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Become a Master Gardener






Become an Extension Master Gardener

What is involved to be certified as a Northern Neck Master Gardener volunteer? 
Here we explain:

  • Who we are and what we do
  • Who should apply
  • How to apply
  • Training requirements
  • Yearly service and continuing education requirements

Who We Are and What We Do
Northern Neck Master Gardener volunteers share a common interest in gardening and community service.  We are a service organization with a mission to educate the community about safe, effective and sustainable landscape management practices.   As such, we deliver a variety of educational programs to children, adults and seniors, maintain teaching gardens where the public can observe best practices, and provide science-based information in response to citizensí horticultural and environmental questions.

Who Should Apply?
Those seeking to become Extension Master Gardeners should possess:

  • Enthusiasm for learning the fundamental aspects of gardening
  • A willingness to complete a 50 hour instruction program and to give back to the community through a structured 50 hour internship of volunteer service
  • A basic knowledge of computers and access to email/Internet

 How to Apply
The Northern Neck Master Gardener training course is offered biannually.  The next training class will be in January-March 2019. 

If you would like to register for the next class, contact the Northumberland County Extension Office at 804-580-5694.

Training Requirements
Trainees must complete 50 hours of classroom work designed to provide a background in all areas of horticulture.


Topics include:

  • basic botany
  • fertilizers
  • soils
  • insects
  • diseases
  • plant propagation
  • trees and shrubs
  • pruning
  • lawns
  • vegetables
  • fruits
  • perennials and annuals
  • water quality
  • landscape management.



Trainees must also complete a supervised, 50-hour internship by working in four designated program areas before receiving certification.
Tuition is $150, which covers the cost of study materials.

Yearly Service and Continuing Education Requirements

Each year, to maintain certification, Extension Master Gardeners must volunteer a minimum of twenty hours in approved projects and must complete 8 hours of training.

Virginia Cooperative Extension programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. An equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.

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