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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 rearched-based horticultureal education to Florida residents

    Vision: to be the most trusted resource for horticluture 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 Schdule
    2. Download and complete the Putnam Sprout Kit
    3. Clear a background check
    4. Interview with Agent(s) and Master gardeners

    After all the interviews are complete, the roster will be finialized 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 2021 Master Gardener Volunteer Training.

    June 1-June 30, 2021 Applications Period
    June 30th, 2021 Last day to apply
    July 2nd, 2021 Interview dates and time finalized
    July 13-14th, 2021 Interview dates for Putnam
    July 23rd, 2021 Acceptance emails sent
    August 27th, 2021 Training payment is due in full
    September 6th, 2021 1st day of training
    November 15th, 2021 Final day of training


Meet the Agent 

Julio Perez

Extension Agent I
(356) 329-0318

UF/IFAS Extension 
Putnam Co.

111 Yelvington Rd. Ste. 1
East Palatka, Fl 32177

Helpful Links

Florida Master Gardener State Website
St. Johns Water Management
Florida-Friendly Landscaping
Florida Yards




Want to Help Support Putnam Horticulture Program?

Give - UF/IFAS Advancement