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The Virginia Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Program is a training program for volunteer educators who are interested in spreading the good word about best horticultural practices to others in the community. As a VCE-MG, you'll meet and work with people who share your interests, and you'll have the opportunity to advance your horticultural knowledge by participating in seminars and special events.
Is the VCE-Master Gardener Program For You?
You’re a good candidate for the VCE-Master Gardener program if you:
- Have an interest in horticulture; and
- Enjoy sharing horticultural knowledge and teaching environmentally-responsible landscape practices to the general public.
Once you receive your certification, you will be asked to:
- Act on behalf of VCE as a volunteer educator in the community
- Take advantage of specialized, ongoing training through the VCE in environmental horticulture
How to Become a Master Gardener
To become a Master Gardener, you must attend at least 50 hours of classroom instruction and contribute 50 hours of volunteer services conducting VCE horticulture-based education programs.
The combined initial 100 hours must be completed in one year, and upon completion, you will earn the title of VCE-Master Gardener. VCE-Master Gardeners who wish to remain active after the initial year are required to contribute at least 20 hours of volunteer service each year, and to participate in at least 8 hours of re-certification training annually.
Learning the Basics
Basic Master Gardener training includes at least 50 hours of classroom training in the following topics:
- Basic botany
- Soils and fertilization
- Basic entomology
- Plant pathology
- Diagnosing plant damage
- Pesticide use and safety
- Plant propagation
- Indoor plants
- Vegetable gardening
- Fruits in the home garden
- Woody plants - care, selection & use
- Herbaceous plants
- Landscape design
- Water quality and conservation
To find out more about upcoming Master Gardener training classes, contact Jason Cooper at the Rockingham County Extension Office (540-564-3080) or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.