The Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Middlesex County will host a Garden Season Kick-Off from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 7 at the EARTH Center located in Davidson’s Mill Pond Park, 42 Riva Ave., South Brunswick. This event is an opportunity for gardeners to get insights from Master Gardeners on planting and caring for a successful garden and landscaping their home. The event will be held rain or shine.

Attendees can consult with Master Gardeners regarding garden plans or past problems and access their vast knowledge of horticulture. The Master Gardeners and Extension staff will deliver mini-lectures throughout the day, and literature such as fact sheets will be available to take home. Staff from New Jersey’s Department of Agriculture will also be on hand to offer information on the latest threat to New Jerseys trees, the Emerald Ash Borer.

Rutgers Soils Lab Test Kits will be available for purchase (by check only) and, as part of a special celebration for National Herb Day, a limited supply of free starter plants will be given out.

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Schedule of events:    10:30 a.m.  Seed Saving & Seed Testing 

11:30 p.m.  Designing and Planting a Large Container

12:30 p.m.  Power Gardening –

                     Can gardening count as exercise?

                                      1:30 p.m.    Engaging Your Kids in Gardening

“This is a great opportunity for gardeners to get research-based garden tips, materials and insights,” said Freeholder Kenneth Armwood, Chair of the County’s Business Development and Education Committee.  “If you have never visited the EARTH Center, please come see what Middlesex County’s Extension service has to offer.”

“The center’s location in one of Middlesex County’s most beautiful parks makes for a fun and educational experience,” said Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios. “I encourage everyone to stop by and get in touch with the natural side of Middlesex County.”

You can learn more about Middlesex County’s Extension Office at www.co.middlesex.nj.us  by searching “Extension.”

No matter what season, if you have questions on backyard environmental issues, Middlesex County’s Extension Office can assist you with its FREE Master Gardener Helpline. Residents of Middlesex County are encouraged to call 732-398-5220 with questions on plants, bugs and home conservation practices. Rutgers University trained Master Gardeners are available from 9 a.m. until noon, Mondays through Fridays, or residents can leave a detailed message and volunteers will get back to you. You can also e-mail your questions and concerns to mastergardeners@co.middlesex.nj.us.

Rutgers Cooperative Extension educational programs are offered to all without regard to race, religion, color, age, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or disability.