The Texas Master Gardener program is a volunteer educational program conducted by the Texas A&M AgriLIFE Extension and is open to all people without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, genetic information or veteran status
Master Gardeners are members of the local community who take an active interest in their lawns, trees, shrubs, flowers and gardens. They are enthusiastic, willing to learn and to help others, and able to communicate with diverse groups of people.
What really sets Master Gardeners apart from other home gardeners is their special training in horticulture. In exchange for their training, persons who become Master Gardeners contribute time as volunteers, working through their Extension office to provide horticultural-related information to their communities.
WHO ARE TEXAS MASTER GARDENERS?
IS THE MASTER GARDENER PROGRAM RIGHT FOR ME?
The Texas Master Gardener program is so popular that there is often a waiting list of people wanting to enroll. The prime requisite for consideration in enrolling in the program is the time, dedication and commitment required of those who complete the program. To help you decide if you should apply to be a Master Gardener, ask yourself these questions:
Do I want to learn more about the culture and
maintenance of many types of plants?
Am I eager to participate in a practical and
intense training program?
Do I look forward to sharing my knowledge
with people in my community?
Do I have enough time to attend training
and to complete the volunteer service?
If you answered yes to these questions, this program could be for you.
BECOMING A MEMBER
The Permian Basin Master Gardener New Member Training Program runs annually from January through May. Classes are held on Saturdays from 9:00 am - 2:00 pm.
New Member Training includes at least 60 hours of high quality training by field experts across the state. Training topics include lawn care, ornamental trees and shrubs, insects, plant diseases, weed management, soil, botany, vegetable gardening, fruit, flowers, landscape design and water conservation.
To become a certified Master Gardener, you must complete at least 60 hours of training, and volunteer at least 60 hours by the end of the training year. All applicants for the Master Gardener training must also complete and submit a security background check. After certifying, each Master Gardener must complete 12 educational hours of education and volunteer a minimum of 30 volunteer hours per year to remain a certified Master Gardener.
A fee of $250 covers the cost of textbooks, supplies and speaker expenses.
In exchange for training, participants are asked to volunteer to their County Extension Program.
At least 60 hours of volunteer service during the year of training is required to earn the title “Texas Master Gardener”.
The type of service done by Master Gardeners varies according to community needs and the ability and interests of the Master Gardeners. Master Gardeners get to do a wide variety of volunteer activities, such as office work, answer horticulture questions, work in demonstration gardens, plan educational activities, give gardening programs, conduct workshops, assist with numerous horticulture educational events, activities, tours and programs.
Master Gardener volunteer activities may include:
Working with youth, through the Junior Master Gardener program and other youth groups, teaching them about plants and gardening skills.
Making home, yard and garden visits when deemed necessary.
Giving garden talks to interested groups, judging horticulture shows, and conducting tours.
Conducting result demonstration work, evaluating variety trials and compiling horticulture reports.
Planning, organizing and implementing community beautification projects.
Teaching and promoting environmentally sound educational programs like “EarthKind”, Backyard Composting, "Don't Bag It", Gardening Seminars, Home Landscape School, and landscape water conservation programs that deal with using water in our landscapes.
ABOUT TEXAS A&M AgriLIFE EXTENSION
Master Gardeners are representatives of Texas A&M AgriLIFE Extension. In all volunteer work related to the program, Master Gardeners follow the research based recommendations of Texas A&M AgriLIFE Extension.
The Texas A&M AgriLIFE Extension is a cooperative system which helps people improve their lives through an educational process using scientific knowledge directed by issues and needs. It emphasizes the philosophy of helping people help themselves by spreading among the people of the United States useful and practical information on subjects relating to horticulture, agriculture and home economics, and to encourage the application of this knowledge. Assisting the Texas A&M AgriLIFE Extension in this endeavor is the goal of the Texas Master Gardeners.
The title, TEXAS MASTER GARDENER is to be used only by individuals who have completed training and volunteer hours through the Extension service. The title is valid only when the volunteer is participating in the Master Gardener program. The Master Gardener title will not be used for personal or business advancement. When individuals cease active participation, their designation as Master Gardener becomes void.