How do I go about becoming a Master Gardener (MG)?
The best way to start is to come to one of our meetings and meet our members. We are a dynamic group and are passionate about gardening. We meet at 7 pm on the first Wednesday of the month except for July, August and January in the Halton/Hamilton region. Currently, meetings are being held virtually through ZOOM due to the COVID19 pandemic. Simply email us to let us know that you would like to attend. You will be contacted by the Membership Coordinator who will provide you with information about the upcoming meeting as well as answer any questions you may have. You will be encouraged to introduce yourself and share why you’re attending. (i.e., I’ve always enjoyed my garden and I’m eager to learn more. – or I have a huge garden and would like to share my gardening passion with others, etc.)
I came to a meeting and now I want to join. What do I do next?
You will be asked to write a short eligibility test based on general gardening knowledge. The test consists of 50 true or false questions -. The membership coordinator will set up a time for you to complete the test. During COVID19, the test may be administered orally (on the phone) or at a distance in a public space. The test is usually marked shortly thereafter, giving you immediate feedback. When you pass the test (a pass is 50%), you will be asked to complete a Master Gardener Agreement to ensure that you are aware of MG expectations. You will now be known as a Master Gardener in Training. (MGiT)
What does a Master Gardener in Training do?
All Master Gardeners strive to inspire and motivate the public about gardening and expand their knowledge of horticulture. You’ll attend the monthly meetings and participate in activities. We offer advice clinics to the gardening public and have yearly social events. MGiTs are offered the opportunity to be paired with a Mentor and also often partnered with one or two MGs to get on the job training at public events. Your expertise in gardening will increase dramatically as you listen to questions from the public and try to answer them. All Master Gardeners and MGiTs are expected to complete 30 hours of volunteer work a year.
Is there an educational component I need to complete before becoming a certified Master Gardener?
MGiTs must successfully complete an educational component to become certified as Master Gardeners. There are three ways of completing the educational component and you MAY take up to 3 years to complete it. All costs are the responsibility of the MGiT.
- University of Guelph – The required courses are:
- Plant Identification
- Soils and Plant Growth
- Integrated Pest Management
- Dalhousie University Master Gardener Program – The required courses are:
- The Science of Gardening
- Maintaining the Garden
- Plant ID
- The Art of Gardening
- Self-study/ Exam: This option is most suitable for those with extensive experience in horticulture or previous completion of a horticulture education program. Read more HERE.