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

Become a Master Gardener

How to Become a UCCE Master Gardener


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

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 become an Appointed Master Gardener.  After your appointment, you will be required to donate a minimum of 25 Volunteer hours and 12 hours of Continuing Education annually.

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 Master Gardener

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 Master Gardeners do?

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

Classes are taught every year, beginning in September for Western Riverside County and November for the Desert communities.  They alternate between day time and night time classes to better address the needs of our students.  Information Sessions will be scheduled and announced in the Spring for Western Riverside and the end of Summer for the Desert.

To get started on the road to becoming a Master Gardener, send an email to Rosa Olaiz rmolaiz@ucanr.edu to let her know your interest.  You will be invited to an Information Night (Day) and sent an application when classes are offered in your area.

To download the application click on the link below:

UC Master Gardener Program Application Form v. 2021 (PDF)


Webmaster Email: rmolaiz@ucanr.edu