How to Become a Master Gardener
The next UCCE Placer/Nevada Master Gardener volunteer training begins January 2022. The application period for this training has closed.
Volunteer trainings are done every other year with the next one slated to be in 2024.
What is the UC Master Gardener program all about?
Thank you for your interest in the University of California (UC) Master Gardener volunteer program. The UC Master Gardener program is a county-based volunteer program; that is, the local University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) county office administers the local Master Gardener program.
In our case, our UCCE office covers 2 counties (Placer and Nevada) and therefore we administer two Master Gardener programs, each one separate and distinct. Our Placer County office in Auburn is the home base for the UC Master Gardeners of Placer County while our Nevada County office in Grass Valley serves our UC Master Gardeners of Nevada County.
We usually interview and select 30-40 trainees. The general schedule of the volunteer training begins in January and ends the first Friday in May. It is an intense and thorough training; 16 different classes spanning many gardening topics. Only one absence is allowed. The classes occur on Thursday or Friday afternoons from 1pm to 5pm. They take place in Auburn and in Grass Valley. There are required field trips, Hotline trainings, and homework!
A sample of the class topics:
Intro to Horticulture
Soils and Fertilizers
Composting, Vermiculture and Compost Tea
Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
The UC Master Gardener program is a VOLUNTEER program not a CERTIFICATE program.
If accepted into the program, you are trained and then “certified” an active UC Master Gardener volunteer in the greater county program. You then volunteer your time (50 hours the first year, 25 each year thereafter) to remain “certified” and active in the program. If you fail to put in your volunteer hours, you are no longer able to claim “UC Master Gardener” status. Each UC Master Gardener program has multiple projects that a volunteer can become engaged in to earn their hours. There are plenty of volunteer opportunities!!
If you have more questions about the Placer or Nevada County Master Gardener program, feel free to call or email Kevin Marini – 530-889-7399 (Auburn); 530-273-4563 (Grass Valley) or firstname.lastname@example.org