Marin Master Gardeners
University of California
Marin Master Gardeners

How to Become a Master Gardener

MG picking flowers
WHY BECOME A MARIN MASTER GARDENER? 
Do you love to garden? Are you interested in lifelong learning? Do you enjoy sharing your knowledge with others? And do you like volunteering in your community? MMGs do all this and more! Working with fellow gardening enthusiasts you will gain knowledge about the life of the garden, and put what you know into practice for the benefit of home gardeners, our community, and our environment. Among other things, MMGs encourage sustainable landscape practices, support the creation of local food sources, and train people to promote youth gardening. Last year, MMGs donated more than 27,000 hours to our community.

WHAT IS THE MASTER GARDENER TRAINING LIKE? 
The MMG Training Program is an intensive 18 week survey course which provides a practical overview of horticulture an sustainable landscape practices. Classes meet every Thursday from January through mid-May. Before the first class, each Trainee is introduced to a mentor to guide them through the training class and introduce them to the Master Gardener organization. Classes are taught by: University of California faculty and staff, landscape and nursery professionals, local horticulture educators and certified Master Gardeners.

Topics that are covered in the Training Program include:

Climate, Microclimate and Site Analysis

Growing Vegetables and Fruits

Botany and Plant Taxonomy

Plant Pathology

Soils, Composting and Mulching

Insects – Pests and Beneficials

Plant Propagation

Integrated Pest Management

Pruning

Water Wise Irrigation Practices

Ornamental Plants, Trees, and Shrubs

Garden Design

Drought Tolerant and Native Plants

Weeds and Invasive Plants, Fire-safe Planting

MGs in class

WHO MAY BECOME A MARIN MASTER GARDENER? 

Any Marin resident with an interest in horticulture and a desire to volunteer for community service may apply to the Master Gardener Training Program. Marin Master Gardeners are people of all ages and come from all walks of life. They share an enthusiasm for gardening, some knowledge of plants, a willingness to learn and help others, and the ability to communicate with diverse groups of people.

WHAT IS COOPERATIVE EXTENSION?
The University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) is part of a nationwide program established by an Act of Congress in 1914 as part of the Land Grant University in every state. The mission of the UCCE is to develop, extend, and bring about the use of research-based knowledge to improve specific practices and technologies, and this is where the Master Gardener program fits in, providing the home gardener with research-based information from the University of California.

WHAT COMMITMENT IS REQUIRED? 
In addition to completion of the Training Program and its requirements, first year MMGs are required to complete at least 50 hours of Marin Master Gardener sponsored volunteer service and 12 hours of appropriate continuing education. To remain a certified MMG thereafter, a minimum of 25 hours of MMG-sponsored volunteer service and 12 hours of continuing education are required. 

WHAT TYPE OF VOLUNTEER WORK DOES A MASTER GARDENER DO?

MG teaching
Master Gardeners are the go-to people for University of California research-based horticulture information and for teaching sustainable gardening practices for healthy homes and gardens. They staff an information help desk in the UCCE office, answering questions, diagnosing plant problems, and giving horticultural assistance to home gardeners. They provide information through newspaper articles, plant clinics, talks and demonstrations and they work on a broad range of community horticultural and gardening projects. To learn more about Marin Master Gardener volunteer opportunities, go to Garden Projects or watch the We Are Master Gardeners video below.

HOW DO I APPLY FOR THE MARIN MASTER GARDENERS PROGRAM?
The application due date for the Class of 2015 has already passed.

In July of 2015 application materials for the Class of 2016 will be posted on this website.  At that time you will be able to view Master Gardener training information, review the application procedures and important dates for Class of 2016 and complete the 2016 Marin Master Gardener Application. Applications are due in early-September. Interviews take place in early October. Thereis an Orientation for successful applicants in November and the training course begins in early January 2016.


In accordance with applicable State and Federal laws and University policy, the University of California does not discriminate in any of its policies, procedures, or practices on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, age, veteran status, medical condition, ancestry, citizenship or disability. Inquiries regarding this policy may be addressed to the Affirmative Action Director, University of California, Agriculture and Natural Resources, 1111 Franklin Street, 6th Floor, Oakland, CA 94607-5200, (510) 987-0096.

Webmaster Email: banielsen@ucanr.edu