How To Become A Master Gardener
University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) Master Gardeners are volunteers who extend research-based knowledge and information on home horticulture, pest management, and sustainable landscape practices to the residents of California. In Orange County we expect to offer the next volunteer training class starting at the end of 2023 through mid-Spring 2024. We will begin communicating about the application process in the Summer of 2023.
Applications for the 2023 volunteer training class are closed.
What do UCCE Master Gardeners do?
University of California Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners are volunteers trained to help residents of Orange County become better gardeners. Using a variety of activities such as workshops, lectures, and a garden hotline, these volunteers answer questions about home horticulture, sustainable landscaping, and integrated pest management using University of California research-based information.
After their training Master Gardeners are qualified to help the public with problems in areas such as:
- Food gardening
- Growing annuals, perennials and woody ornamental plants
- Selecting and caring for fruit and landscape trees
- Integrated Pest Management (insect and pest control)
- Soils, fertilizers and irrigation
- Plant pathology
- Composting and vermiculture
- Weed control
- Plant problem diagnosis
- Water quality and conservation
Master Gardeners work in their community by volunteering for activities and projects such as:
- Teaching workshops, or lecturing on gardening practices
- Answering gardeners’ questions via email through our Gardening Hotline
- Using mass media to disseminate gardening information
- Speaking to the public on horticultural/gardening topics
- Staffing information booths at various venues
- Participating in research activities with academics within UC
- Designing, planting and maintaining demonstration gardens
- Consulting with gardeners with the goal of improving their landscape practices
- Educating and guiding parents and teachers in gardening practices in support of school gardens
Who are Master Gardener candidates?
Master Gardener candidates are adults of all ages and come from all walks of life.
We are looking for people who
- live in Orange County
- have a basic knowledge of gardening
- have a desire to volunteer in their community to share what they learn about gardening
- have an interest in increasing their horticultural knowledge and skills
The UC Master Gardener program is administered by individual county UC Agriculture & Natural Resources Cooperative Extension offices. If you do not live in Orange County, you can use this link to find the program in your area.
If you are currently a Master Gardener in another state, have recently moved to California and would like to transfer to the program here, please contact the Program Coordinator directly. See our Contact Us page for details.
If you would like to express interest in our UC Master Gardener volunteer training class, please click on the "Open Survey" link below. We will email you about our next volunteer training class as soon as we have details to share.