UC Master Gardeners of Monterey & Santa Cruz Counties
University of California
UC Master Gardeners of Monterey & Santa Cruz Counties

Become A UC Master Gardener of Monterey Bay


The application deadline was September 30, 2017
Thank you to those who applied. The next training will begin Jan. 2020

Stay informed about future trainings by subscribing to our newsletter

UC Master Gardeners come from all walks of life with a broad range of experiences and skills. They share several characteristics: a passion for horticulture and the environment, an eagerness to learn, and a desire to share their gardening knowledge with others.

Our UC Master Gardeners of Monterey Bay are an eclectic group of over 130 volunteers who enjoy planning, organizing, and implementing a broad range of educational programs for the local home gardeners in our area. We enjoy the creativity of developing rewarding educational activities, the camaraderie of working together toward common goals, and the appreciation from other gardeners as they learn new things.

If this sounds like something you are interested in, we welcome your application for our next training program, described below. For further information about our organization, please visit the UC Master Gardener Program page.

Class Photo

The Commitment

Being a UC Master Gardener requires a commitment to volunteer a minimum number of hours per year to the local MG educational programs and to continue your horticultural education as long as you are an active UC Master Gardener.

Specifically, each UC Master Gardener must:

  • Complete 50 hours of volunteer work on approved programs during the first year as a Master Gardener, and then 25 hours per year thereafter.
  • Complete 12 hours of continuing education in horticulture each year.

In exchange for this commitment, you are given a comprehensive training program to prepare you for your volunteer work.

The Training Program

To be certified as a UC Master Gardener, applicants must successfully complete a comprehensive training program on horticulture, pest management, and sustainable landscape practices. Class topics include botany, composting, integrated pest management (IPM), soils, water management, entomology, plant pathology, fruit and ornamental tree culture and sustainable landscape practices.

Training classes for UC Master Gardeners of Monterey Bay are held every two years from January through May. Classes are held every Saturday (except holiday weekends) from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM at the UCCE office in Watsonville. All students are required to complete additional reading and homework that will involve another 3-4 hours of time each week outside the classroom.

To apply for the 2020 training class, you must:

  • Reside in Santa Cruz, Monterey, or San Benito County.
  • Attend ONE of three application information sessions, held at the UC Cooperative Extension Office at 1430 Freedom Boulevard, Suite E, Watsonville
  • Have previous gardening experience and be willing to share your knowledge and skills with others.
  • Submit a complete program application and, if invited, participate in a selection interview.

Selected applicants must:

  • Pay a one-time class materials fee of $200.
  • Pass a fingerprint background check.
  • Attend the 15 weeks of classes with no more than 1 unexcused absence.
  • Complete all required reading, projects and other assignments, and successfully pass the final exam.

How to apply:

Applications are closed for the class of 2018.  We will be recruiting for the 2020 class starting in summer of 2019. To be informed of this and other Master Gardener classes and events please subscribe to our news letter. Thank you for your interest.

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