We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

How do I Become a Master Gardener?

By N. Phipps
Updated Feb 24, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A master gardener is a member of the local community that takes an active part in helping others with their gardening-related issues. Master gardeners are specially trained in horticulture and volunteer their time to educate others within their community. Generally, they help people in the community better understand horticulture and their environment.

To become a master gardener, you must be 18 years old and successfully complete the Extension Master Gardener Training Program within your local area. While it’s required to be a resident of the state in which applying, master gardener trainees do not generally need to reside in a specific county. These programs are available within each state but differ widely. For instance, depending on whether books are included, the cost of this type of training can be anywhere from $65 US dollars (USD) to well over $200 USD. In addition, master garden programs vary in the number of training hours, with most falling between 40 and 60 hours.

Most people applying for this program are experienced gardeners. Although prior gardening knowledge is recommended for master gardener programs, it’s not a requirement. However, previous classes or experience in horticulture, agriculture, earth science, botany, or biology can be helpful. Training classes are offered annually and are typically conducted by county extension agents, college horticulture departments, or other horticulture specialists.

Through the master gardener program, a variety of horticultural topics are taught. Instruction for becoming master gardeners include topics relating to lawn care, soil and plant nutrition, flower gardening, weed management, pests and diseases, fertilizer, tree and shrub care, water conservation, organic gardening techniques, and more. In most states, trainees must pass their horticultural exam with a minimum score of 70 percent in order to become certified. Upon completion of training, a master gardener must also volunteer at least 40 hours or more of service within the community.

Generally, master gardeners work through their local Cooperative Extension Center, providing gardening related information to the public. Volunteer hours are flexible with evening or weekend hours available. Some tasks can even be done after hours and include research, writing, telephone calling, helping with meetings and record keeping. Some of the volunteer activities include participation in design and operation of horticultural exhibits, displays, or demonstrations; making presentations on horticultural topics to 4-H groups, youth organizations, or schools; assisting staff of local gardens, research stations, churches, or similar establishments in garden maintenance.

Master gardeners are typically given a form to record time spent on various activities. These reports are turned in on a regular basis to designated personnel. Recertification is required annually to remain an active master gardener. To be recertified, master gardeners must complete the required hours of continuing education and additional volunteer service for their specific state.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By mikeadwin — On May 25, 2011

No doubt, gardening can have a very positive influence on the society, and someone who is doing quality gardening should be applauded for their work.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.