Become a Master Gardener Volunteer
The application period for the 2023 UCCE Master Gardener volunteer training program is CLOSED.
To be placed on the email list for the 2024 training class, please contact Jennifer Baumbach, Program Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 707-389-0645 (text ok).
The following provides an overview of the application process and requirements for becoming a Master Gardener
- Do you believe in volunteering within your community?
- Do you enjoy sharing your gardening knowledge?
- Are you interested in learning about research-based home horticulture and other related topics?
- Can you attend a 16-week training course?
If you answered yes to all of these questions, the Master Gardener program may be for you. The University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) Master Gardener program provides the public with research-based information about home horticulture verified by UC experts.
The application process includes two steps:
- Written application and
- Personal interview.
Interviews usually happen in early November.
A selection panel interviews applicants who must demonstrate effective communication skills, the ability to work with the public, and an interest in gardening. Applicants pay a non-refundable fee for the training that covers all of the required books, reference materials, fingerprinting, and official badge once the training is successfully completed.
Applicants must be residents of Yolo County. This UC Master Gardener program is administered by the UC Cooperative Extension office. If you are not a Yolo County resident, contact your local UC Cooperative Extension office for training information. Selected candidates are those interested in extending home gardening information as a UC Master Gardener volunteer.
How are Master Gardeners trained?
The intensive course of study comprises over 75 hours of classroom time, and a field trip. Topics include intro to horticulture, soil science, irrigation and water conservation, weeds, plant diseases, insects, integrated pest management, edible gardening (vegetables, fruits & nuts), landscape trees and ornamentals, and more. Graduation and certification as a Master Gardener requires attendance of all classes, and a minimum passing grade of 70% on the final.
Who are the instructors?
Instructors include UCCE Advisors and Specialists, faculty from the University of California and local community colleges, as well as local experts, such as other Master Gardeners.
What happens after I graduate and become a Master Gardener?
After attending all class sessions, and successfully completed the final with 70% or higher, trainees receive a graduation certificate.
In Yolo County, trainees must complete 50 hours of volunteer service the first year after training is completed to become certified. Master Gardener trainees may begin accumulating hours upon successfully completing the training and passing the final exam. Certified Master Gardeners must complete 40 hours of volunteer service (which will include 12 hours of continuing education hours) by June 30rd each year to be re-certified. In addition re-certifying, volunteers must sign a yearly volunteer agreement by July 30th of each year.
The UC Master Gardeners of Yolo County appreciate your interest in the program.