Lynn Ketchum ©2016 Oregon State University

Interested in becoming a Master Gardener?

Applications are open for the OSU Extension Linn-Benton Master Gardener program of 2019!

Apply by November 30, 2018.

Interested but not sure what to expect?

Questions? Please contact Elizabeth Records

Important dates and deadlines

  • Mid-September 2018:  Application opens.
  • September and October 2018 (various dates): Master Gardener meet-and-greet (required to apply).
  • November 30th 2018: Deadline for application.
  • December 11th 2018: Accepted applicants notified.
  • January 7th 2019: Deadline for accepted applicants to confirm and pay registration fee.
  • January 17th 2019: Master Gardener classes start.
  • March 21st 2019: Master Gardener classes end.
  • April 1st-October 31st 2019: Master Gardener volunteer service (66 hours) and in the garden learning experiences.
  • November 1st 2019- and beyond: Stay certified as Master Gardener volunteer with 20 hours of volunteer service and 10 hours of continuing education each year.

Steps to becoming an Extension Master Gardener

1. Be selected to participate in the Master Gardener course

  • Complete and submit the application. Applications are due by November 30th 2018.
  • Attend a Meet-and-Greet session to make sure the program is a good match. Applicants must attend one meet-and-greet to be considered. Apply to RSVP for a session held in September or October 2018.
  • Receive notification that your application has been accepted, then register for the course and pay the $140 fee. (Your registration fee is used for instructor travel expenses, classroom materials, textbook, etc.)  Registration is due by January 7, 2019. A limited number of partial scholarships are available; please contact elizabeth.records@oregonstate.edu for more information.

  2. Complete the Extension Master Gardener course

  • Class meets weekly on Thursdays from 9am-4pm from January 17th-March 21st 2019.
  • Online and in-person options are available.
  • In-person sessions take place in Tangent Oregon including field trips to local horticultural sites.
  • All students must access class materials and information online, so an active email address and reliable internet access are required.
  • Taught by Extension educators and faculty through Oregon State University.

3. Share your knowledge

  • Volunteer 66 hours on projects and events that deliver horticulture education and information to the public.
  • Volunteer and learn alongside experienced Extension Master Gardener volunteer mentors.
  • Report your volunteer hours online by October 31.
  • Individuals who stop participation before fulfilling the educational and volunteering requirements will be required to pay an additional $360 and receive a Certificate of Home Horticulture instead of being certified as a Master Gardener volunteer.

4. Celebrate!

When your time as a trainee is completed, you'll start the next calendar year as an active Oregon State University Extension Master Gardener in your community.

5. Stay involved

To maintain your active Extension Master Gardener volunteer status, complete at least 20 hours of volunteering and the 10 hours continuing education hours each year.

Someone holding weeding tool, trowel and gloves.

Lynn Ketchum © 2012 Oregon State University

Statewide Resources

Online Master Gardener Course

Master Gardener Program Resource

The Master Gardener & Home Horticulture Basic Training course is designed for anyone who is interested in learning more about the effective and sustainable management of their home horticultural landscape. There are no course prerequisites, although a basic understanding of plants is helpful.

Option 1: An alternate route to becoming a Certified Oregon State University Extension Master Gardener Volunteer, if the timing of the live training doesn't work for you.

Option 2: The same training Master Gardeners receive in Option 1, for those who want the training but do not want to become a Master Gardener Volunteer. Participants receive a Certificate of Home Horticulture upon successful completion of the online course.

In this course you will learn about the art and the science of caring for plants. We examine plant types (e.g. woody, herbaceous), garden types (e.g. container, vegetable), and elements that influence the growth and vigor of plants in the home garden (e.g. pathogens, soils, insects, management decisions). We will also focus on the prevention and diagnosis of plant problems, as well as a least toxic approach to tolerating and/or managing plant problems in the home horticultural landscape.

For more information and to enroll, visit the Online MG website:

Master Gardener Position Description

Master Gardener Program Resource

This form describes the job of a MG Extension volunteer, as well as position requirements and supervision.