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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Nearly 60 colleges, businesses and technical schools, as well as several branches of the military, participated in the Oil City High School college and career fair Wednesday, showing the students the many options available to them as they chart their courses after high school.

The Franklin Area High School boys basketball team's run in the PIAA playoffs came to an end this afternoon in the Elite Eight with a 61-53 loss to Penn Cambria. The Knights mounted a furious rally in the fourth quarter before falling short at Armstrong High School in Kittanning. For more de…

Dresses of every size, hue and style, along with accessories like shoes, jewelry and clutch purses, filled the Hope 21 boutique in the National Transit Building in Oil City on Friday evening as the ministry kicked of its second A Dress For You event.

Jeromy Ritchey, production lead for Venango Training and Development Center in Seneca, was candid during a discussion with Chief Executive Officer Colleen Stuart in regard to changes he wanted for the VTDC workshop, which would coincide with the center’s 50th anniversary.

LEWISBURG — Oil City’s boys 400 freestyle relay team broke its own school record while Franklin sophomore Camden Smith earned another all-state honorable mention award on Thursday as the 2022-23 PIAA Class 2A Swimming Championships wrapped up at Bucknell University’s Kinney Natatorium.

TITUSVILLE — It’s not often when one finds a 20-year-old business owner, and even less likely to find one who has expanded on a relatively new venture. But that’s exactly what Peyton Miller, a 2020 Titusville Area High School graduate, has done.

HERSHEY — Grove City junior Hunter Hohman posted a pair of major decisions on Friday and advanced to the finals of the 160-pound division in the 2022-23 PIAA Wrestling Championships at the Giant Center. Five other area wrestlers, including Cranberry’s trio of Dalton Wenner, Elijah Brosius an…

GENEVA, Ohio — Friday turned out to be a medal-filled opener for both Oil City and Franklin in the PIAA Class 2A Swimming Championships held at the Spire Institute. The Oilers earned five medals overall and the Knights had four.

It’s not easy to beat a team three times in one season. It’s even harder to win three consecutive District 10 titles.

SCHOLASTIC BOYS BASKETBALL: District 9 Class 1A semifinals -- Union 51, DuBois Central Catholic 48; District 9 Class 2A semifinals -- Clarion-Limestone 47, Karns City 43

SCHOLASTIC BOYS BASKETBALL: District 10 Class 3A semifinals -- Oil City 38, Seneca 36; Franklin 52, Fairview 40; District 10 Class 1A semifinals -- Farrell 64, Rocky Grove 55; District 10 Class 4A semifinals -- Grove City 57, Harbor Creek 43

Oil City police Chief Dave Ragon confirmed Sophia Steinman, 17, of Oil City, was found safe in Warren on Thursday evening.

An Oil City girl is taking a project from her religious education classes and running with it as she aims to collect 500 pairs of shoes single-handedly to donate to people in need.

Anyone who’s been in the Oil City Library these days may have noticed there’s a brand new collection on the shelves by the card catalog — and it isn’t books, movies or audiobooks.

The 83rd annual edition of the Business Review and Forecast will be published with Friday’s newspaper. Here is a sampling of what you will find in this year’s edition, which spotlights local business, industry, government and schools.

BOYS BASKETBALL: Franklin 87, Conneaut Area 13; Warren 60, Oil City 46; Jamestown 59, Rocky Grove 50; C-L 65, Cranberry 44; Clarion 63, A-C Valley 43; Redbank Valley 46, Keystone 38; Karns City 48, Moniteau 46 (2OT); Venango Catholic 78, CLA 60; Cochranton 61, Youngsville 40; Grove City 63, …

After a season in which he made national news, Oil City running back Ethen Knox has collected another national award by being named to the 2022-23 All-USA Today High School Sports Awards Offensive Football Team on Monday.

BOYS BASKETBALL: Keystone 56, Cranberry 44; Clarion 84, Forest Area 8; Redbank Valley 53, Moniteau 38; Karns City 64, C-L 46; Tidioute Charter 57, Venango Catholic 56