How Do I Become A Master Gardener?
The first step in becoming a Master Gardener is attending a "Meet and Greet" session (Usually held in March- check our Calendar Events to register). The second step is to apply, once you've attended a Meet and Greet, be accepted and pay the course fee. After successfully completing the training program, Volunteer Master Gardeners teach and promote Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ principles and practices throughout the Pasco community at various events and locations. Examples of volunteerism include: talking about gardening at fairs, festivals and special events; speaking at clubs, libraries and schools; staffing the plant clinic answering phone questions and assisting with walk-ins; helping maintain a demonstration garden; working in community and school gardens, and writing about gardening for local newspapers.
If you are interested in becoming a Pasco County Master Gardener, please call (352) 518-0156 or email Whitney Elmore to add your name to the prospective Master Gardener email contact list. We'll send out emails and post information in press releases to ensure you are aware of the dates of Meet and Greet sessions.
Requirements of Master Gardener Volunteers
- Love of gardening and the desire to learn and practice Florida-friendly Landscaping and horticulture methods
- Commitment to volunteering 75 hours the first year; 50 hours thereafter
- Willingness to share gardening information with people of Pasco County
- Time to volunteer and attend monthly meetings, field trips, and/or training sessions
- Eagerness to learn Florida horticulture by active participation in the Master Gardener Training Course and commitment to learning via continuing education activities required to maintain certification (10 hours/year)
The Core Areas Include:
- Botany, entomology, pathology, soil management and plant nutrition
- Cultural methods of growing vegetables and fruit, trees, turf and plants (including annuals, perennials, ornamentals, wildlife-attracting plants, natives)
- Providing customer service
- Other related programs such as the Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ Program and 4-H
- The program includes classroom training via lectures, multimedia presentations, and group activities.