Better Gardening through Science

Become a Master Gardener

Master Gardener Hilde Smith adds another weed to the cart already overflowing. Photo: KCMGA.
Master Gardener Hilde Smith adds another weed to the cart already overflowing. Photo: KCMGA.
Master Gardener Karel Holloway helps kids plant onion slips during the children's program. Photo: KCMGA
Master Gardener Karel Holloway helps kids plant onion slips during the children's program. Photo: KCMGA
Master Gardener and Propagation Specialist Nancy Bowman demonstrates propagation by cuttings. Photo: KCMGA.
Master Gardener and Propagation Specialist Nancy Bowman demonstrates propagation by cuttings. Photo: KCMGA.
Plant Sale: MG Elorine Myers propagates plants, while Master Gardener Beverly Curtis sorts and inventories stock. Photo: KCMGA.
Plant Sale: MG Elorine Myers propagates plants, while Master Gardener Beverly Curtis sorts and inventories stock. Photo: KCMGA.
An A&M team member and MG Brad Ackerman put the final touches on the area around the bridge. Photo: KCMGA.
An A&M team member and MG Brad Ackerman put the final touches on the area around the bridge. Photo: KCMGA.

Is the Master Gardener Program for You?

  • Do you want to learn more about the culture and maintenance of many types of plants?
  • Are you eager to participate in a practical and intense training program?
  • Do you enjoy sharing your knowledge with people?
  • Do you have enough time to attend training and complete volunteer service hour requirements?
  • Do you have special interests that could benefit the community or an interest in developing one? (i.e. bird or butterfly knowledge, native gardens, wildflowers, etc.)
  • Do you have a sincere interest in nature or gardening?

What Is a Master Gardener?

We are members of the local community who take an active interest in our lawns, trees, shrubs, flowers and gardens. We are enthusiastic, willing to learn and help others and able to communicate with diverse groups of people. What really sets Master Gardeners apart from other home gardeners is the special training in horticulture we get during Master Gardener training. In exchange for this training, persons who become Master Gardeners contribute time as volunteers, working through Kaufman County’s Texas AgriLife Extension office to provide horticultural-related information to their communities.

How Do You Become a Master Gardener?

Application

We start the application process for the January training class in September of the previous year. The application period usually lasts about 2 months. You will receive an application packet with the necessary forms. There will be a short interview. 

If you are accepted into the program, you will attend an orientation session that’s usually held in December. This is an opportunity to ask any questions you have about the program. Fees will also be accepted at this time. Fees for the last two years have been $240.  The fee will be announced with the application invitations.

Training

The training program is one day a week for 15 weeks beginning in mid-January. The class begins at 9 a.m. and is usually over by noon. Occasionally, a session may run a little longer.  Classes are taught by Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Agents and Specialists and by Certified Master Gardeners. A few may be done by Zoom, but most are in person.

You will receive a comprehensive reference book that covers the content of the training. The topics include basic botany, plant structure and processes, soil and amendments, water including irrigation, plant propagation, plant diseases and pathology.  integrated pest management, and landscape design. The types of plants studied include vegetables, turf, trees, herbs, and fruit and nuts.

Volunteer Service

During your internship year, you will contribute 50 hours of volunteer time to the Master Gardener Program and Texas AgriLife Extension. Some of the time may be spent in gardening, but a substantial amount of it will be spent in interacting with our community through workshops, seminars, booths at community events, answering gardening questions, and doing garden tours. There are also opportunities to contribute to our Facebook page and website.

Certification

When you have completed your volunteer service commitment, you become a certified Master Gardener with the full privileges of membership. To retain certification, you will be asked to volunteer 12 hours of service time and to take 6 hours of educational time. 

Contact Us

Please complete the form.  Required fields are marked with an asterisk (*). We will reply in 2 to 3 business days.

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