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Cooperative Extension's New Gardening Guru Off to a Busy Start

Post Date:07/05/2018 12:16 PM

Greetings Chatham County Residents,

I am Matt Jones, the new Horticulture Extension Agent in Chatham County. My predecessor, Charlotte Glen, is now the statewide NC Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Coordinator. Charlotte has done a tremendous job building a superb horticulture program in Chatham County, and has already had a great impact on the Extension Master GardenerSM program. I was fortunate enough to have trained under Charlotte as one of her mentee agents. I look forward to continue to expand and deepen the horticulture outreach and extension education programs she established in the county.

A little about the new guy:

I was born and raised in Oklahoma, and attended the University of Oklahoma for undergraduate and graduate degrees in microbiology and botany. I continued graduate training in horticultural science at a consortium of European universities in Germany Austria, and Italy, followed by a stint as a horticulture intern at the Arnold Arboretum in Boston, and several years as a research assistant on tree nut crops for University of California Cooperative Extension. From 2015 until May of this year, I was the Horticulture Extension Agent in neighboring Harnett County, where I tackled everything from vegetable and fruit farmers, forestry, beekeeping, home gardeners, and training Master Gardener Volunteers. In Chatham County, I am focusing on home gardeners like yourself, as well as plant nurseries, landscape professionals, and aquatic weed management.

Upcoming Classes

Fall Vegetable Gardening in Containers: CLICK HERE

Many vegetables are well-adapted to planting in late summer for a fall harvest. Containers enable those lacking sufficient space or appropriate site conditions to grow fresh, nutritious vegetables. Containers also allow ready access for more frequent harvests and easier pest management. Join Matt Jones and the Master Gardener Volunteers of Chatham County for a free fall container vegetable gardening class on Saturday, August 11th.

Learn the principles of container gardening in any season, including choosing appropriate containers, growing media, light and water requirements, and nutrient management. We’ll also discuss the cultural practices, pest management strategies, and cultivar selections for common fall vegetable crops, including: beets, bok choy, carrots, green onions, kale, radishes, lettuce and other leafy greens.

When:  Saturday, August 11th, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Where:  Chatham County Agriculture and Conference Center
1192 US-64 W Bus. – Pittsboro, NC 
Registration:  There is no fee for the class, but pre-registration is required. Register online at:

Identification and Management of Aquatic Weeds

Chatham County Horticulture Extension Agent Matt Jones will present on how to identify and manage aquatic weeds in farm ponds.The class provides NCDA Pesticide Continuing Education Credits (approval pending) 2 A, D, N, X 

When: Tuesday, September 25th, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Where: Chatham County Agriculture and Conference Center, 1192 US-64 W Bus. – Pittsboro
Registration: There is no fee for the class, but pre-registration is required.
Register online at:

2019 Classes

Next year will packed with many exciting gardening programs. The Extension Gardener series in spring 2019 will include daytime and evening classes on vegetable, herb, and fruit production, sustainable lawn care, composting, and gardening with native plants that benefit pollinators, birds, and other wildlife.

The Master Gardener VolunteerSM Training Course in fall 2019 will continue where the Extension Gardener series left off, adding intensive classes on the research and diagnostic skills needed to become a certified Master Gardener Volunteer.

Stay tuned for more information on final class schedules and registration information!

New NC State Extension Resources

Have gardening questions?

Feel free to contact the Master Gardener Volunteers of Chatham County, or email me for questions about upcoming programs.