Gardening Tips & Tricks : Becoming a Master Gardener

Gardening Tips & Tricks : Becoming a Master Gardener


Hi. My name’s Yolanda Vanveen, and in this
segment we’re going to learn all about how to become a master gardener. I became a master
gardener in 2004, and it was one of the most exciting and entertaining, and also educational
programs that I think I’ve ever experienced. And not only was it fun to learn about the
plants, I learned so much more. I learned all about bugs and trees and soils and transplanting,
and it was just really a really exciting experience. Now, how do you become a master gardener?
People ask me all the time. And it’s really easy. So I attended a garden show, and there
were some master gardeners, and they were at a booth, and they had some fliers on how
to become a master gardener. So the Master Gardening program is sponsored by your local
state extension service. So the Washington state program is run through the Washington
State University Cooperative Extension. And so they have all kinds of information at the
Department of Agriculture, or you can go to the local state university and ask around,
or just Google your county, and master gardeners, and usually the information will come right
up. The programs are usually held once a year, or once every two years. And I thought it
would be more of a time commitment, but it really wasn’t that bad. It was just once a
week, one day. My program was on Thursdays. Some are on Saturdays. And you’re in classes,
just like going to college, from about nine to three or four in the afternoon. And each
day you learn all different subjects. And you’re on a set schedule, and you have different
people come and speak to you, and it’s very, very interesting. The classes were for only
about two to three months, so it really wasn’t a lot of classes in the end. Then once you’ve
finished your classes, you get certified, and then you can represent the Washington
State University Master Gardening Program at different farmer’s markets and in the Extension
Service offices. So the main reason that they started the whole program in Washington State
was so that the Extension Service, the Department of Ag, could have help, because so many people
call in with gardening questions. And so they set up the Master Gardening Program so that
people can volunteer their time, and help others. And it works out for everyone. The
most important information that I learned was how to research information, ’cause there’s
really no right or wrong answers when there comes….when there’s gardening questions.
And people have different experiences. And so, there is a set manual that they provide
for you, that I refer to all the time. And in the program, it’s just like college. And
you just go through each of the subjects. It’s like a mini horticultural degree. And,
botany basics, soils and fertilizers, plant propagation, pruning, which I really refer
to. And all types of other information. How to plant bulbs. How to take care of berries,
bugs, etymology, we spent a lot of time on bugs, because that is an important part of
gardening, is to understanding how to deal with the wildlife around you. It’s much easier
than college, too. I was really thrilled to find out there’s no tests in class. You just
take your manual home, and you have a list of questions each week, and you can refer
to your book, ’cause that’s what you’re learning. You’re learning how to do research, which
I really think is the most important part of learning, is learning from others. And
so you just write exactly where you got your reference, and what your answer is, and then
you turn your paper work in, and then they give it back to ya. And the best part is,
is when you get a smiley face for getting all of the questions right. Once you graduate
from the Master Gardener Degree Program, then you need to put in a certain number of hours
in volunteering. So you can volunteer at the clinic, or teaching others about gardening,
or in the local schools, or whatever you want to do. They have all types of programs. And,
once you have a certain number of hours, then you get your badge. To keep your badge, and
to represent the Master Gardeners, you have to keep up your volunteer time, and for a
lot of people that’s hard. But it is so rewarding to know that you are helping others, and it
is a really good use of your time. And it’s great to know about gardening, and to share
it with others.

5 thoughts on “Gardening Tips & Tricks : Becoming a Master Gardener

  1. an excellent job of explaining what master gardeners do and why we exist..no matter which state you reside in. Thank you from a Louisiana master gardener !

  2. Nice video, Iā€™m a backyard Gardner right now and was thinking of taking it to the next level and become a master Gardner.
    But the question I have is about this volunteer work you have to do after the class to become a Master Gardner.
    Can it be done on the web with a blog and a series of videos, kind of like what you did on this video or does it have to be in person. Thanks Frank

  3. Very nice. I was just accepted into the U. of CA Extension Master Gardener training and I am looking forward to learning more about growing things and to tell others about it. This was a very good overview, thanks!

  4. The nice information are vividly explained. These are the positive factors and beneficial training that a master gardener must undergo. Thank you for encouraging us. Good job!Ā 

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