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Apply to become a Master Gardener

Do you love to garden?

Interested in Becoming a Master Gardener?

If you love gardening and enjoy sharing your knowledge with others, the University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE), Fresno County, Master Gardener program might be for you.  

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Master Gardeners are volunteers that have been trained to educate the public on science-based sustainable gardening practices.

We are a part of the University of California Cooperative extension and provide a link between the University and our community.

We are committed to educating the public on best practices in home horticulture, sustainable landscaping and pest management.

Apply to Become a Fresno County Master Gardener

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Master Gardener Training Classes are offered on odd numbered years. Our classes will be held Thursday mornings beginning January 5th and run through April 20, 2023.

Any Fresno County resident 18 years or older is welcome to apply. 

The on-line application window runs from June 1, 2022 through August 31, 2022.

UC Master Gardener Volunteer Application

The application takes about 60 minutes to complete. Applicants may want to read over the pdf version before filling out the online application.

If you have any questions about the application process contact: Denise Cuendett Master Gardener Volunteer Coordinator -UCCE Fresno and Madera Counties, dhcuendett@ucanr.edu

Applicants are invited to Meet the Master Gardeners, a  mandatory meeting at the Garden of the Sun in September. Applicants will schedule interview appointments at that time.

Applicants must demonstrate effective communication skills, the ability to work with the public, willingness and ability to fulfill volunteer hours.

If you are accepted into the UC Master Gardener 2023 training class you will  be enrolled in weekly training classes beginning January 2023. There is a tuition fee of $250.  Partial scholarships are available. For working with the public, the UC requires that trainees be fingerprinted and pass a background check.

New Master Gardeners are required to contribute 50 hours of hands on training during the first 18 months of service. In subsequent years, Master Gardeners are required to contribute 25 hours of volunteer service and 12 hours of continuing education. Continuing education opportunities are provided through the program.

Any other questions about the UC Master Gardener Program of  Fresno County? Contact  us by email at mgfresno@ucdavis.edu

The Training Process


Prospective Master Gardeners complete a 16-week training course, pass a final exam, and complete a 50 hour requirement of hands-on training during the first 12 months.

Weekly classes are taught by University of California Cooperative Extension advisers, horticultural specialists, Master Gardeners and community experts. 

Trainees are expected to attend all classes. Only one absence is permitted and it must be made up.

Topics will include plant science, soil and plant nutrition, water and fertilizer management, pest identification and management, vegetable  gardening, plant disease and diagnosis, and much more.Trainees will be assigned a Master Gardener mentor who will support and assist them throughout the training.

Any other questions about the UC Master Gardener Program of  Fresno County? Contact  us by email at mgfresno@ucdavis.edu

The Master Gardeners Program

The Master Gardener concept originated in 1972 in Washington State.

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With a growing interest in home gardening and an increase in the volume of research-based information available, a group of university extension advisers sought a better way to disseminate information to the public. Thus, the Master Gardener Program was born. Introduced in California in 1979, with pilot programs in Riverside and Sacramento counties, there are now over 40 Master Gardener Programs in California. 

If you have additional questions about the UC Cooperative Extension Master Gardener program in Fresno County, email the helpline at mgfresno@ucdavis.edu .