Become a UCCE Master Gardener
The Master Gardener Training Program is on hold for now. Please fill out this survey so we know you are interested. We will contact you when we begin planning for our next training.
Base requirements to be enrolled in the program
You must be a resident of Stanislaus County and volunteer in this county. Orientation meetings and in-person interviews are conducted after the application deadline. If accepted, you'll need to be fingerprinted and pass a background check.
The training is held once per week for 19 weeks, and includes weekly quizzes and a final exam. Graduates receive a certificate. Classes are held in Stanislaus County at the Ag Center.
Is a fee charged for the training classes?
A fee is charged to cover training and resource materials. Scholarships may be available so please ask.
Who teaches the classes and what will I learn?
All classes are taught by University specialists, University Advisors, and community experts.
- Introduction to horticulture and plant identification
- Soils and fertilizers
- Water management
- Ornamental and drought tolerant plants
- Turf management
- Landscape tree care
- Planting and maintenance
- Introduction to insects
- Integrated pest management
- Home vegetable gardening
- Plant disease diagnosis
- Weed identification and management
- Fruit and nut tree care
- Small fruit and grapevine care
- Diagnosing garden and landscape problems
What happens after I graduate and become a UCCE Master Gardener?
New UCCE Master Gardeners contribute 50 hours of volunteer community work during the next 12 months, and 25 hours per year every year after that.
Approved volunteer opportunities are available for UCCE Master Gardeners to extend University research-based information in Stanislaus County. Volunteer activities include:
- Conducting workshops at local nurseries, libraries, garden clubs or garden centers.
- Community events such as the county fair, farmers markets and others.
- Diagnosing plant or pest problems brought to our location, or asked on the phone or through email.
History of the Program
Since 1981, the University of California Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Program has been extending UC research-based information about home horticulture and pest management to the public. The program is a public service and outreach program under the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, administered locally by participating UC Cooperative Extension county offices.
The UCCE Master Gardener Program is an example of an effective partnership between the University of California, Stanislaus County, and passionate volunteers. In exchange for training from the University, UCCE Master Gardeners offer volunteer services and outreach to the general public in more than 50 California counties. Last year 6,116 active UCCE Master Gardener volunteers donated 398,265 hours, and 5.4+ million hours have been donated since the program's inception.