UC Master Gardener Program of Riverside County
University of California
UC Master Gardener Program of Riverside County

Become a Master Gardener

How to Become a UC Master Gardener Volunteer

Gardening Basics

Becoming a UC Master Gardener begins with a personal commitment to education and service to the community. To be accepted into the UC Master Gardener Program and earn the title of Master Gardener, you must attend an Information Session to learn about our program, submit a written application, and complete an interview with experienced Master Gardeners.

Once accepted, you will receive over 50 hours of classroom instructions. You will also be required to donate 50 hours of volunteer service to earn your Certification and be Appointed as a UC Master Gardener. After your appointment, you will be required to annually donate a minimum of 25 volunteer hours and 12 hours of Continuing Education.

After your training you will be qualified to help the public with problems in areas such as:

  • Weed control
  • Plant problem diagnosis
  • Integrated Pest Management (insect and pest control)
  • Soils, fertilizers and irrigation
  • Selecting and caring for fruit and landscape trees
  • Growing annuals, perennials and food crops
  • Lawn care
  • Vegetable gardening
  • Plant pathology
  • Soils and composting

Who should become a UC Master Gardener

UC Master Gardener candidates are all ages and come from all walks of life. They:

  • Have a basic knowledge of landscape and food gardening
  • Have an interest in increasing their horticultural knowledge and skills
  • Have a desire to volunteer in their community to share what they have learned and teach gardening skills
  • Live in Riverside County, California

What do UC Master Gardeners do?

UC Master Gardeners work in their community by volunteering for activities and projects such as:

  • Designing, planting and maintaining demonstration gardens
  • Using mass media to disseminate gardening information
  • Teaching workshops, or lecturing on gardening practices
  • Participating in research activities with academics within UC
  • Answering gardeners’ questions via email or helpline
  • Speaking to the public on horticultural/gardening topics
  • Manning county fair information booths
  • Consulting with gardeners with the goal of improving their landscape practices
  • Educating and guiding parents and teachers in gardening practices in support of school gardens

How to get started

To get started on the road to becoming a Master Gardener, send an email to Rosa Olaiz at rmolaiz@ucanr.edu to let her know of your interest. She will add your information to our Notification List. Once the next training class is planned, you will be informed as to when classes will be offered, invited to an Information Session, and sent an application.

Information Sessions about the program and training requirements are typically scheduled and announced three to six months prior to class start.


Webmaster Email: rmolaiz@ucanr.edu