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Master Gardener Training

What really sets a Master Gardener apart from other home gardeners is their special training in horticulture. In exchange for their training, individuals who become Master Gardeners volunteer their time, working through their cooperative Extension office, to provide horticultural-related information to their communities.

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.

Is the Master Gardener Program for Me?

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 and complete the training program, and to complete the volunteer service?

 

If you are a Hays County resident, and answered yes to these questions, this program could be for you. 

Training

Training takes place once a year in either the spring or fall. If accepted into the Master Gardener program, you will attend a 11-week Master Gardener training course.

 

Classes are taught by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service specialists, staff, and local experts.

The Hays County program offers a minimum of 64 hours of instruction following Earth-Kind® practices of landscape management covering soil and plant nutrition; insect, disease, and weed management; trees; vegetable and herb gardening; lawn care; plant selection; composting; and water conservation.

 

We also may offer field trips that support the classroom training.

When is Training offered?

Training for 2021 started in early September for 11 weeks and wraps up in November. 

 

We use a hybrid model combining in-person and distance learning via Zoom, and we follow current COVID 19 protocols.  Classes meet twice a week on Wednesdays and Fridays.  Attendance at all class sessions is strongly recommended. The cost of the training program is $250. 

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Volunteer Commitment

In addition to the training classes, Master Gardener Interns must complete 50 hours of volunteer service within in one year of the start of the class to become a Texas Master Gardener.  If class begins on September 10, for example, trainees have until September 10th of the following year to complete their volunteer hours.

How will I get volunteer hours?

The type of service done by Master Gardeners varies according to community needs, and the abilities and interests of the Master Gardeners. Our current volunteer projects include our annual Plant Sale, working in the eight community and demonstration gardens across the county, or answering questions at our library and event-based information booths. 

 

We maintain a propagation and demonstration greenhouse at Jacob’s Well Natural area, grow produce for local food banks across the county and serve our community through our Youth and Community Education and Speakers Bureau presentations. 

Hays County Master Gardeners are representatives of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. In all volunteer work related to the program, Master Gardeners follow the research-based recommendations of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and use Earth-Kind® principles.

2021TRAINING CLASS SCHEDULE & GUIDELINES

 

Our 2021 Training Class began September 10th

Registration for the upcoming class is open. We use a hybrid model combining in-person and distance learning via Zoom, and we follow current COVID 19 protocols. You can print the application from the button below, email your request for an application to bkconley@ag.tamu.edu or pick up an application at the Hays County Extension office, 200 Stillwater Road in Wimberley.

Course Information

The course has a hybrid format with in-person classes on Fridays and Zoom classes on Wednesdays and Fridays. Classes begin September 10 and end November 19, 2021. You are welcome to bring a sack lunch on the six-hour, in-person training days. Lunch will be provided on the first and last days of class.

Class locations:

Freeman Center, Fulton Ranch Rd., San Marcos

Cedars Ranch, 506 Burnet Ranch Rd., Wimberley

Jacobs Well Natural Area, 1699 Mount Sharp Rd., Wimberley

Class schedule (click here)

Absence and Make-up Guidelines

 Before submitting your application, please read the guidelines below: 

  • The hours for the course are designed to allow for 6 hours absence without requiring a make-up.  Any hours beyond 6 will need to be made up.

  • In-Person Classes:  Only one in-person class may be missed.  These classes are difficult to make up, but we will work with you to identify a means to do so if necessary.

  • Zoom Sessions:  Up to 5 (3 hours each) sessions may be missed.  The Zoom sessions will be recorded.  You will be required to watch the missed session and write a summary using bullet points identifying the top 10 take-aways from the session.  This summary must be submitted to the Training Director within one week of the session missed.

 

There will be a comprehensive test at the end of the course.  Trainees will be allowed to use class notes.

NOTE: The Master Gardener program is an educational and volunteer program offered through the Cooperative Extension Service of the Texas A&M University system. Educational programs of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service are open to all people without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, genetic information or veteran status.