Maricopa County Master Gardener
The Master Gardener Volunteer Training Course is offered twice a year, the Spring session starts in January and a Fall session starts in July, yearly.
To apply to the Maricopa County Spring 2024 Master Gardener Volunteer Training Course Click Here.
Application Closes October 10, 2023.
The University of Arizona Cooperative Extension in Maricopa County trains Master Gardener Volunteers. Master Gardeners are active volunteers providing education on the best practices in home landscape and gardening to their communities.
Using research and science-based information from the University of Arizona, Master Gardeners help create more sustainable gardens and more livable cities better prepared to meet the challenges of the future.
Master Gardener Volunteers provide:
- Answers to landscape and gardening questions
- Outreach and education in the community
- Mentorship for Master Gardeners in training
- Maintenance of the Demo Garden and landscape at the Cooperative Extension Office
- Event planning and other program support
- Master Gardener certification requires graduation from the 17-week training course and logging 50 volunteer hours (20 hours minimum during training course +30 additional hours completed within one year of graduation). Ongoing volunteering is required for recertification. Master Gardeners recertification requires volunteers to log a minimum of 25 volunteer and 12 continuing education hours each calendar year after the initial certification.
- Tuition: $375.00
- Location: Course location is online anywhere with an internet connection, usually in the convenience of the home.
- A computer or tablet connected to the internet, and use of the Zoom platform are required for this online course.
Acceptance into the Course
There are routinely more qualified applicants for the program than available openings. Many successful applicants have applied more than once.
- Selection is not first-come first-served, but on a demonstrated willingness to volunteer in the community.
- Invited applicants will participate in an interview process with Master Gardener Program staff and select Master Gardener volunteers the week of October 23, 2023.
- 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.
Important Skills for Master Gardeners
- Public speaking and education delivery
- Customer service
- Curiosity and a desire to learn
- Organization and attention to detail
- Experience or strong interest in plants, gardens and landscapes
Asynchronous Course Format:
Using University of Arizona’s education resources, the Master Gardener Training Course is delivered through Desire 2 Learn (D2L), 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 an 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 rich educational experience in home gardening and landscaping.
Course and Weekly Time Requirements:
- 5-6 hours of weekly study time, reading and videos, at the convenience of your schedule.
- 1 hour required weekly live Zoom meetings with your assigned small group and Master Gardener Mentor. Trainees may not miss more than 3 weekly meetings and absences must be made up during the 17-week course to be considered for graduation.
- 20 hours minimum of approved volunteer hours are required during the 17-week course to graduate.
Week 1: Orientation, Practice Week
Week 2: Botany – Part 1
Week 3: Botany – Part 2
Week 4: Soil, Water & Plant Relationships
Week 5: Soil, Fertilizer & Composting
Week 6: Vegetable Gardening
Week 7: Irrigation
Week 8: Entomology
Week 9: Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
Week 10: Plant Problem Diagnosis
Week 11: Plant Selection, Planting and Care
Week 12: Landscape Design
Week 13: Turf and Weed Management
Week 14: Pruning Tree and Shrubs
Week 15: Citrus
Week 16: Cacti & Succulents
Week 17: Wrap up, Final
We look forward to seeing you!
Contact Program Coordinator: MCCE-MasterGardenerProgram@arizona.edu
Persons with a disability may request a reasonable accommodation, such as sign language interpreter, by contacting the Master Gardener Program Coordinator, 602-827-8211. Requests should be made as early as possible to allow time to arrange the accommodation.