Delaware County
Master Gardeners

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Delaware Master Gardeners are avid about horticulture and eager learners. This site is one way we share these passions and provide "environmentally sound, research-based gardening practices" with our communities.


Congratulations to all our winning Master Gardener Volunteers and their projects. We are excited to announce that our Delaware County group of Master Gardener Volunteers swept the awards at the 2021 OSU Extension Annual State Conference!

We all give in so many ways in so many amazing projects, paying forward to our community and to each other. This year, we recognized the following projects, MGVs and Friends of MGVs and we are thrilled that they were acknowledged by the State as being the “best of the best”.

  • Terri Litchfield – Outstanding MGV

  • Native Plant Propagation Project – Outstanding Large MGV Project

  • Pandemic Perseverance Award:

Grace Clinic Project (Barb Butt and Carol Champa)

DCMGA Website (Tech Committee)

  • Stratford Ecological Center – Outstanding MGV Friend

Read More >

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Ask a Master Gardener Volunteer

Answering the public's questions about gardening using science-based information is an important objective of the Ohio State University Extension Master Gardener Volunteer program. Submit your landscape, yard, and garden questions here.

Ohio Invasive Plant Council 2021 Annual Meeting Presentations

  • Mark Warman, Cleveland Metroparks Hydrilla at Mosquito Creek Reservoir

  • LaeRae Sprow, Metroparks Toledo Developing an Invasive Management Strategy

  • Emma Crockett and Holly Latterman, The Dawes Arboretum Experimentation on Best Practices for Dense Woody Invasive Removal and Habitat Conversion

  • Chris Roshon, Preservation Parks Delaware County Early and Often: Persistence Pays Off with Callery Pear

  • Shelby Ashcraft, Five Rivers Metropark Effective Use and Follow Up with Forestry Mulching

  • Dr. Bethany Bradley, University of Massachusetts Breaking Down Barriers to Proactive & Consistent Risk Assessments of Invasive Plants

Registration (free) is required to view the recording.  Please follow this link. The password is: #OIPC2021

Practice Restraint in Fall Clean Up to Benefit Wildlife
Ecological Horticulture at Brooklyn Bridge Park (Part II)
with Rebecca McMackin
A posdcast from The Joe Gardener Show with Joe Lamp’l

From The Weed Detective

Nancy Reynolds, Delaware County Master Gardener

One of the signs that we are deep into autumn is when I see Osage oranges on the ground. But are they a weed? Are they a “good” plant?

Officially known as Malura pomifera, Osage oranges are also known as hedge apple, horse apple and monkey brains! They have a textured fruit that commonly falls to the ground in mid- to late October, which is why it is this month’s topic. Although it is edible, it is also unpalatable due to its bitter flavor and an unpleasant latex-like liquid that irritates the skin.

Here are some good things that can be said about Osage oranges:

The oranges have an insect-repellent property, especially against spiders. As a result, they are used as an indoor décor item in the autumn when spiders invade.

Historically, Osage orange trees were known for their durable, decay-resistant wood. The Osage Indian tribe constructed their best and much-prized bows from the wood.

As settlers moved west through the Midwest and plains states, Osage orange trees became the premier fencing material along property lines. The trees have sharp spines; the twist-ing branches would be interwoven to create a living, armed fence. These fences would mature in just under four years and kept animals within property lines.

Osage orange trees were planted for thousands of miles and were one of the most sought-after trees at one time. The tree's popularity quickly faded with the invention of barbed wire, which was rumored to have been modeled after the thorny Osage branches. With time, Osage orange trees fell out of favor and are now considered by many to be a woody weed, made difficult to remove by their long, sharp thorns.

Osage Orange (Malura pomifera)