How to Become a Florida Master Gardener
The Florida Master Gardener Program recruits individuals who are interested in gardening and enjoy sharing what they learn with others. Participants complete a 50-hour (or longer) training course sponsored by the University of Florida and the local county Extension office. Interested applicants should contact their local county Extension office.
In return for their training, these new Master Gardeners serve 75 volunteer hours within the first year of their certification, per the statewide program bylaws (PDF).
Certified Master Gardeners work through their county Extension office to educate Floridians and provide research-based information about gardening—America's most popular pastime. Master Gardeners can fulfill their volunteer hours in a variety of ways, including:
- answering horticultural questions over the phone, in person or through a regular newspaper column
- participating in community and school garden projects
- giving educational programs to the public
- supporting youth activities
- performing soil sample evaluations
- certifying Florida-friendly yards through the Florida Yards & Neighborhoods Program
Master Gardeners can renew their certification by participating in 10 learning hours and completing 35 volunteer hours each year. They must also adhere to the Master Gardener policies (PDF).