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 and Santa Cruz Counties

We will be recruiting for the 2020 class starting in May of 2019.

If you'd like to be notified when we start accepting applications for the 2020 class, subscribe to our newsletter.

UC Master Gardeners come from all walks of life with a broad range of experiences and skills. They share 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 and Santa Cruz Counties are a group of over 140 volunteers who plan, organize, and implement a broad range of educational programs for the 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 and Santa Cruz Counties 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 or Salinas. 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 four application information sessions, held at the UC Cooperative Extension Office at Watsonville or Salinas.
  • 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 $225.
  • 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 will open for the class of 2020.  We will be recruiting for the 2020 class starting in May 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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