What are the requirements to become (and stay) certified as a MG?

pawleyscruser(z8 SC)January 1, 2013

The answer to this question varies by state and, perhaps, county. Following is information from the states of South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Maine, Ontario, and West Virginia. The requirements in you state will be similar to those represented here.

We are reading, in this forum, that some states are requiring "background checks", "fingerprints", and what-have-you as part of the qualification process. You should read elsewhere in this forum for such information; it is not covered here, in this FAQ section.

PLEASE NOTE: This information is current as of the date of posting, and is not warranted or guaranteed to be valid beyond such date. For the most current information in your state of residence, you should contact the "county extension office". Space limitations preclude posting of the programs for all states.



This volunteer training program is administered by the Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service. Introduced in Charleston County in 1981, the Master Gardener program is now offered in 36 counties.

The Master Gardener program is divided into two parts: instruction and service. In the first part, participants receive at least 40 hours of intensive, practical horticultural training. A few of the following topics are covered in the program:

*Soils and Plant Nutrition *Basic Plant Pathology, Physiology, and Entomology *Vegetable Gardening *Tree and Small Fruit Culture *Culture of Woody Ornamentals *Lawn Management *Basic Landscape Design *Problem Solving

After successfully completing the classroom portion, which involves regular attendance and passing a final exam, participants receive the title of "Master Gardener." The Master Gardener graduates then donate at least 40 hours of service to complete the last part of the program.

What is Expected of Master Gardeners?

After completing the course, Master Gardeners are required to volunteer at least 40 hours of service in the Clemson Extension office or in the community. The volunteer activities are coordinated through the local county Extension office.

Master Gardeners share their knowledge and skills in a number of ways: answering horticulture calls at the Extension office; speaking to garden and civic clubs; working with youth or senior groups; and assisting communities with beautification projects.

Many Master Gardeners far exceed the expected 40 hours of service. Many continue in the program beyond the first year, motivated by their willingness to help others and the personal satisfaction derived from participating in this community service program.





Master Gardeners are volunteers who support Penn State Cooperative Extension's educational programs in consumer horticulture. They develop their horticultural expertise through...

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