Become A UC Master Gardener of Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties
The application period for the 2020 Training Session is now closed.
Sign up for our newsletter to be notified when the application period is open for our 2022 Training Session.
UC Master Gardeners come from all walks of life with a broad range of experiences and skills. We share a passion for horticulture and the environment, an eagerness to learn, and a desire to share gardening knowledge with others.
The 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 skills and information.
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.
To learn more about the UC Master Gardener program and the training class, we have scheduled our last information session:
Saturday, October 5 from 10:00-11:30 am | UC Cooperative Extension Auditorium, 1432 Abbott Street, Salinas, CA 93901
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 our 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, attend an information meeting, 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 for the class of 2020 are now closed. To stay informed of future UC Master Gardener classes and events, please subscribe to our newsletter. Thank you for your interest!