Hero Image

UCCE Master Gardener Training

Training in 2022

The University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) invites adults interested in helping others learn about gardening and landscaping to apply to train as a Master Gardener volunteer. UCCE Master Gardener volunteers learn University-based scientific information and then share that knowledge with the gardening community. Master Gardener volunteers are people of all ages and from all walks of life with a common desire to help others learn about gardening and landscaping.

There is a training fee of $195 to covers costs for textbooks, reference books, class handouts and hands-on material. Class instruction, demonstrations and hands-on activities are free to those who commit to the volunteer obligation. Business owners, commercial landscape contractors, and individuals are welcome to complete the training, without volunteer obligation, for $350.

Who Can Apply?

  • Any resident of Calaveras or Tuolumne County. Most communication will be by email and through websites.  You do not need internet access to be a Master Gardener, but you do need to be comfortable using a computer for research while working in the Master Gardener Office. Anyone interested in becoming a Master Gardener should attend the Orientation to learn about the Master Gardener Program and the volunteer requirements. Class size is limited.

How to Apply - 

  • Fill out an Interest form to be added to the list to receive an application. 
  • Attend our Master Gardener orientation meeting to learn about the Master Gardener Program, our community involvement, and your participation requirements. The Orientation Meeting:
    • When: Thursday, October 27, 2022
    • Where: Tuolumne County Senior Center, 540 Greenley Road, Sonora, 95370.
  • Complete and submit the online application due date to be announced.

What We'll Do

  • Review applicants.  Main criteria for acceptance: 1) prior community service, 2) experience teaching, either by giving presentations, writing, or in one-to-one situations, 3) passion for helping home gardeners, 4) experience successfully gardening.
  • Conduct interviews during December. We will contact you whether or not you have been accepted into the program.
  • If you are accepted, you will be given a Live Scan form to get your fingerprints done. A background check, including fingerprinting, is required to become a Master Gardener.
  • Teach you how to garden successfully. These classes will include over 50 hours of intensive training by University of California personnel and horticulture specialists in various fields.
    Topics include irrigation, soils, composting, fertilizer management, propagation , plant diseases, managing home orchards, entomology, Integrated Pest Management and understanding pesticides.
  • Provide you with plenty of Volunteer and Continuing Education opportunities.

What You’ll Do If Accepted into the Master Gardener Volunteer Training Program

  • Pay course fee of $195. $350 course fee for commercial rate (no volunteer time).
  • Complete Live Scan fingerprinting form by first training day, TBD.
  • Attend 15 classes.  Training begins January 19, 2023. 
  • Answer gardening questions at local events, at the Master Gardener office, or at the Master Gardener Demonstration Garden. Help with program activities offered through a variety of internal committees.
  • Complete 50 volunteer hours your first year, then 25 volunteer and 12 continuing education hours annually.
  • Post your volunteer and continuing education hours on our online Statewide Master Gardener Volunteer Management System (we provide instructions).
  • Attend monthly Master Gardener Continuing Education meetings as often as possible.

What You'll Get

  • University of California publications including the California Master Gardener Handbook; discounts on other UC publications.
  • Certificate of Completion of Class Instruction after completing the 15-week training program and passing the take-home, open-book examination.
  • Monthly Continuing Education meetings with speakers and activities on in-depth gardening topics.
  • Frequent emails of Volunteer and Continuing Education opportunities and other program information.
  • Annual recertification as an active Master Gardener after you post online at least 50 Volunteer hours by June 30, 2023.  (Future years' annual requirements are 25 Volunteer and 12 Continuing Education hours.)
  • Joy and satisfaction that you're helping other gardeners grow more nutritious vegetables and fruits, you’re making new friends, and working with others to help create a more sustainable environment.

For more information, contact Debbie Powell at (209) 754-6473 or email at dlpowell@ucdavis.edu.