When are the next Master Gardener classes being held? What kind of qualifications do I need?

Master Gardeners are volunteers who are trained and certified by the University of California, Cooperative Extension (UCCE).  Training classes are usually offered every two years in San Diego County and the next one will tentatively be in 2016. 

The training course is a series of about 18 classes that meet from 9:00 am to 2:30 pm on Tuesdays, from January into June.  There is a class fee to cover textbooks and other expenses.  Classes are held at the County Operations Center on Overland Ave. in San Diego.  The classes taught by agricultural experts provide a basic introduction to horticulture and pest management.  Topics include botany, soils and fertilizers, irrigation, entomology, plant pathology, weed management, vertebrate pests and the culture of vegetables, fruit trees and woody ornamentals.  Students who successfully complete the training course and pass a final exam (with a score of 70%) are certified as UCCE Master Gardeners. 

Master Gardener volunteers help UCCE provide County residents with research based information in the areas of home gardening, noncommercial horticulture and pest management.  In exchange for their training, new Master Gardeners agree to complete at least 50 hours of volunteer service in approved activities within one year of being certified.  After the first year, veteran Master Gardeners agree to complete 25 hours of volunteer service and 12 hours of continuing education annually to remain active in the program.

The process for selecting students for a new Master Gardener class begins with an orientation meeting.  There you will learn more about the volunteer program and how to apply.  Space in the class is limited and we usually have more applicants than we can accept.   A selection committee of current Master Gardeners reviews all applications, interviews applicants, and recommends individuals for the training class.

If you want to be added to our mailing list and be informed when recruitment for the next MG class begins click here:


This link will take you to our registration page on Constant Contact where you can enter your name, email and other information. After registering you will receive an email from Constant Contact with a link to a menu where you can select the information you want to receive.

By Scott Parker, Coordinator, Master Gardener Program, UC Cooperative Extension, San Diego County, October 2012