‘Gardening for Everyone’: Learn to Garden Like a Master Gardener at Annual Series of Classes

No Charge: Free Classes Are Open to Gardeners of Any Experience Level


The WSU Master Gardener program with the Lewis County Extension Office will be throwing its biannual “Gardening For Everyone” event, and everyone is indeed welcome, regardless of their level of experience.

The free event will be held from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. April 9 at Centralia Christian School. No registration is required.

The event will be held in three different classrooms at Centralia Christian, with each hosting one class during each of three one-and-a-half-hour class periods for a total of nine classes. The three class periods will be held from 9 to 10:30 a.m., 10:45 to noon and 12:45 to 2:15 p.m.

The nine classes will be held as follows:

9 to 10:30 a.m.

•“Protecting Groundwater Resources”: Bob Taylor will present on how contamination moves in soil.

• “The Great Divide”: Jeanette Lawson will present on when and why you should divide your plants and how to divide different types of bulbs.

• “Basic Gardening 101”: Don Enstrom will present on gardening site selection as well as what and when to plant.


10:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

• “Container Gardening”: MaryAnn Albenesius will present on the keys to success when working with potted plants.

• “Growing Bearded Irises”: Laveta Arnold will present on issues related to growing Bearded Irises.

• “Growing Tomatoes 101”: Barbara Eastman will present on the variety of tomato plants and issues related to tomato gardening.


12:45 to 2:15 p.m.

• “Simply Organic Permaculture Conservation”: Sandra Smith will present information related to year-round gardening.

• “No Dig, No Till Garden”: Chermaine Gill will present on topics related to “No Dig” gardens.

• “Planting the Seeds for a Zero Waste Garden”: Melanie Case will present on container reuse and ways to prevent weeds using natural methods.


The event is being put on by the Lewis County Master Gardeners. The Master Gardeners is a group supported by Washington State University (WSU) through its extension program. The WSU Extension program acts as the public arm of the research conducted at WSU. The main purpose of the program is education. As part of the Extension program’s educational mission, WSU educates the public on new research about a variety of topics, ranging from gardening to wine. The program supports around 50 groups as part of its mission, including Master Gardeners and 4-H. The WSU Extension Program is operated out of county level extension offices. Most counties have their own extension programs, though some counties share their programs due to low population size. WSU sets the standards for these programs and talks to the different coordinators in each county.

The statewide Master Gardeners program is run out of Wenatchee and there are approximately 4,000 certified Master Gardeners statewide. The aim of the Master Gardeners program is to promote education about gardening and conservation based on WSU research.

The Master Gardeners were described by the local coordinator of the Lewis County WSU Extension Program, Jason Adams, as being “community educators” who act as unpaid volunteers. According to Adams, there are about 50 certified Master Gardeners in Lewis County with about 14 trainees seeking to become certified.

According to Adams, the process of becoming a certified Master Gardener includes an 11-month training program that begins in January of every year and ends in November. Classes are held every third Tuesday. There is also an online component to the training curriculum that involves online classes, assignments and tests. One can register for Master Gardener training by picking up an application packet between Monday and Thursday from 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.  at the WSU Lewis County Extension office, which is located at 17 SW Cascade Ave. in Chehalis, down the street from the Lewis County Courthouse and the Lewis County Law and Justice Center.

Application packets can also be requested by email at jason.adams@lewiscountywa.gov or by phone at 360-740-1216. The training fee for the Master Gardener certification course is $214.

To get to Centralia Christian School, take Interstate 5 to Exit 81 and take Mellen Street east toward downtown Centralia. At the end of Mellen Street, take a left onto Alder Street and continue down until you reach West Cherry Street. At West Cherry Street, turn right and continue down the road eastward until reaching Pearl Street by Fuller’s Market. Turn right on Pearl Street before making a turn left onto the Southbound Viaduct. Once you have reached the end of the viaduct, continue south down South Gold Street until you reach East Floral Street. Once you reach East Floral Street, turn right and head west across the train tracks. At the end of East Floral Street is Centralia Christian School. Turn right onto South Tower Avenue before making a left turn into the Centralia Christian School parking lot.

To learn more about Lewis County Master Gardeners, visit https://lewis-mg-mrc.org/.