Master Gardeners … are volunteers trained by Washington State University Extension to provide science-based information to home gardeners about best gardening practices.
Our Foundation … supports the Master Gardener Program through fundraising, organizing educational events, managing demonstration gardens and more. Learn more by visiting the Who We Are page.
A Big THANK YOU to all who shopped at the Community Food Co-op on Saturday, November 18th, and to the Co-op for awarding the Master Gardener Foundation with this privilege.
2% of that day’s total sales will be donated to benefit the WSU Master Gardener Program!
We will keep you posted on how the funds will go toward providing community education around sustainable gardening practices, water conservation, composting, soil improvement, and promoting a healthy, thriving future for Whatcom County.
Live Healthy and Garden Wisely!
Big Changes are Happening…
in our WSU Master Gardener Demonstration Gardens at Hovander Homestead Park
Whatcom County Master Gardener volunteers have been working with a professional Landscape Designer and County Parks personnel, to imagine a new design for the Demonstration Gardens, with these key goals in mind:
- Move all garden beds outside the safety buffer zone of the underground oil pipeline.
- Create an inviting main garden entrance.
- Widen some existing trails and construct new universally accessible trails that connect all garden areas.
- Improve educational and directional signage.
- Create new demonstration garden areas such as a “Hedgerow” and others.
- Create a better space for workshops, learning opportunities, and other events.
- Expand and improve your overall experience in the Demonstration Gardens.
Click HERE to see a drawing of our planned improvements and to read more details about changes in the works.
Want to become a Master Gardener?
You don’t need to be an expert gardener to apply, but must have a desire to give back to the community through gardening. Students complete 60 hours of coursework, followed by 60 hours volunteering as interns, assisting the public in solving home-gardening problems, and working in demonstration gardens. You will learn about basic botany, sound gardening practices, integrated management of common plant pests, efficient watering systems, soil biology, and much more. Then you will share your knowledge and experience with the community. For more detailed information about the Program, what we do, how to apply, and the schedule, click here.
If you are interested but unable to participate in the training, please consider supporting the Master Gardener Program by making a donation HERE.
Congratulations to the 2023 Cohort!
Approximately 27 new interns have completed their training and volunteer requirements and joined the ranks of certified Master Gardeners in Whatcom County. They are a capable and enthusiastic group and have already been out in the community sharing what they’ve learned.
Certified Master Gardeners
Be sure to visit the Member Area where you can:
- reach SignUp Genius and sign up for Master Gardener Only workshops, field trips and events
- find out about volunteer and continuing education opportunities, Committee meetings, etc.
- join the Master Gardener Facebook group
- access Master Gardener contact information
- find Foundation Board meeting minutes, forms, and more
Whatcom County Master Gardeners maintain three Demonstration Gardens where you can view plant varieties, learn about sustainable gardening techniques, and experience history in two beautiful Whatcom County Parks.
Hovander Homestead Park Demonstration Gardens: Bring your family and enjoy the children’s garden, vegetable garden, pollinator garden, and much more at this lovely park in Ferndale. Learn more here.
Roeder Home Demonstration Garden: Experience this beautiful and unique urban garden at one of Bellingham’s historic landmark homes. Learn more here.
WeGrow Garden: Located in the heart of Bellingham, the WeGrow Garden demonstrates raised bed gardening and composting systems, provides youth and community educational programs, and donates over 500 pounds of produce each year to local food banks. Learn more here.
Our WSU Diagnostic Plant Clinic has trained Master Gardeners available to assist you in diagnosing a problem, identifying garden pests and plants, and solving most gardening challenges. During the regular gardening season, you can visit the WSU Extension office in person, with a sample of your plant problem. You can also visit the WSU Hortsense website, which is a great source of all kinds of plant-related information, and a good place to do your own problem-solving. Also, be sure to check our“Your Garden This Month” column below for useful tips and advice.
The WSU Whatcom County Extension office is located at:
600 Dupont Street, Suite A, Bellingham, WA
Typical office hours are Monday – Friday, 9am – 4pm, however the Diagnostic Plant Clinic hours are limited to one day per week during the months of December and January. Please visit the Whatcom Extension website for more information and updated hours.
Friend or Foe?
The clover mite is a tiny red arachnid about the size of a pinhead when fully grown. Their bodies are a bright red to brownish color, and they have extra-long front legs that extend forward resembling antennae. They feast on sap from clover and grasses that will leave a silvery residue. They tend to be visible and numerous in the cooler temperatures of early spring and late fall and will swarm on a sunny outer wall of your home, or on cement patios, rocks, and windowsills. They may enter your home through crevices around windows and doors.
If you do see them, they’re not dangerous, just annoying. They don’t bite and they don’t infest food or damage your home. You can clean them off surfaces with soap and water, but it is best not to squish them as they leave a red stain. Better to vacuum them up and dispose of them in your outside garbage container. If they don’t get to a food source or water within a day, they will die.
To deter clover mites, trim back shrubs that are close to your home and remove grass, weeds, and especially clover. Seal off cracks in your foundation and window frames. Do not over fertilize your lawn. Planting Salvia, Geraniums, Petunias, Marigold or Junipers may discourage clover mites. Diatomaceous Earth can be spread in your vegetable gardens, around plants, and along the borders of your home to create a safe perimeter. If you do use a spray, do so in spring or fall before they go dormant for the summer and winter.
Happy 50th Anniversary to WSU’s Master Gardener Program
Back in 1973, 120 students from King and Pierce County Extension, were the first to be trained and certified as Master Gardeners. Fast forward 50 years later, and the Program is now operating in 46 states, as well as four Canadian provinces. There are now more than 3,000 Master Gardeners spreading research-based gardening knowledge in 28 of 39 Washington Counties, and serving more than a quarter of a million clients each year.
Your Garden in November
Trees planted October through December benefit from our fall and winter rains and develop a stronger root system before the next summer dry spell. During this time nurseries carry trees planted in containers, balled-and-burlapped or bare root.
Join our Mailing List
If you would like to receive notifications, just twice per month, regarding upcoming gardening-related classes and workshops, CLICK HERE.
Each year, Whatcom County Master Gardeners present awards to individuals who have shown extraordinary dedication to the Program by making exceptional contributions of time, effort, and enthusiasm.
CLICK HERE to read more about these awards and the honored recipients.
The Whatcom Master Gardener Foundation is grateful to all the organizations that have supported our activities. Those local businesses shown below have contributed money, goods, and/or services worth $50 or more, within the last two years.