Master Gardener Program
Become a Master Gardener
Volunteer for Miami-Dade County! Join the elite group of dedicated gardeners who help others solve their horticulture problems. You will learn and have fun!
What is a Master Gardener?
Master Gardener is a title granted by the University of Florida to individuals who complete both the Master Gardener training and their volunteer hours. They are individuals who are interested in:
- Educating and helping others
- Making civic contributions through volunteer work.
What Does a Master Gardener Do?
Master Gardeners make an important contribution to the community through volunteering their time and learned expertise by assisting the Urban Horticulture Agent in several ways.
At the Extension office, Master Gardeners help answer homeowner phone calls on:
- Flower & vegetable gardening
- Plant selection
- Insect, disease, & weed identification
- Least-toxic pest control
- Pesticide & fertilizer use
- Composting, recycling & mulching
Veteran Master Gardeners assist the Extension Agent with:
- Establishing demonstration & community gardens
- Horticultural presentations & demonstrations
- Staffing gardening information booths at community events & plant shows
- Teaching horticultural practices of the “Florida Yards & Neighborhoods” program
- And more …..
How Do I Become a Master Gardener?
To be selected for the Master Gardener program, you must attend a preview session which is usually held in August. A Master Gardener will interview you afterwards. If you are selected, you will be notified and provided the course schedule. No more than one class can be missed.
By attending the Master Gardener training program and completing an internship at the Homestead office for a minimum of 75 hours during weekdays. Classroom training takes one full day (9 am to 4:30 pm) per week (M-F) for 10-12 weeks and is held at the Miami-Dade County Extension office in Homestead, Florida beginning in September. Volunteering opportunities are at selected sites throughout the county after completion of the internship in Homestead.
How is a Master Gardener Trained?
Through the Master Gardener training program, participants receive more than 80 hours of classroom & field training from University of Florida professors, horticultural professionals, and Extension Agents. The Miami-Dade County Extension office offers the program once a year in the FALL (classes run from September through November).
What a Master Gardener Learns About
- Flower & Vegetable Gardening
- Ornamental Trees, Palms, & Shrubs
- Insect, Disease, & Weed Identification
- Soils, Composting, & Mulching
- And much, much more!
- Fruit Trees
- Proper Pesticide & Fertilizer Use
- Basic Botany
What Does it Cost?
Master Gardeners pay for their specialized training by volunteering 75 hours of their time and expertise to the Miami-Dade County Extension office. This is a required internship before the title ‘Master Gardener’ is granted.
In addition to your volunteer contribution, there is a nominal fee to purchase the Master Gardener literature, which is yours to keep. The comprehensive Master Gardener literature, prepared by the University of Florida, includes multiple books and publications related to urban horticulture.
As of November 2017, the fee is $150.00, plus a $50 deposit, to cover the cost of all books, materials and refreshments.
Classes are during the week and are intense, but rewarding. There is a final exam at the end of the course. You will be contacted for an interview once your name is on the waiting list and a class space is open. We are looking for people who are interested in making a long-term commitment to volunteering.
This program is meant for those who have a flexible schedule.
Just as a reminder, classroom training is at the Homestead Extension office. The majority of the initial volunteering (internship) is at this office location. Answering gardening phone calls during the week is a major volunteer effort as a Master Gardener intern.
Come join our Miami-Dade County team of Master Gardeners today!
Learn, Share and Have Fun too!