The Ohio State University Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program provides intensive training in horticulture to interested Ohio residents, who then volunteer their time assisting with educational programs and activities for Ohio residents through their local OSU Extension county office. Volunteers are not required to have gardening skills or knowledge; but a passion for learning about gardening and sharing this knowledge with others is a must!

Working with county Extension personnel, Master Gardener Volunteers provide such educational services to their communities as: answering gardening questions from the public; conducting plant clinics; gardening activities with children, senior citizens, or disabled persons; beautifying the community; and developing community or demonstration gardens.

More information about state-level Master Gardener Volunteer programs and activities is available at  Richland County may offer another new MGV class in 2025.

Welcome to the Richland County Master Gardener Volunteer program.
YOU could be a Master Gardener Volunteer if:

  • You want to learn more about plants and gardening
  • You are eager to participate in a practical and intensive training program
  • You enjoy sharing your knowledge with others
  • You have enough time to attend training and volunteer your time to the community

For more information on the Richland County Master Gardener Volunteer program, send an e-mail with name, address, phone, etc. to, or contact the Richland County OSU Extension office, 1495 W. Longview Ave., Suite 206, Mansfield, OH 44906. Phone: 419-747-8755.

TIPS FROM A MASTER GARDENER FOR THE FALL  (via Debbie Halling, September 2017)

It’s time to start preparing your garden for winter. Here are some tips to get started.

First, harvest seeds from dry pods and take cuttings from plants you want to propagate next year. Also, dig up and store any remaining summer bulbs and tag any plants for division in the spring.

Now it’s time to clean up your garden beds. Remove diseased plants and place them in plastic bags for disposal. Don’t try to compost these plants because there is too much chance for disease to be passed along through the new compost. Also, pull dead and declining annuals.

Then do a final weeding, but do it before the weeds have gone to seed. Also remove row markers and stakes to eliminate a place for insects to hide during the winter.

Next prepare your soil for spring. This may include doing a ph test on a soil sample, and amending the soil according to the test results. Then add a thick layer of compost followed by a layer of leaves or straw. You could also plant a cover crop such as rye.

Finally, clean and sharpen your garden tools and pruners.



1)  Clean your beds:  Spring cleaning means thoroughly raking last year's flower beds to remove sticks, old dead growth, debris and leaves.  Break up the soil with a garden fork.  The leaves can go into your new composting pile.

2)  Prepare the soil:  Wait until snow has melted and heavy spring rains have passed.  Your new plants will love soil that have been amended with a few inches of compost or grass clippings.  Once the soil is no longer in wet clumps, just work the compost into the top few inches of the bed.  Only use clean garden tools.

3)  Plant:  Be sure you wait until the last frost date has passed.  For the Mansfield area, that is May 21-31.  Choose plant varieties that are hardy for areas 4-5.  With the right plan, you can have a colorful garden throughout the summer and fall.