The University of Arizona

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Improving Lives, Communities and the Economy

How to Become a Pima County Master Gardener

Who are the Master Gardener Extension Volunteers?

Master Gardener Extension Volunteers are members of the local community who are interested in gardening and landscaping, are enthusiastic, willing to learn, and committed to helping others. Upon completing a specialized 50-hour training course and internship in low-desert home gardening and landscaping, Master Gardener Extension Volunteers contribute time as volunteers to provide research-based educational leadership in home gardening and landscaping throughout Pima County.

Pima County Master Gardener Extension Volunteers help the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension fulfill its educational outreach mission by:

  • Answering horticultural questions over the phone, in person or through the Extension website
  • Providing education programs and workshops to the public
  • Creating and maintaining demonstration gardens which showcase new plants, new planting methods, composting, new irrigation methods, etc.

Is the Pima County Master Gardener Extension Volunteer Program for You?

  • Do you want to help people in your community learn more about landscaping and gardening?
  • Do you like plants and gardening?
  • Do you want to expand your gardening knowledge and skills?
  • Do you have enough time to attend the 50-hour training and complete at least 50 hours of volunteer service and 10 hours of continuing education each year?

If you answered yes to all of these questions, you may be a perfect candidate for the Pima County Master Gardener Extension Volunteer Program.


Benefits of Being A Master Gardener Extension Volunteer

  • Help Your Community

Many newcomers and inexperienced gardeners throughout the county greatly need gardening help and advice. As an Extension Volunteer, you can help people solve their plant problems and help promote environmentally responsible behavior through appropriate plant selection, water conservation and least-toxic pest control. Our informative training will give you the skills needed to diagnose plant problems and give you the confidence to share your expertise with others.

  • Increase Your Gardening Knowledge and Skills

In addition to the 50-hour training course, you will have access to monthly education programs, a monthly Master Gardener newsletter, advanced training on various topics, and a variety of specialists in the gardening and landscaping industries.

  • Join Great Social Network of Amazing Gardeners

You will get the opportunity to work with a variety of knowledgeable, talented and interested individuals who all share a common interest in gardening. A very fun group!

  • Gain Leadership Opportunities and Recognition

There are many opportunities in the program to take on leadership roles and gain recognition for your investment in the community.

Being a Master Gardener Extension Volunteer is fun, interesting and rewarding.



Persons qualify to become a Master Gardener ExtensionVolunteer by completing a 16-week 50-hour training course and giving at least 50 hours of service per year to one or more of the approved projects. Classes are conducted in Tucson on Tuesday mornings from 9:00am to 12:00pm, starting in August and running through early December.

Students enrolled in this program receive training in botany, soils, propagation, water use, insects, weeds, integrated pest management (IPM), desert landscape plants, vegetables, fruit trees, roses, container gardening, turf grass, landscape plant maintenance, and plant problem and disease diagnostic techniques for the home gardener. There is a final exam which students must pass with a grade of 70% to continue.

Following the course, graduates enter an intern period for up to one year before they receive full Master Gardener Extension Volunteer status. Upon completion of the internship, Master Gardener Extension volunteers receive a certificate of completion and name badge designating them as a University of Arizona Pima County Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Extension Volunteer.

To maintain Master Gardener ExtensionVolunteer status, a volunteer must participate in at least 50 hours of approved service activities and complete 10 hours of continuing training each year.

How to Apply

Application for the 2018 fall class will be available in January, 2018.  Applicants who are selected for interviews will meet with the selection committee during the week of May.  Classes will begin in August and end in December 2018.  All classes are held at the Pima County Extension Office on Tuesdays.

For more information, contact the Pima County Cooperative Extension Office in Tucson at 520-626-5161 or the Satellite Office in Green Valley at 520-648-0808.




Short URL: