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Master Gardeners at plant sale


Florida Master Gardener is a title granted by the University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) to individuals who complete a Master Gardener training course and the required volunteer hours. The principal purpose of this program is to train volunteers who will educate the public on how to solve their landscape, water, plant nutrition, and pest problems.

  • Florida Master Gardener Volunteer Program Mission and Vision

    Mission: to assist Extension agents in providing researched-based horticultural education to Florida residents

    Vision: to be the most trusted resource for horticulture education in Florida

  • The Florida Master Gardener Volunteer Program

    The Florida Master Gardener Volunteer Program is a group of specially trained people that assist UF/IFAS Extension in providing research-based information to the residents and communities of Putnam County.  The training entails the completion of over 60 hrs of instruction and hands on learning opportunities over the course of 10 weeks.  Topics include basic botany, soil health and fertilizers, plant disease, integrated pest management, and much more.

  • Community Service

    Master Gardener Volunteers hone their talents and advance their skills in order to contribute to their Putnam County Community.   

    Projects Include:

    • Extension Landscape Maintenance and improvement
    • Extension Vegetable Demonstration Gardens
    • Soil pH Testing
    • School horticulture enrichment assistance
    • Educational Designs and displays
    • Pesticide Exam Proctoring
    • Plant Clinics
    • Speaking Engagements


    Major events include:

    • In conjunction with US Forest Service Arbor Day
    • Azalea Days at Ravine Gardens
    • Epcot Flower and Garden Festival
    • Putnam County Fair Horticulture Show
    • Mushroom Festival

    Talents Displayed by Master Gardener Volunteers:

    • Leadership
    • Photography
    • Art
    • Cooking/baking
    • Hospitality
    • Writing/editing
  • The title "Certified Florida Master Gardener Volunteer"

    The title "Certified Florida Master Gardener Volunteer":

    • is to be used only when representing the UF/IFAS Extension Florida Master Gardener Program.
    • is conferred on individuals who have successfully completed the Florida Master Gardener Training and 75 subsequent Volunteer hrs.
    • is an official University of Florida volunteer title and all activities should be approved by the Residential and Commercial Horticulture Agent.

    It is not:

    • a professional certification program.
    • to be used for personal gain or profit.
    • to be used to promote commercial products, businesses, or services.

  • Master Gardener Volunteer Training

    Interested in becoming a Master Gardener?

    Training is currently offered in the fall of each year.

    Steps needed for admission into the program.

    1. Review the Putnam Master Gardener Training Schedule
    2. Click the Apply now button below to submit an application
    3. Clear a background check
    4. Interview with Agent(s) and Master gardeners

    After all the interviews are complete, the roster will be finalized and those selected for the training will be notified.

  • How much does the training cost?

    There is a training fee, which varies every year depending on fees for field trips and other materials. You can anticipate the fee to be between $100 and $130 per person. 

    Your course fee will cover:

    • Master Gardener Volunteer training book
    • Guest lecturers' travel costs
    • Lab materials
    • Supplemental Books and ID cards
    • Other supplies

  • Residency

    Those interested in the Master Gardener Volunteer Program should apply to the program in the county of their residency.  Exceptions can be made on a case by case basis.   Those admitted as Florida Master Gardener Volunteers for Putnam County must complete all required volunteer hours in or for Putnam County.

  • Important dates

    Below are some of the important dates for the upcoming 2024 Master Gardener Volunteer Training.


    Year Round Applications Period
    June 30 Last day to apply
    2nd Friday of July Interview dates and times finalized
    July 22 Acceptance emails sent
    August 14 Training payment is due in full
    August 15 1st day of training
    October 31 The final day of training


Julio Perez

Julio Perez Horticulture Extension Agent I (356) 329-0318

UF/IFAS Extension Putnam Co. 111 Yelvington Rd. Ste. 1 East Palatka, Fl 32177