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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 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?

Hays County currently offers Master Gardener training once a year. Our 2023 class will start September 8 and end November 17. Classes typically meet twice a week on Tuesdays and Fridays. We use a hybrid model combining in-person and distance learning via Zoom. Registration for our 2023 class is now open.  For details and an application see below.




Volunteer Commitment

In addition to the training classes, Master Gardener Interns must complete 50 hours of volunteer service within one year of the start of the class to become a Texas Master Gardener. For this class beginning September 8, 2023, trainees have until September 30th, 2024 to complete their volunteer hours. Ten of the fifty volunteer hours must be spent working alongside a Master Gardener at one of the library or event based information tables.

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.


Training Registration

The 11-week class began Friday, September 8 and concludes on Friday, November 17, 2023. We are using a hybrid format with in-person classes on five Fridays and distance learning through Zoom on Tuesdays and Fridays for six weeks. To view or print the application click here. If you wish to receive a fillable application with a live link to pay using Square, please email

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.  

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.

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