Delaware County
Master Gardener Association


Delaware County 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. 

DCMGA News and Events ...

Public Gardens Kick-off

March 2023

Eight MGVs and one intrepid Intern turned out on Saturday, March 25, to learn how and then prune shrubs at the Extension and Law Library Gardens (the Historic Courthouse Is still on the agenda).  The weather cooperated with cool temps, just a small amount of precipitation, and manageable winds.   

The morning began with a presentation by Nora Hiland and Susan DeVol on why, when, and how to prune shrubs.  After eating lots of cookies and drinking hot cocoa and coffee, we went to the gardens for a demonstration by Nora and Instructions on how to prune each shrub (and how to NOT bother the nesting duck!).  Then the work began!    

We still have more work to do (lots more of those early-rising weeds to pull) and the volunteers for the Public Gardens Project will be hard at work this spring and summer.   

The slideshow (Shrub Pruning 101) Is available In the Member's Only section of In the Garden Patch.

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Hydrangea Presentation at the Powell Garden Club

March 2023

“Introduction to Hydrangeas” was the second class our Master Gardeners presented to the Powell Garden Club. Vicky Zipfel was contacted by the Garden Club early this winter to see if Delaware County Master Gardeners would be willing to give an hour gardening presentation every fourth Thursday of the month.  How could we pass up an invitation to spread the good news of gardening? Last month’s topic was birds and feeders to attract our wintery feathered friends. March’s topic was an Introduction to Hydrangeas.  Old wood, new wood, blue or pink, sun or shade, pruning, hydrangea trees, best choices for Ohio, where to find them … so much to learn, so little time.

Fourteen garden club members listened intently as Vicky walked them through the basics of hydrangeas.  Yes, some hydrangea cultivars can take more sun than others, though most are typical woodland plants that prefer a cool morning sun and afternoon shade. Nora offered tips on soil: what is loam; pH determines bloom color – blue for acidic, pink for alkaline; peat has acidic properties when added to the soil; and did you know that the soil west of the Olentangy River is alkaline, but the soil east of the river is acidic? Gayle had dried panicles from Limelight and PG (panicle grandiflora) hydrangea “trees”, which are not trees at all but highly pruned hydrangea shrubs. And of course, she talked about deer (always) and hydrangea as deer candy.

Nora demonstrated pruning techniques on hydrangea branches that Vicky brought in.  (Someday, ask her to demonstrate opposite and alternate leaves.) We even had one intrepid volunteer from the garden club try her hand at pruning under Nora’s tutelage. The club had so many questions and stories and observations to share with us. One member told the disturbing story of the climbing hydrangea that “ate” her garage!

Thank you Vicky for creating this fun, educational hydrangea class for the Powell Garden Club.  So many members came up to thank us and tell us how much they enjoyed this and last month’s presentations.  And thanks also to our MG Helpers and presenters – Nora, Gayle, Stephany and Nancy who all support the good works that Delaware County Master Gardener Volunteers do.

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DCMGA Banquet

March 2023

Tuesday, March 14, saw 83 MGVs, Interns, and spouses in attendance at the DCMGA Banquet at the Scioto Reserve Country Club In Powell.  Talk filled the room as friends greeted one another and we took the opportunity to meet many of our Interns.  During this time, a slideshow of a number of events In 2022 ran on two large screens.

Dinner followed and the menu selected by the Banquet Committee clearly suited most everyone, as the forks and knives were kept quite busy.

Susan DeVol welcomed all to the banquet on behalf of the committee (Diana Dierkes, Pam Foster, Nancy Freeland, Charlotte Niceswanger, Suzan Nobis, Mary Sandberg, Sandy Schaadt, Susie Snow, Susan Vetter, and Sandy Workman).  

Marlene Suter, 2023 President, reviewed the many successes resulting from the hard work of DCMGA projects In 2022.  She quoted the poem Living a Life by Mary Oliver which she believes could be the unofficial motto of MGVs.  It reads, "Pay attention.  Be astonished.  Tell about It."

Kenzie Johnston, our Master Gardener coordinator, Introduced the Interns that attended the banquet.  She then shared how much she Is thankful to the members for their contributions to our mission and to the support of Kathy Blevins and others.   

The evening concluded with the winners of the raffle prizes and silent auction gifts collecting their bounty.  Members and local businesses, Including Hoover Gardens, Spa Retreat, A Proper Garden, Pet Bowl, Lettuce Work, and Son of Thurman, were extremely generous In their donations and we greatly appreciate their support.   

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Advanced Master Gardener Weeds Specialization Meets for Second Month

March 2023

March 9 saw 23 MGVs in class again to learn more about weeds.  This month the presenters included  Mandy Slack of The Scotts-MiracleGro Company, who provided information on pesticide registration, how pesticide labels are developed, and what it takes to get approval for a new pesticide;  Jacci Smith, OSUE - Delaware County, who brought samples of Palmer Amaranth, Water Hemp, and Pigweed, three of the most highly invasive and herbicide resistant agriculture weeds;  Ann Chanon of OSUE- Lake County, who spoke on how to read a pesticide label and provided instruction on how to properly suit up before applying pesticides and how to safely store bottles of pesticide; Eric Larson, who writes regularly for a number of local newspapers, on Round-up and glyphosate; and Tyler Frysinger, who owns an organic lawn-care business, on  organic and synthetic herbicides for broadleaf weeds.

To allow other MGVs who want to learn but can't devote 10 months to Weeds or has a specific interest in certain weeds, we are now offering two four-class options (April through July or May through August) and a one-day option (you choose which day or days to attend).  For more Information about these options, send an email to

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Advanced Master Gardener Weeds Specialization Kick-off

February 2023

The Delaware County Master Gardener Association hosted the first Advanced Master Gardener Weeds Specialization (AMG-Weeds) class on February 9.  There are 30 registrants from six counties.  

Nancy Reynolds, Chair, welcomed attendees and opened the event with program details.  John Cardina, professor of Agronomy at The Ohio State University, presented An Overview of Weeds that included information found In his book Lives of Weeds.   Each participant received a copy of the book.  Dr Cardina was actually a speaker at the very first AMG-Weeds sponsored by OSUE-Wooster twenty years ago!  We were very pleased when he agreed to travel from his home In Pennsylvania to be part of this kick-off!  

To conclude our first day, we had Debra Knapke, well-known Ohio author and authority on all things horticultural.  Deb spoke on the Botany of Weeds and clearly explained a complex subject.  Deb also participated in and helped organize the AMG-Herbs specialization that DCMGA hosted last year.

Our next class will be March 9 and speakers will include focus on herbicides, organic pesticides, and organic weed control.

The AMG-Weeds program will run through November 2023.  Master Gardeners who haven’t enrolled in the program may opt to attend an individual class or a group of four classes (either April through July or May through August).  For more Information, please contact  


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DCMGA Offers Two Scholarships for Delaware County Residents

January 2023

The Delaware County Master Gardener Volunteers announce two $2,500 scholarships for Delaware County residents pursuing post-secondary education in agriculture, botany, food science, horticulture, environmental science, or a related field at an accredited college, university, or technical school in the United States. 

Applications must be submitted by February 28, 2023

Complete eligibility requirements, and additional information can be found at:

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Delaware Soil and Water Conservation District Annual Tree Sale

January 2023

The Delaware SWCD is holding its annual tree sale.  Tree quantities are limited; orders are filled on a first-come, first-served basis.  Orders can be picked up between April 11 through the 13, 2023, at the Delaware SWCD, 557 Sunbury Rd, Suite A, Delaware, OH.  

Order form can be found at:

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