Becoming a Master Gardener
The UC Master Gardener Training Class is offered every other year in Ventura County. The next Training Class will start in November of 2021. For each class, around 35 applicants are invited to become Master Gardener Trainees.
Previous horticultural training is not required, but a desire to serve the community is a prerequisite.
We are looking for candidates with:
- Desire, passion, enthusiasm for learning, gardening and
- Previous volunteer work and track record
- Special talents
- Availability for volunteer hours and class requirements
- Diversity: experience, age, gender, ethnicity
To start the process of becoming a Master Gardener, attend an information meeting scheduled in September 2021. Keep an eye on our website for more information regarding these meetings in the Summer of 2021. Attendees will be invited to submit an application and schedule a personal interview.
Once you are accepted into the training program, you must attend approximately 80 hours of class instruction in horticulture. Instructors include UCCE professionals and other experts in the community. Subject areas include basic botany, plant pathology, horticulture, soils, fertilizers, irrigation, plant propagation, plant pathology, insects, vegetables, pruning, sustainable landscapes, integrated pest management, plant diseases and gardening techniques.
Hands-on demonstrations are included, and there is a learn-by-doing emphasis in our training. There is a minor fee for materials, but the classroom instruction is free. Financial assistance is available for the materials fee.
Classes are held on Wednesday afternoons from 1:00 to 4:30, beginning early November and concluding in April of the following year. The classes will be conducted primarily at the UCCE Office in Ventura, and also at the Hansen Agricultural Research and Extension Center (HAREC) in Santa Paula.
In exchange for this comprehensive training, trainees are required to spend 20 of the 50 required volunteer hours participating in hands-on gardening projects located at one of our approved sites throughout Ventura County.
To retain active status after the first year, Master Gardeners must completed an annual required minimum of twenty-five (25) volunteer service hours and twelve (12) hours of continuing education.