Master Gardeners

Master Gardeners

Becoming a University of Florida Institute of Food & Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Extension Martin County Master Gardener Volunteer is the perfect way to combine your love for gardening or landscaping with your desire to help your neighbors and community.  The purpose of the program is to educate and prepare horticultural volunteers, using research-based materials and resources from the University of Florida.  The volunteers then assist UF/IFAS Extension Martin County and in effect “extend” our reach and benefit to the community.   Contact me to find out more about our fun group of volunteers, who are active in a variety of interesting projects, and to learn how you can join!

The Martin County Master Gardener Training Program

The UF/IFAS Extension Martin County Master Gardener Training Program is demanding and intensive. Formal classroom work constitutes more than half of the 70-hour training period. Subjects include basic botany, soils, fertilizers, vegetables, citrus, turf grasses, ornamentals, entomology, pesticide safety, plant pathology and related topics.  Class materials are based on a state-wide curriculum developed by UF/IFAS Extension faculty.

To become certified as a UF/IFAS Extension Martin County Master Gardener Volunteer, trainees must complete the training program and earn a passing grade.  During their first year, trainees must also contribute at least 10 continuing education hours and 75 volunteer hours, working on projects approved in advance by the Martin County Master Gardener Coordinator.

Master Gardeners serve as representatives of both UF/IFAS Extension and Martin County; therefore, volunteers must maintain professionality and abide by the program’s policies.

The 2016 UF/IFAS Extension Martin County Master Gardener Training Program will be held from September 7, 2016 through November 3, 2016.  Classes meet weekly, typically on Mondays and Wednesdays from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.  To view the full 2016 class schedule, click here.

Applications for prospective trainees must be submitted to the UF/IFAS Extension Martin County office (2614 SE Dixie Highway, Stuart FL 34996) before 5 p.m. July 1, 2016. 

Master Gardener Activities

As the Master Gardeners assist the Extension Service Agent and staff, they are in effect "extending the Extension Service." The volunteers provide advice and recommendations which have been well documented through research and peer review at the University of Florida.

Master Gardeners assist only with questions from homeowners. Extension Agents respond to all commercial/professional growers and landscapers.

There is something for almost every skill level in the Master Gardener program.  Some of the functions carried out by UF/IFAS Extension Martin County Master Gardener volunteers include assisting with administrative tasks, preparing press releases and flyers, facilitating community events and projects, creating educational articles/exhibits/presentations, advising community and school-based gardeners, presenting educational talks, answering local homeowners’ questions, and much more!  Many Master Gardener volunteers far surpass the mandatory hour requirements of 75 volunteer hours in the first year, 35 volunteer hours each year thereafter, and 10 continuing education hours annually.  Some exceed several hundred hours in a year, and a few Martin County Master Gardeners have given more than five thousand hours of service over the years!

The ultimate end to the educational outreach efforts of the Florida Master Gardener Program is to extend the vision of UF/IFAS, all the while protecting and sustaining natural resources and environmental systems, enhancing the development of human resources, and improving the quality of human life through the development of knowledge in agricultural, human and natural resources and making that knowledge accessible.  The UF/IFAS Extension Martin County Master Gardener program is a wonderful opportunity to learn and help. We hope that you will become a part of this "growing" experience.


Master Gardener Selection

Selection to become a candidate for the UF/IFAS Extension Martin County Master Gardener Training Program is not predicated on prior training, education, knowledge or experience. Neither do age, sex, nor physical handicap dictate selection. Gardening experience and knowledge are always helpful, but they are by no means a requirement for selection for the Master Gardener Training Program.  The 70-hour training program, combined with the required annual continuing education, will equip you with the basic knowledge you will need to begin your rewarding experience as a Martin County Master Gardener Volunteer.

A sincere desire to help others, a desire to learn, and a personal commitment to volunteer service are the important prerequisites to being selected as a UF/IFAS Extension Martin County Master Gardener volunteer.

Become A Master Gardener..

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Master Gardener General Information

The 2016 UF/IFAS Extension Martin County Master Gardener Training Program is filled for this year, 2016. Thank you for participating.