Penn State Master Gardeners of Venango County

This educational blog is a series of informative articles from the Penn State Master Gardeners volunteers plus news concerning our group and their activities.

Master Gardeners are volunteers trained by Penn State Extension Horticulture Educators. Once they complete their training, they cooperate with service agencies and community groups on a wide range of gardening projects. Their talents and energies are directed toward providing a link between their community and Penn State Cooperative Extension and Outreach.

Meet the Bloggers

Susan Lanigan - Mercer/Venango County Coordinator (advisor)

Andy Faust - Area Coordinator (advisor)

Jan Martz - Master Gardener volunteer

Yvonne Paranick - Master Gardener volunteer

Gardening through the Seasons Article Series 2021

April (weekly)

Beginning a Vegetable Garden

Seed Starting Demystified & Information on Seed Packets

Rhubarb: Be patient and You Will Be Rewarded

Spring Fruit Tree Planting Tips for the Home Garden

May (weekly)

Spring Yard Care Tips for Water Quality

Don’t Over Fertilize Your Lawn this Spring

Meadows and Prairies: Wildlife-Friendly Alternatives to Lawn

Maximizing Your Vegetable Garden

Master Gardener Hotline

Venango County Master Gardener volunteers are available to answer gardening related questions through this blog site, at Venango County Master Gardeners on Facebook, emailing or by calling (814) 437-7607. Please leave a message.

Current Master Gardener Volunteer Projects

Victorian Garden behind the Transit Building, Oil City, PA

Children’s Learning Garden next to Central Elementary School, Franklin, PA

Poison Prevention Program

Venango Area Community Gardens

Seed to Supper Programs

Precious Paws Animal Rescue Pet Friendly Garden, Seneca, PA

Cranberry School District Project, Cranberry, PA

Bird, Butterfly and Pollinator Habitat at Oil Creek State Park

Two Mile County Park Project


Twentieth Annual May Garden Mart will be held from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. May 1 and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. May 2 at Fountain and Bandstand Parks in Franklin. Many vendors with a large selection of gardening plants and other garden items will be available. Look for the Master Gardeners Booth! We will be happy to answer any of your garden related questions COVID-19 precautions will include social distancing and wearing a mask.


Find us on Facebook or Instagram

Penn State Master Gardeners of Venango County

Home Gardening Resources

How to Become a Master Gardener

The Penn State Extension Master Gardener basic training program is open to individuals interested in becoming volunteers and sharing gardening knowledge with the public through community outreach. The intensive horticultural training is taught by Extension educators and University professors.

Basic Training Propagation Workshop

The Master Gardener Program is administered at the county level where recruitment, training, and volunteer service occur. Master Gardener trainees are required to participate in a minimum of 40 hours of classroom training, score 80 percent on the final exam, and fulfill 50 hours of volunteer service.

Basic training class schedules vary based on location and include the following topics: botany, plant propagation, soil health and fertilizer management, composting, controlling pests safely, entomology, plant diseases, indoor plants, vegetables, lawn care, pruning, woody ornamentals, herbaceous plants, native plants, weeds and invasive plants. The training fee includes a copy of the Penn State Master Gardener Manual.

Each trainee is expected to attend all core classes with any missed sessions being made up by reviewing the online recorded training class.


Before completing the Master Gardener application, contact the county Extension office in your area for an updated schedule of classes and program cost. Financial aid may be available through your local Extension office. Basic training for Master Gardeners is not offered annually in every county. Send the completed application to the county where you reside.


Contact your county Master Gardener program with any questions.

Download the How to Become a Master Gardener publication, which is also available in alternative media on request.

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SOFTBALL: Clarion 13, Forest Area 3 (5 inn.); Rocky Grove 22, Youngsville 0 (3 inn.); Hickory 17, Franklin 2 (3 inn.); Cranberry 17, Clarion-Limestone 6 (5 inn.); Karns City 18, A-C Valley 9; Keystone 12, Union 2 (6 inn.)

UPMC Northwest’s regional vaccine clinic at the former Bon Ton in the Cranberry Mall is providing first doses of the Pfizer vaccine today without appointments until 3:30 p.m. Residents from Venango, Clarion, Forest, Crawford, Mercer, Warren, Lawrence, Butler and Jefferson counties are eligible.

Preparations for next month's primary election are underway in Venango County, and all the county's voting machines are being tested this week to make sure they are working properly.

HARRISBURG — The state Department of Health today said it notified COVID-19 vaccine providers that the pause in administering doses of the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine will be extended until April 24, or until updated guidance is provided from the Centers for Disease Control and P…

UPMC health system is temporarily pausing its use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, following CDC and FDA guidelines recommended after six patients nationwide experienced blood clotting.

The Oil City sesquicentennial celebration Sunday in Justus Park was a big hit, and a number of people who attended the event then stopped at the Venango Museum on Seneca Street to view new local history displays that are on exhibit.

Hundreds of people turned out to Justus Park in celebration of Oil City's 150 years of history that's "unique, noble and quirky" and to look forward to a "bright and promising future," as two of the speakers put it Sunday.

ELK TOWNSHIP — A man died in a house fire Sunday morning in Elk Township, according to Shippenville-Elk fire Chief Steve Merryman.

The easing of COVID-19 mitigation efforts at restaurants and bars has suddenly made the jobs of workers at those businesses much more manageable.

Local restaurants and bars welcome relaxed COVID-19 mitigation guidelines.

Handmade gifts by Valley Grove Elementary students and local flowers were delivered Wednesday to residents at Sugar Creek Station.

Amid political polarization, U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson vows he will maintain a bipartisan approach.

KNOX — Knox police are seeking information on the whereabouts of Trenton Alan Hogue, 24, of Knox.

MARIENVILLE - Seventeen years ago, Dave Yeany read a magazine article that told him he could tap maple trees for syrup from his own backyard.

About a dozen people braved the cold temperatures Friday to participate in the Good Friday cross walk in Oil City.

Federal law could open the way for the state's plan to toll Interstate 80 bridges.

A men's homeless shelter in Oil City that has been in the works for more than two years will open Monday.

HARRISBURG (AP) — Every adult in Pennsylvania will qualify for COVID-19 vaccines starting April 19, and emergency responders, grocery workers and others will be able to set up shots immediately, Gov. Tom Wolf's administration announced Wednesday.

HARRISBURG — The state Department of Health on Wednesday announced 23 new cases of COVID-19 were reported from the tri-county area.

Sugar Valley Lodge will be reopening its facilities Thursday after more than a year of COVID-19 preventative restrictions.