Become a Master Gardener

The Master Gardener Training Program Information


How Can I Become a Massachusetts Master Gardener?


A Certified Massachusetts Master Gardener is a member of a large, like-minded community dedicated to volunteering in horticulture and gardening. Master Gardeners share their knowledge, experience, and expertise with each other and the public. Becoming a Massachusetts Master Gardener requires the successful completion of a 14-session horticultural course followed by a 60-hour supervised internship.


All application and waitlist slots are closed for the 2022 hybrid model which runs January 11 through April 19, 2022.


What Are the Benefits to Becoming a Massachusetts Master Gardener?


Benefits of Massachusetts Master Gardener membership include the following:

  • Networking with other Master Gardeners

  • Participating annually in dozens of MMGA-sponsored no-cost/low-cost continuing education classes, workshops, field trips, and visits to members’ and project gardens

  • Supporting local communities by learning from and working in MMGA-approved public and non-profit organizations' gardening sites, where Master Gardener volunteers provide free hands-on support

  • Recommending community fairs, plant sales, and other events for a free Ask-a-Master-Gardener or Soil pH Testing table staffed by Master Gardeners

  • Learning how to be a compelling, informative speaker by joining our Speakers Bureau and presenting lectures on favorite topics to garden clubs and other organizations

  • Attending bi-monthly Associates Meetings which include horticulture presentations, organizational and member news, and time to socialize with fellow Master Gardeners

  • Receiving monthly member-written newsletters that cover a wide variety of topics



HOW TO APPLY


Applications for upcoming Master Gardener Courses will be announced through the free MMGA monthly e-newsletter, The Dirt. To sign up to receive this e-newsletter, please click here



CLASS TOPICS, VIRTUAL UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED


Orientation *

Botany - Part 1

Botany - Part 2, includes nomenclature

Soil Science - Part 1

Soil Science - Part 2, includes soil testing, composting, turf

Woody Ornamentals

Perennials and Natives

Vegetables

Weeds and Invasive Species

Propagation **

Pruning **

Entomology and Pests

Plant Diseases

Garden Ecology/Landscaping *

* In person class. Sites to be determined

** May be in-person, to be determined


INTERNSHIP


Following the successful completion of the classroom course, which includes passing both the midterm and final exams, students will begin their seven-month internship from May 1 through November 30, 2022.


Student-interns must complete 60 hours of volunteer work, with at least the minimum number of hours in each category below:


  • Gardening: Working in at least three of our 40 project gardens in central and eastern Massachusetts under the supervision of a Certified Master Gardener – 12-24 hours.

  • Helpline: Volunteering at either the Elm Bank Helpline or Tower Hill Hortline – 8-24 hours.

  • Outreach: Completing outreach activities such as Ask-a-Master-Gardener booths at farmers markets and autumn agricultural fairs – 12-24 hours.

  • Continuing Education: Attending continuing education programs – 6-12 hours.

  • MMGA Administration: Participating in MMGA administrative work such as serving on a committee, attending Associates Meetings, or volunteering at our annual Massachusetts Gardening Symposium – 6-8 hours.


REQUIREMENTS: STUDENTS MUST:

  • Be a Massachusetts resident.

  • Attend all classes.

  • Have a desktop or laptop computer; tablets and smartphones will be insufficient for class participation.

  • Have a Gmail account to facilitate access to the MMGA portal and Google shared drive.

  • Complete assigned reading and homework assignments.

  • Pass the take-home, open-book midterm and final exams.

  • Pass a CORI (Criminal Offender Record Information) check as Master Gardeners often provide programs that may include children.

  • Feel comfortable using email, searching internet websites for information, and sending electronic documents. Homework and handouts are distributed electronically.