How To Become A Master Gardener
So, you like gardening? You enjoy having happy houseplants and a colorful backyard. Have you considered putting your green thumbs to use as a master gardener?
If you’re a lover of home gardening and want to share gardening resources with your community, become a master gardener. From caring for trees and shrubs to training with a botany course, master gardeners commit their time to community gardens.
Follow our guide to becoming a master gardener. We’ll share how to find the right master gardener short course, complete your training, and break down the requirements of a master gardener. We'll cover the following:
What is a master gardener?
Why should you become one?
How can you become a master gardener?
Becoming a master gardener is a fulfilling and rewarding job for all garden and plant lovers.
What is a master gardener?
A master gardener is a volunteer who looks after your local community’s green spaces.
The day-to-day tasks might be cutting garden grass, pest management, and looking after soil health. They also might spend time planting a perennial garden, herb gardening, and vegetable gardening.
Master gardeners understand the science behind plant life and food systems. They might tend to the local community’s edible gardens and implement self-sufficient vegetable gardening. They understand how vegetable plants thrive by taking advantage of local agriculture and natural resources.
Many master gardeners grow organic plants in their vegetable gardens and herb gardens. They also volunteer when the time comes for harvesting vegetables.
They might also look after public green spaces, like a demonstration garden or container garden.
Master gardeners aim to share their expert knowledge and skills with their community. For example, they might be involved in plant clinics or run an introductory course to plant pathology. They also run classes on gardening to educate the community and answer phone queries.
As a local master gardener, you need to complete a requisite number of hours of training and volunteering. The downside is that it is a volunteer position, so financial compensation is not available. However, if you have the spare time, funds, and passion, master gardening could be for you.
Why should I become a master gardener?
There are many great reasons to become a master gardener, and it’s good for the community and for increasing your knowledge of gardening. If you love looking after your spring garden at home, you can further your skills by becoming a master gardener.
To become a master gardener, you need to complete a certain number of training hours each year. Enrolling in gardening courses will give you the ability to care for your plants and lawn care.
You might receive lessons on growing organic food sustainably in your kitchen garden. You will also be allowed to learn about perennial gardening, seed starting, and pruning trees and shrubs. Whether you’re a new or experienced gardener, the courses you take will enable you to widen your knowledge.
If you’re already an expert in vegetable gardening, for example, becoming a master gardener might give you the skills to become a landscape designer. There is a currently huge trend for sustainable landscaping at the moment.
These vital new skills can help you in your garden at home. Or, you can use these new talents to start a lawn care business. Becoming a master gardener can be an excellent way to launch your successful career in gardening.
It is also a gratifying role. Volunteering to help others and look after plants can be a great way to give back to the community.
What are the requirements to become a master gardener?
There are requirements you must fulfill before becoming a master gardener. From advanced training to a volunteer program, it can be a challenging process.
You don’t need to be an expert on gardening and landscaping. You need a willingness to learn and volunteer.
There are a set number of volunteer hours you must complete year after year. The hours are usually higher within your first year, and the number of hours differs depending on your state or county. These hours are often completed by manning phones, sharing horticultural information, and looking after community gardens.
There are also mandatory classes to attend, following a core course. These courses contain everything you need to know about horticulture and usually add up to 30 or 50 hours. You have to pay for the classes, and fees differ depending on where you are.
However, there are scholarship programs available. Ongoing, you will have to continue to volunteer and learn to maintain your certification.
You also need to keep your training up to date. You can do this with online classes or an introductory botany course. In such a course you’ll learn the gardening basics and plant science. As you progress as a master gardener, you’ll find more specialized courses, such as sustainable gardening.
You can also expand your knowledge by reading gardening publications and getting involved with agricultural educational institutions.
Fulfilling the initial requirements to get your certification can be challenging and time-consuming. If you love gardening, learning, and helping your community, the training period should fly by. Becoming a master gardener is a great opportunity.
What master gardening programs are available?
There are many gardening courses to maintain your master gardener status. You have to keep up your horticulture education, and you can do so by enrolling in a training program or an online master gardener course.
See if there is a county master gardener program or local program specific to your area. The number of hours continuing in your training might differ from state to state.
In master gardening programs, you will learn to care for your plants. There are courses on flower gardening simplified, agricultural sciences, and basic botany. You can also take a gardening class on an introduction to growing organic plants.
Courses for Success offer an Organic Gardening Online Certificate Course. Learning with experts, this is a course focused on organic gardening. With a course taught online, you can adapt your learning hours around volunteering and other commitments. You’ll have access to the educator resources 24/7, for you to use any time.
Master gardening programs are a great way to ensure you stay up to date with your training. Continuing training in an online classroom will make you a better garden designer for your botanical gardens and tree shrubs.
How do I become a master gardener?
There is a step-by-step process to becoming a master gardener. First, you have to apply, and there is an online application process to submit to your local county Extension office.
There might be an application fee for background checks, but not all states charge. The background check will happen either at this stage or later in the process.
Check if there are any deadlines you need to meet. Some states might only take on master gardener volunteer applicants at certain times of the year.
Then there is the interview. If too many applicants for the gardener program, they select those with the most gardening experience. If you’re concerned that you might be at a disadvantage, enroll yourself in online gardening classes to get ahead.
Once the applicants are accepted, the training period begins. Master gardeners trained by experts also then have to complete their hours of volunteer work and community gardening.
There is an exam at the end of your learning period. States have different pass marks to achieve. Taking online gardening courses can improve your chances.
Upon passing the test, you will become an intern and complete your year’s volunteering. The volunteering might consist of answering gardening questions over the phone, teaching classes, and physically gardening a community green space.
While you are volunteering, it is essential to maintain professional conduct by being polite to the public. Once you have completed your course and volunteering hours, you will become a certified master gardener. Some organizations may also charge a membership fee.
Becoming a master gardener requires hard work and determination, particularly throughout the first year of increased hours. It is an enriching role. If you enjoy the outdoors, people, and giving back to your community, becoming a master gardener might be your vocation.
Why Courses for Success?
Courses for Success offers over 10,000 online courses, all of which aim to help you in your personal development and career progression. Not only that, but you can also study them anywhere and at any time, and take them at your own pace, too.
You don’t need career diplomas or specific experience to get started. From our coding courses and trading courses to design courses and developer courses, every course we offer will help boost your prospects, no matter who you are.
Beyond just the education itself, students will be issued a certificate online after completing each of the learning courses they do. Our organic gardening courses are no exception. Industry leaders recognize our online organic gardening certificates and you could make a name for yourself by signing up for a Courses for Success short course today.