How To Become A Master Gardener
How does someone become a Orange County Master Gardener?
Attend a Master Gardener Information Day meeting!
Master Gardener Program information dates for the class of 2014 are:
- September 12, 2013 from 10 AM to 12 noon
- September 26, 2013 from 10 AM to 12 noon
Information Days are held at "The Ranch" off Arlington (Fairview) through Gate 8. (directions via google maps)
If you can not make either of these days you will be unable to be considered for the upcoming class.
NOTE: You must be a resident of Orange County, California.
New Master Gardeners in Training will be chosen from the pool of applicants in October and the new training class will run from January through April of the following year with graduation in May.
Classes will be held weekly on Thursdays and will run from 8:45 a.m. to approximately 2:00 p.m. with a lunch break. Some 1-2 p.m. sessions may be optional. There also will be two Saturday field trips. Regular attendance at class sessions is mandatory.
The cost of the course which includes classroom instruction, Master Gardener Handbook, binder, apron, identification badge, miscellaneous supplies and membership fee through June 2014 will be approximately $200.00.
More comprehensive information regarding the Master Garden Program and our 2014 class structure will be discussed at our Information Day sessions on September 12th and September 26th. Attendance at one of the two sessions is required in order to receive an application for enrollment into the program. Each session starts promptly at 10:00 a.m. Please be on time.
The Master Gardeners in Training attend 50+ hours of classes consisting of lectures and demonstrations conducted by experts in their fields. First year Master Gardeners must complete at least 50 hours of volunteer service to the community. To retain their certification Master Gardeners must complete at least 25 hours of volunteer service to the community and participate in at least 12 hours of continuing education each year.
Who are Master Gardener candidates?
Master Gardeners candidates are all ages and come from all walks of life. They have:
- A basic knowledge of landscape and food gardening
- An interest in increasing their horticultural knowledge and skills
- A desire to volunteer in their community to share what they have learned and teach gardening skills
- A resident of Orange County, California
- Master Gardener Testimonials
What do Master Gardeners do?
Master Gardeners are trained to help residents of Orange County become better gardeners. Using a variety of activities such as workshops, lectures, and a garden hotline, these volunteers answer questions about home horticulture, sustainable landscaping, and integrated pest management using University of California research-based information.
After their training Master Gardeners are qualified to help the public with problems in areas such as:
- Weed control
- Plant problem diagnosis
- Integrated Pest Management (insect and pest control)
- Soils, fertilizers and irrigation
- Selecting and caring for fruit and landscape trees
- Growing annuals, perennials and food crops
- Lawn care
- Vegetable gardening
- Plant pathology
- Soils and composting
- Designing, planting and maintaining demonstration gardens
- Using mass media to disseminate gardening information
- Teaching workshops, or lecturing on gardening practices
- Participating in research activities with academics within UC
- Answering gardeners’ questions via email or helplines
- Speaking to the public on horticultural/gardening topics
- Manning county fair information booths
- Consulting with gardeners with the goal of improving their landscape practices
- Educating and guiding parents and teachers in gardening practices in support of school gardens