Horticulture is a challenge in the extreme elements of Butte, Montana.  MSU Extension Butte-Silver Bow's primary focus is to equip its community for gardening success. 

Master Gardener classes are offered in the spring and fall.  The 16 hour Level 1 Master Gardener course (held in the spring) will teach basic yard and garden installation, vegetable and flower gardening, and yard and lawn maintenance.  Level 2, also a 16 hour course (held in the autumn), is for more advanced Master Gardeners with prior gardening knowledge and/or experience, concentrating on Integrated Pest Management.  If you would like to attend one of these courses, request to be added to the waiting list by E-mailing silverbow@monana.edu.

Soil tests are available through MSU Extension Butte-Silver Bow for $34.  Bring about two cups of subsoil (6"-8" from surface) to our office and we will ship it to Midwest Laboratories for a thorough lawn and garden test.  You will receive a detailed report of what your soil already has and the specifics of what it needs to be a fertile garden.  Take a look at the MontGuide "Home Garden Soil Testing & Fertilizer Guidelines" to get an idea of the information you would receive from your soil test.  (If you are interested in the Residential Metals Program through the Butte-Silver Bow Health Department, call them directly at 406-497-5040.)

Park Street Community Garden has 19 garden plots available for rent each season.  Two additional plots are harvested by volunteers for the Food Bank.  Members of the garden are responsible for preparing, planting, maintaining and cleaning their plots.  Anyone is welcome to join for the purpose of growing their household’s produce.  Each garden member is also responsible for contributing at least five hours of their time to general property maintenance. Garden plots are in high demand (no plot has ever been fallow for a season) and available on a first come, first serve basis. Request to be added to the waiting list by E-mailing silverbow@montana.edu.

School Gardens are being established throughout Butte, MT for nutritional and educational purposes.  To find out how you can get involved, call 406-723-0217 today!

Schutter Diagnostic Lab is located in the Montana State University campus in Bozeman, MT.  As a free service to our community, you may bring plants, insects, spiders, fungus, galls, etc. to MSU Extension Butte-Silver Bow and we will forward the item in question to Schutter Diagnositc Lab for identification.  Allow one to two weeks to receive a report.