Becoming a Master Gardener
Master Gardener Volunteers are experienced gardeners who want to learn more about growing plants. They receive extensive training through the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service. In exchange, they volunteer their knowledge and expertise to the gardening public.
Is the Master Gardener Program for You?
To help you decide if you should apply to be a Master Gardener ask yourself these questions.
- Do I want to learn more about the culture and maintenance of many types of plants?
- Am I eager to participate in a practical and intense training program?
- Do I look forward to sharing my knowledge with people in my community?
- Do I have enough time to attend training and to serve as a volunteer?
If you answered yes to these questions, the Master Gardener program could be for you.
- Why Should I Become a Master Gardener?
Individuals with an interest in both gardening and volunteer service are potential candidates for the program. No previous formal training is necessary.
You will become knowledgeable about a wide array of gardening subjects.
The practical training is designed to:
- increase your confidence and horticultural skills.
- enable you to help the public with questions and problems involved with gardening.
- help you contribute to your community.
- give the pleasure and reward of working with others who share your interests.
Volunteers also participate in advanced Master Gardener training classes and field trips. The learning process and the opportunity for satisfaction never end.
If accepted into the Master Gardener program in your county, you will attend a Master Gardener training course. Extension Service staff, local experts and master gardener volunteers teach classes.
The program offers a minimum of 45 hours of instruction that covers topics including lawns; ornamental trees and shrubs; insect, disease and weed management; soils and plant nutrition; vegetable gardening; home fruit production; garden flowers; and water conservation.
You will receive a Master Gardener Manual of comprehensive horticulture subjects.
- Volunteer Commitment
Once you successfully complete the training program and pass the final exam, you will begin a volunteer internship. Certified Master Gardener trainees agree to donate between 45 to 56 hours of volunteer time to the Horticulture program.
This is where you will really learn more about plants and people. Many Master Gardeners far surpass the mandatory service hours and continue to participate in the program a yearly basis.
Master Gardeners are resource people for horticultural questions that come in to their local Extension centers. Their efforts multiply the capabilities of county extension educators.
- What types of Volunteer Activities Exist?
The opportunities for volunteer service are limitless:
- diagnose plant, insect, and disease problems
- staff plant clinics and educational exhibits
- operate a telephone hotline in your local county Extension center
- design a demonstration or community garden
- lecture on various gardening topics
- bring the joys of gardening to senior citizens or young children
Master Gardeners are representative of the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service. Master Gardeners follow the research-based recommendations of the Cooperative Extension Service.
The title Master Gardener can be used by volunteers only when engaged in Extension Service-sponsored activities.