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Our Mission

Sharing Knowledge

Empowering Communities

Who are Extension Master Gardeners?

Extension Master Gardeners are trained volunteer educators. VCE-MGs work within their local communities to encourage and promote environmentally sound horticulture practices through sustainable landscape management education and training. As an educational outreach component of Virginia Cooperative Extension, the Master Gardener program brings the resources of Virginia’s land-grant universities – Virginia Tech and Virginia State University –  to the people of the Commonwealth. All volunteers are trained with at least 50 hours of horticultural classes and return at least 50 hours of volunteer community service through their local Extension office.

Statewide, the VCE Master Gardener program is made up of more than 5,500 active and certified Master Gardeners in 61 units. These volunteers contribute over 350,000 hours of volunteer service each year. Master Gardeners who continue to participate in the program return at least 20 hours of service with a minimum of 8 continued education hours annually.

By sharing sound horticultural knowledge and teaching environmentally responsible landscape practices, Extension Master Gardeners are sharing knowledge and empowering communities throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia.


How Do I Become a Master Gardener?

The 50-hour (minimum) required training program provides research-based information on a variety of horticultural and environmental topics. Training sessions are offered annually. Preregistration is required. Contact your local VCE office for more information.

Extension Master Gardener training involves a variety of topics, including:

  • Botany

  • Soils & fertilizer

  • Entomology (insects)

  • Propagation

  • Vegetables

  • Fruits

  • Turf

  • Woody plants

  • Herbaceous plants

  • Water quality

  • Pruning

  • Plant pathology (diseases)

  • Plant damage (diagnosis)

  • Pesticides

  • Landscape design

By completing the classroom instruction, you become a Master Gardener Intern. The title of VCE Master Gardener is granted after you complete a minimum of 50 hours of volunteer service conducting horticultural education programs.

To complete annual recertification you must:

 * Contribute at least 20 hours of volunteer service each year.

 * Participate in at least 8 hours of continuing education.​

Just a Few of Our Dedicated

Hampton Master Gardeners

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; Jewel E. Hairston, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State, Petersburg. If you are a person with a disability and desire assistance or accommodation, please notify Gaylynn Johnson at (757-727-1401/TDD*) during business hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.

 *TDD number is (800) 828-1120.

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