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Master Gardener FAQs

Who are Master Gardeners?

Master Gardeners are passionate gardeners and dedicated volunteers charged with the mission of improving the practice of horticulture and developing the public’s understanding and enjoyment of plants and the environment. The majority of Master Gardener Programs are sponsored by state-university extension. The Massachusetts Horticultural Society is one of the few nonprofit horticultural organizations in the U.S. that is affiliated with a Master Gardener Volunteer program.

The Massachusetts Master Gardener Association (MMGA) acts as a bridge between the Massachusetts Horticultural Society and the community. The program’s experienced and trained volunteers provide invaluable horticultural information and resources to the gardening public through their outreach work answering gardening questions for callers to the HelpLine, running informational booths at community events, giving garden lectures through the Master Gardener Speakers' Bureau, and acting as docents at MassHort events and sites. Master Gardeners also help facilitate the execution of educational programs sponsored by MassHort.

What are the benefits of becoming a Massacusetts Master Gardener?

The satisfaction and reward that comes from extending your knowledge and awareness of plants and the environment to others is one of the greatest benefits of this program. Additional benefits include opportunities to interact with fellow MGs, exchange gardening information, plants, and stories, further your own horticultural education, and attend advanced training sessions, garden tours, social events and regional and national conferences.

How does one become a Master Gardener Volunteer?

Individuals who successfully complete the Master Gardener Training Program Class and fulfill sixty volunteer hours become Certified Master Gardeners. Once certified, the individual continues to volunteer and to further his or her horticultural knowledge.

What are the requirements for acceptance into the program?

There are two basic requirements. The first requirement is to possess a passion for plants and the environment. The second requirement is to pledge a commitment to volunteer as a MassHort Master Gardener. While it is helpful, gardening or horticultural experience is not required.

What does the training process consist of?

The training, which meets once a week for 13 weeks, consists of lectures, demonstrations and hands-on-learning opportunities covering an array of horticultural subjects such as pruning, soil, garden design, turf, plants, insects and diseases. Candidates are required to complete the course satisfactorily before initiating the volunteering phase. The training class is offered in the spring and the fall. (read more).

What is the application process?
The candidate completes an application form and submits it accompanied with a nonrefundable deposit.  For questions or further information, please e-mail the Education Coordinator, Sonja Johanson, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

About the Massachusetts Horticultural Society

Massachusetts Horticultural Society LogoFounded in 1829, the Massachusetts Horticultural Society is dedicated to encouraging the science and practice of horticulture and developing the public's enjoyment, appreciation, and understanding of plants and the environment.

2015 Calendar & Courses

Mass Hort Calendar Courses 2015

Mass Hort Classes & Events

Wed Apr 01 @ 7:00PM - 08:30PM
Sustainable Landscapes For Life
Tue Apr 07 @ 6:30PM - 08:00PM
Fundamentals of Landscape Design
Thu Apr 16 @ 7:00PM - 08:30PM
Color Gardens: Beautiful Perennial Combinations for Spring through Frost
Thu Apr 23 @ 7:00PM - 08:30PM
Improving Your Garden Soil Sustainably: Get the Most Out of Your Plants
Sat Apr 25 @ 9:00AM - 12:00PM
Earth Day at Mass Hort
Thu Apr 30 @ 7:00PM - 08:30PM
Passing Along the Passion: Sowing the Seeds for Lifelong Horticultural Appreciation
Thu May 07 @ 7:30PM - 08:00PM
Super Fruits
Thu May 14 @ 7:00PM - 08:30PM
What do I do NOW? (for my vegetable garden)
Sat May 16 @ 8:00AM - 03:00PM
Gardeners' Fair at Elm Bank
Sat May 30 @ 9:00AM - 01:00PM
Reading the Forested Landscape with Tom Wessels
Sat May 30 @10:00AM - 04:00PM
Botanical Art for Beginners
Tue Jun 02 @ 6:00PM - 08:30PM
Garden to Table's Spring Dinner in the Crockett Garden
Thu Jun 04 @ 7:00PM - 08:30PM
Ecology of the Garden
Sat Jun 06 @10:00AM - 12:00PM
Farming Exhibits of the Smithsonian
Thu Jun 18 @ 7:00PM - 08:30PM
Spring Foraging Walk and Talk With Russ Cohen