Master Garden Manual is a perfect gift this holiday season


UNIVERSITY PARK – There’s a new last-minute gift option available for home gardeners this year. The Master Gardener Manual, an expansive guide containing a comprehensive inventory of gardening and landscape-management topics, now can be purchased directly through Penn State Extension’s new digital learning website.

The nearly 800-page guide leads readers through the basics of plant classification, propagation, plant culture, harvesting, and problem-solving. Chapters cover botany, plant propagation, soil health and fertilizer management, composting, pest control and entomology, plant diseases, indoor plants, vegetable gardens, lawn care, ornamentals, tree fruit, small fruit, landscape design, woody ornamentals, herbaceous plants, native plants, weeds, invasive species, garden wildlife, and gardening equipment.

Nancy Knauss, state coordinator for the Penn State Master Gardener program, noted that the manual provides a wealth of horticultural information for all levels of gardeners. “It includes the basics for beginning gardeners but also provides more extensive, detailed information for advanced gardeners and professionals,” she said.

The manual incorporates the research-based knowledge and experience of Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences professors and extension professionals from several fields, including horticulture, small and tree fruit production, landscape architecture, turfgrass science, forestry and wildlife management, entomology, plant pathology, and botany.

The Master Gardener Manual is an 8.5-by-10-inch, hardcover, case-bound volume with more than 600 color images. The publication is available from Penn State Extension for $75, plus shipping. Orders may be placed directly through the Penn State Extension website at, or by calling toll free 877-345-0691. Most major credit cards are accepted. It is recommended that customers place their order before 4 p.m. Friday, Dec. 15 to provide time for delivery before Christmas Day.

The Penn State Master Gardener volunteer program supports the outreach mission of Penn State Extension by utilizing unbiased, research-based information to educate communities and the public on best practices in sustainable horticulture and environmental stewardship.

In addition to the manual, other educational materials related to gardening, horticulture and other agricultural and related topics are available on the new Penn State Extension website. A variety of online non-credit courses for the public have recently been unveiled on the site, which provides a wealth of educational experiences and resources for the professionals and community members served by extension. The new web experience allows consumers to access educational articles, videos, online courses and publications at their convenience, and register for regional in-person workshops and online webinars on a variety of subjects.