other experts in their respective fields,” Tillery said.

Classes begin at 9 a.m. and the first session lasts until noon. If a second session is required, it will be from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Cost is $35 per class, and a sustainable gardening manual is available from the extension office in the Norm Dicks Government Center. The cost of the manual is $30 plus tax.

A full list of the class dates and times can found on the extension service’s Web site at

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