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How to Become a Master Gardener

How to Become a MG

WHY BECOME A UC MARIN MASTER GARDENER? 
Are you interested in lifelong learning? Do you enjoy sharing your knowledge of good gardening practices with home gardeners? Do you love to garden? And do you like volunteering in your community? University of California Marin Master Gardeners (MMGs) do all this and more! Working with fellow gardening enthusiasts you will gain knowledge about the life of the garden, and put what you know into practice for the benefit of home gardeners, our community, and our environment. Among other things, MMGs encourage sustainable landscape practices, support the creation of local food sources, and conduct outreach to promote youth gardening. Every year, MMGs donated tens of thousands of hours to our community.

WHAT IS THE MASTER GARDENER TRAINING LIKE? 
The Master Gardener Training Program is an intensive 18-week overview course that provides a practical introduction to horticulture and sustainable landscape practices. Classes are taught by: University of California faculty and staff, landscape and nursery professionals, local horticulture educators and certified Master Gardeners. A team of Master Gardener mentors will also help to guide you throughout the training class and connect you to our organization.

Topics Included in the Training Program:

Climate, Microclimate and Site Analysis

Growing Vegetables and Fruits

Botany and Plant Taxonomy

Plant Pathology

Soils, Composting and Mulching

Insect Pests and Beneficial Insects

Plant Propagation

Integrated Pest Management

Pruning

Water Wise Irrigation Practices

Ornamentals, Trees, and Shrubs

Garden Planning

Native and Low Water Plants

Weeds and Invasives, Fire-resistant Planting

MGs in class 2019
WHO MAY BECOME A MARIN MASTER GARDENER? 
Marin residents with an interest in horticulture and a desire to share what they’ve learned through our community outreach projects may apply to the Master Gardener Training Program. MMGs are people of all ages and come from all walks of life. They share an enthusiasm for gardening, some knowledge of plants, a willingness to learn and help others, and the ability to communicate with diverse groups of people.

WE ARE VOLUNTEERS FOR THE UC COOPERATIVE EXTENSION
The University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) is part of a nationwide program established by an Act of Congress in 1914 as part of the Land Grant University in every state. The mission of the UCCE is to develop, extend, and bring about the use of research-based knowledge to improve specific practices and technologies. The UCCE Master Gardeners across California provide the home gardener with research-based information from the University of California, thus helping UCCE fulfill its educational mission.

WHAT COMMITMENT IS REQUIRED? 
In addition to completing the Master Gardener Training Program (Training Program) and its requirements, first year MMGs are required to complete at least 50 hours of MMG-sponsored volunteer service and 12 hours of appropriate continuing education in the first year after graduation. To remain a certified MMG in each year thereafter, a minimum of 25 hours of MMG-sponsored volunteer service and 12 hours of continuing education are required. 

WHAT TYPE OF VOLUNTEER WORK DOES A MASTER GARDENER DO?

MGs in the soil 2019
     
MGs in the garden 2019

Master Gardeners are the go-to people for University of California research-based horticulture information and for teaching sustainable gardening practices for healthy homes and gardens. We staff a UCCE Help Desk in the UCCE office, answering questions, diagnosing plant problems, and giving horticultural assistance to home gardeners. We provide information through newspaper articles, farmers’ markets, talks and demonstrations and we work on a broad range of community horticultural and gardening projects. To learn more about some of the MMG volunteer opportunities, explore the links under Our Projects or watch the We Are Master Gardeners video below:



In accordance with applicable State and Federal laws and University policy, the University of California does not discriminate in any of its policies, procedures, or practices on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, age, veteran status, medical condition, ancestry, citizenship or disability. Inquiries regarding this policy may be addressed to the Affirmative Action Director, University of California, Agriculture and Natural Resources, 1111 Franklin Street, 6th Floor, Oakland, CA 94607-5200, (510) 987-0096.