The Virginia Master Gardener Program
What is an Extension Master Gardener?
The Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program is a national program of trained volunteers, working in partnership with county Cooperative Extension offices, to provide education to the community in a wide range of home gardening, horticultural and sustainable landscape management topics. The first Master Gardener program was started in Washington State in 1972 and is now active in all 50 states.
Master Gardeners are required to perform a minimum of 20 hours of volunteer service and 8 hours of continuing education annually.
Master Gardener volunteer activities include:
- providing horticultural information to citizens who call or visit Extension offices
- conducting in-school gardening projects
- educating the public in community gardens
- holding plant clinics and Extension information booths
- presenting seminars and workshops on a variety of gardening interests
Master Gardener educational programs for the public are created in partnership with Virginia Cooperative Extension to meet the needs of the community.
Becoming a Master Gardener
Anyone with an interest in horticulture can apply for the Master Gardener program. To become a Master Gardener, a commitment to attend 60 hours of class time and complete 50 hours of volunteer time in the first year is required.
The Master Gardener Training Course provides the opportunity to improve horticultural knowledge and skills to share with the public through organized volunteer activities. Training classes are held at the Hahn Pavilion at the Peggy Lee Hahn Horticulture Gardens at Virginia Tech and hands-on sessions are held at various other locations around the New River Valley.
Training classes meet two days a week and include the following topics:
|Botany||Home Lawn Safety|
|Soils||Pesticide Safety & Use|
|Plant Propagation||Proper Pruning|
|Home Vegetables||Annuals & Perennials|
|Plant Problem Diagnosis||Home Fruits|
|Landscaping & Ornamentals||Trees & Shrubs|
|Integrated Pest Management||Soil & Water Conservation|
|Abiotic Plant Stress||Indoor Foliage|