Oregon State University Extension Service

Become a Master Gardener

Master Gardeners are highly-educated volunteers who shares their sustainable gardening knowledge with their communities through education and outreach programs. Master Gardener training classes are taught by OSU Extension agents and horticultural experts. The program offers basic, practical courses in plant science and home horticulture.

Master the art and the science of caring for plants

Learn about:

  • Local climate gardening techniques
  • Basic botany
  • Methods for growing vegetables, lawns, fruit trees and landscape plants
  • Garden types (e.g. container, vegetable)
  • Soil management and plant nutrition
  • Pest identification and control methods using the least toxic approach
  • Prevention and diagnosis of plant problems
Photo by Stephen Ward

Who can become a Master Gardener?

The Master Gardener program is open to anyone who is interested in learning more about the effective and sustainable management of their home horticultural landscape, including professional and hobbyist gardeners. There are no prerequisites to participate course, although a basic understanding of plants is helpful.

How do I become a Master Gardener?

Step 1: Complete the Master Gardener training

There are two options for the training:

  • In-person training: This is the best route to become a Master Gardener. This includes practical, hands-on activities related to the topics covered in class. Classes take place in the classroom and online. Watch this site for information about upcoming Josephine County Master Gardener trainings.
  • Online training (https://pace.oregonstate.edu/catalog/master-gardener-online): If the timing of the in-person training doesn't work for you, this instructor-led online training is an excellent alternative.

Step 2: Complete volunteer hours

As part of the Master Gardeners certification, you will volunteer for 66 hours to share research-based sustainable gardening practices and to promote healthy landscape and food in your community. This may include:

  • Answering telephone requests for gardening information
  • Staffing plant clinics at local garden shows or events
  • Working on projects with local schools
  • Speaking at local garden clubs
  • Completing an approved project of your own design

The local Master Gardener coordinator will help you schedule volunteer time. For more information see the Master Gardener Volunteer Position Description (https://extension.oregonstate.edu/sites/default/files/documents/1/position-description-10032017.pdf). This describes the responsibilities, as well as position requirements and supervision.

Step 3: Recertify each year

Current Master Gardeners can maintain their status by participating in continuing education and additional volunteer hours. Contact the local Master Gardener coordinator (https://extension.oregonstate.edu/program/mg/josephine/people) for more information.

Source URL: https://extension.oregonstate.edu/mg/josephine/become-master-gardener