What is a Master Gardener?
The Texas Master Gardener program is an educational volunteer program conducted by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service of the Texas A&M University System. 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 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 county’s Texas AgriLife Extension office to provide horticultural-related information to their communities.
Note: Master Gardeners are representatives of Texas AgriLife Extension. In all volunteer work related to the program, Master Gardeners follow the research-based recommendations of Texas AgriLife Extension. The title “Texas Master Gardener” can be used by volunteers only when engaged in Extension-sponsored activities.
Is the Master Gardener program for me?
• Do you want to learn more about the culture and maintenance of many types of plants?
• Are you eager to participate in a practical and intense training program?
• Do you enjoy sharing your knowledge with people?
• Do you have enough time to attend training and complete volunteer service hour requirements?
• Do you have special interests that could benefit the community or an interest in developing one? (i.e. bird or butterfly knowledge, native gardens, wildflowers, etc.)
• Do you have a sincere interest in nature or gardening?
If accepted into the Master Gardener program, you will be required to attend 64 hours in classroom training courses. The program offers instruction in lawn care; ornamental trees and shrubs; insect, disease, and weed management; soils and plant nutrition, vegetable gardening; home fruit production; garden flowers; perennials and annuals; and water conservation.
In exchange for training, participants are asked to volunteer their time to their county’s AgriLife Extension program. The type of service performed by Master Gardeners varies according to community needs and the abilities and interests of the Master Gardeners. Some Master Gardeners answer telephone requests for information related to gardening. Others staff plant clinics or displays at community events. Master Gardeners may speak to local groups and conduct workshops. They may help establish community garden projects, work with 4-H youth, or assist their agent with news or radio releases related to gardening.
Participants become certified Master Gardeners after they have completed the training course and fulfilled their volunteer commitment of 75 hours before November 30, 2019.
The Ellis County Master Gardener Association classes are conducted on an annual basis during the month of February. Class will be conducted on Tuesdays and Thursday from 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Completed applications are due before 4:00 p.m. Wednesday, January 9, 2019 to the Ellis County AgriLife Extension Office. Applications can be accessed below or by calling the office at 972-825-5175.