Get free gardening advice, and buy some already-to-go plants, at the Prairie Potters Master Gardeners’ annual plant sale on May 15.
From 9-11 a.m. at the Faith Lutheran Church, 714 N. Grand Ave., you can browse through annuals, perennials, houseplants and more, all grown by local master gardeners.
The Club began in 1999. Its mission is to “Share our enjoyment and knowledge of gardening and plants by serving as an educational resource to our communities.” The Club’s plant sales started in 2005.
“We currently have around 20 local Master Gardeners participating in monthly meetings, community education, and beautification. We are local gardeners, trained to provide horticultural information to the general public, and to help gardening enthusiasts enjoy successful pursuits in the soil, be it in the house or in the yard. All members have been trained through the South Dakota State University Extension Master Gardener program, or in similar programs in other states,” Sara Ogan, secretary and treasurer, said. Other officers are Ruth Smith, president; and Jan Larson, vice president.
Masters Gardeners provide current, research-based consumer horticulture information and education through projects and services.
The Prairie Potters members are in the Central South Dakota area – generally Hughes, Stanley, Lyman and Sully Counties. They are gardeners who have completed the classroom training offered by SDSU, a nine-week course of in-person and supplemental online training, providing over 50 hours of instruction covering topics such as soil composition, plant nutrition, propagation, insects, diseases, fruits, vegetables, annuals, perennials, weeds, indoor plants, trees, shrubs, landscape design, pesticides and lawn care.
“We, in exchange for the training, are required to return 50 hours of community service to the extension program over the next two years following training. When that completion is documented, a person is recognized as a Master Gardener,” Ogan said. “Additionally we are asked to maintain our active membership with 20 hours of service and 10 hours of continuing education annually.”
There are three training sites in South Dakota annually, and an online course option.
The PPMG annual plant sale has been around since the early 2000s with 800-1,000 plants grown by Master Gardeners for sale to the public each year. All visitors, whether buying or not, may get free gardening advice.
“Funds raised at the sale go back to the communities we serve via plants and supplies for public gardens around Pierre,” Ogan said.
Some of the public gardens are the Bell tower garden on Pierre and Pleasant street in Pierre, flower beds in Steamboat and Griffin Park in Pierre and general community beautification in the town of Vivian.
“The PPMG also provides education materials and advice at local farmers markets, and it holds education events throughout the year in Pierre, Fort Pierre and Vivian,” Ogan said.
If interested in becoming a Master Gardener, contact a member through the Extension/Regional Office at 773-8120. They will put you in touch with one of us for questions, information, or the application for a training program. For club listings, training dates, and fee information, visit: https://extension.sdstate.edu.