UCCE Master Gardener Program of Imperial County
University of California
UCCE Master Gardener Program of Imperial County

FAQ: Please review before you complete your application

FAQ: Please review before you complete your application

What are Master Gardeners?  

The purpose of the UC Master Gardener Program is to extend to the public research-based information verified by UC experts about home horticulture, pest management, and sustainable landscape practices. In exchange for training and materials received from UC and external experts, UC Master Gardeners provide volunteer services in their communities. 

What do Master Gardeners do? 

MGs perform a variety of volunteer educational activities: 

  • Answer questions from home gardeners on our Master Gardener Hotline and by email 
  • Staff educational exhibits at the County Fair and other community events 
  • Give talks on gardening and pest management to community groups 
  • Plan and conduct gardening classes, seminars, and tours for the public 
  • Consult with teachers about school gardens 
  • Provide information to community gardeners 

MGs also participate in fundraising activities, provide administrative support for the program, and attend membership and committee meetings. 

Who can apply? 

Applicants must be 18 years old or older, reside in Imperial County, pass a background check by the California Department of Justice and have enough free time to participate in the training course and volunteer activities.  

All applicants must possess computer skills, have regular access to a computer, printer, and have email/internet access. Trainees need to provide their own transportation to the classroom facilities and other locations to participate in training classes, MG meetings, and volunteer activities.  

Each class has limited space. If you are not accepted in 2023, we encourage you to apply the following year.  

How do I get an application? 

It is important that you make a thoughtful and complete application that will fully represent you. Before submitting an application, please do the following: 

  • Carefully read the information provided here about Master Gardeners, the application and selection process, and training. 
  • Review the application form thoroughly. 
  • Carefully consider if you have the time and desire to fully participate in the training course and in volunteer activities after training. 

Link to the application here. 

Your application can be printed and mailed or emailed as noted below. 

Please be sure your answers to the questions are in the highlighted areas to facilitate our review of your application.  

Your application must be sent no later than Friday, November 18, 2022.  

You may submit your complete application by email to Kristian Salgado, MG Coordinator to kmsalgado@ucanr.edu. The subject line of your email should read “MG Applicant” – followed by your name. 

What is the application process like? 
The Master Gardener Coordinator, Kristian Salgado, will review all applications and will invite the most qualified individuals to a personal interview between November 13- 17 2022.  

What does the training cost? 

The cost of the training is designed to cover the expenses necessary to conduct a quality training program.  The fee is $130 covers the discounted cost of the course text and associated publications, duplication of handouts, supplies, lab materials, cost of field trips, and speaker expenses. In the future, we hope to offer a partial scholarship for residents experiencing financial hardships. 

What else is involved with the training? 

As a security measure, Master Gardeners must be fingerprinted and pass a background check by the California Department of Justice. Applicants must also sign forms required by the University of California, including a Code of Conduct, Proof of Driver's License and Automotive Insurance or California ID, Confidential Self-Disclosure Statement, and Liability Waiver. 

What happens after I complete my training?  

Individuals selected for the training course must agree to perform a minimum of 50 hours of volunteer service within 18 months of the start of training. After the first year, veteran Master Gardeners must perform a minimum of 25 hours of volunteer service and 12 hours of continuing education each year to remain active.  

What kind of training will I get? 

Master Gardener training provides a basic overview of horticulture and pest management, including basic terminology and principles. Course topics will include basic botany and plant physiology, soils, integrated pest management, entomology, plant pathology, weed management, vertebrate pests, household pests, vegetable gardening, fruit and ornamental tree culture, turf grass management, and diagnosing plant problems. Instruction includes both lecture and experiential components that are taught by experienced specialists to ensure that MGs receive current, research-based instruction.  

The training is in English and designed for amateur gardeners. Individuals employed or seeking a career in the horticulture industry are encouraged to enroll in horticultural classes at local colleges.  

Students will be certified as University of California Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners when they successfully complete the training course and pass the final exam. The final is an open-book, take-home exam. 

When and where is the training?  

Most classes will be held at the University of CA-Cooperative Extension – Imperial County. (1050 E. Holton Road, Holtville 92250). Select classes will be held virtually.  

Classes will meet on Saturday from January 21, 2023 to May 6, 2023. 



Webmaster Email: kmsalgado@ucanr.edu