The Piney Hills Master Gardeners have encouraged 4-H'ers to participate in a parishwide gardening contest for several years. The young gardeners are required to build a 100-sqaure-foot garden containing corn, bell peppers, tomatoes and beans. They are allowed to have help preparing their soil for the garden but have been on their own from planting until judging. They are also allowed to have a Master Gardener as a mentor to help them through the season. A team of judges travels the parish, viewing the gardens and considering the following: the gardener's knowledge, creativity, weed control and the general health of each required plant. To end the contest, participants are recognized at an awards dinner for them and their families. This year 9 young gardeners from all over Webster Parish participated in this annual event. In addition to planting, weeding, watering and fertilizing, keeping a journal was also a part of the contest.
This year Wyatt Richardson of Shongaloo experimented with homemade organic fertilizer. He decided that the rabbit poop was the best. Gunner Brock from Springhill was the most improved gardener. This year we had three sets of siblings in the contest. There was certainly high competition in that group.
Awards night was held on June 12th at the Webster Parish LSU Extension Office. All the gardeners were awarded cash prizes and tee shirts. These prizes are made possible by funds raised by the Master Gardeners from their yearly seminar presentations at Buds & Blooms.Prizes were awarded as follows: 1st prize, Marjorie Bailey; 2nd prize, Logan Bailey; and 3rd prize Sarah Calhoun.The Master Gardeners commend these young people in their efforts to learn good gardening practices.
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