Maricopa County Master Gardener
Become A Master Gardener
Applications Available: Our application for the Spring 2022 Master Gardener & Home Horticulture session has closed.
If you would like to be notified when our next application period opens, please use the following link to provide your information: https://uarizona.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_5uK8QBKhmI6gzK6
The Master Gardener Volunteer training is provided twice a year, a Spring session starting in January and a Fall session starting in July.
The University of Arizona Cooperative Extension trains gardening enthusiasts of Maricopa County as Master Gardener Volunteers who help their fellow citizens grow better gardens and more sustainable landscapes.
Who Should Apply to be a Maricopa County Master Gardener Volunteer?
Anyone with an interest in environmentally responsible landscaping and gardening in Maricopa County AND a desire to teach those principles and skills from research-based materials.
Location: Course location is online anywhere with an internet connection, usually in the convenience of the home
A computer or tablet and internet service is required for this online course.
Cost: $300 includes course materials
Acceptance into the Course
There are routinely more qualified applicants for the program than available positions. Many successful applicants have applied more than once.
- Selection is not based on your application date, but rather a demonstrated willingness to volunteer in the community.
- Agreement to uphold the program mission, its policies, and participation in the University of Arizona's Designated Campus Colleague (DCC) system are all required for acceptance into the program.
Asynchronous Course Format:
Using University of Arizona’s education resources, the Master Gardener Training Course is delivered through Desire 2 Learn, an online classroom.
- Students engage in the online training portion from their home at a time that is convenient for them during the week.
- A weekly live Zoom meeting will provide opportunity for questions and personal interaction. Trainees will be organized into small groups of 6-9 people to create meaningful online interaction preparing them for volunteering in their community.
- The University of Arizona’s research-based training material will give students a rich educational experience in home gardening and landscaping.
Course and Weekly Time Requirements:
- 5 hours approximately of weekly study time, reading and videos, at the convenience of your schedule.
- 1 hour weekly live Zoom meetings with your assigned small group and Master Gardener Mentor.
- 20 hours of volunteer service over the course.
Master Gardener Training classes are taught by University of Arizona Cooperative Extension faculty, industry professionals and other horticulture experts. Students will learn the fundamentals of selecting, installing, and maintaining healthy, appropriate landscapes and gardens for Maricopa County.
Class Topics Delivered Weekly
- Cacti and Succulents
- Desert-Adapted Plants
- Irrigation & Landscape Watering
- Landscape Design
- Pest Management
- Plant Problems Diagnosis
- Soils & Fertilizers
- Tree & Shrub Pruning
- Vegetable and Herbs
Volunteer Graduation, Certification, and Continuing Requirements
To successfully complete the training program and graduate:
- Attend all weekly Group Meetings and quizzes; if a miss occurs, these are expected to be made up before graduation by attending another Group Meeting in the same week or constructive topic discussion with the Mentor.
- Arrive on time and stay through the entirety of each Group Meeting; missing more than 15 minutes of the class by arriving late or leaving early will be counted as an absence.
- Complete all quizzes, and exams.
- Complete a minimum of twenty (20) hours of approved volunteer service within Maricopa County during the seventeen- (17) week training course, and to submit these hours to the Volunteer Tracking System.
- Complete registration as a University of Arizona Designated Campus Colleague (DCC)
To receive the title Certified Master Gardener, participants must complete the training program and earn an additional 30 hours of volunteer service within 1 year. A wide variety of volunteer opportunities are made available during training.
To maintain Certified Master Gardener status, a minimum of 25 volunteer hours and 12 continuing education hours are required per calendar year.
Not Interested in a Volunteer Commitment? There is a Home Horticulture Course
Those who want the gardening knowledge but do not have the time to volunteer or unable to meet the requirements to become a certified Master Gardener Volunteer, may select the Home Horticulture option on the same application.
Home Horticulture slots are limited and will be filled on a first come, first serve basis. Tuition for the Home Horticulture class is $300.00 and does not include a volunteer commitment.
For a Certified Master Gardeners perspective, contact:
Ginger Roberts, Master Gardener
For all other questions, contact:
Patty Howard, Master Gardener Program Administrative Assistant
We look forward to you joining us!
Assistant in Extension for Ornamental Horticulture
Master Gardener Course Coordinator
Persons with a disability may request a reasonable accommodation, such as sign language interpreter, by contacting the Master Gardener Program Coordinator, 602-827-8276. Requests should be made as early as possible to allow time to arrange the accommodation.