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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

Mass Hort logo newFounded 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.

2017-2018 Calendar & Courses

2017-2018 Calendar and Courses

Mass Hort Classes & Events

Thu Mar 22 @ 7:00PM - 08:30PM
Rev Up for Spring: Seed Sowing, Growing and More!
Thu Mar 29 @ 7:00PM - 08:30PM
Vegetable Gardening: Planning, Preparing and Maintaining Your Victory Garden
Tue Apr 03 @ 9:00AM - 12:00PM
Improve Your Watercolor Skills - Morning Course
Tue Apr 03 @12:30PM - 03:30PM
Improve Your Watercolor Skills - Afternoon Course
Thu Apr 05 @ 7:00PM - 08:30PM
Landscaping and Planting Design
Thu Apr 05 @ 7:00PM - 08:30PM
Tips for a Great Jump Start on Your Lawn
Sat Apr 21 @10:00AM - 02:00PM
Grafting Fruit Trees
Thu May 03 @ 7:00PM - 08:30PM
Sun May 06 @10:30AM - 12:00PM
Early Season Gardening Workshop
Thu May 17 @ 7:00PM - 08:30PM
Greenhouse Growing
Tue May 22 @ 1:00PM - 05:00PM
Landscaping for Watershed Health
Wed May 30 @ 9:00AM - 03:00PM
Spring Landscape Tour
Wed Jun 06 @ 7:00PM - 09:00PM
Hands-On Floral Design
Thu Jun 07 @ 7:00PM - 08:30PM
Bio-control of Lily Leaf Beetles
Tue Jun 12 @ 1:00PM - 04:30PM
Eco Printing: Fiber art workshop
Tue Jun 26 @10:30AM - 12:00PM
Explore the Teaching Herb Garden
Wed Jul 11 @10:00AM - 02:00PM
The Art of Planting Design
Wed Jul 18 @ 7:00PM - 08:30PM
Summer Stroll: Garden tour
Sun Jul 22 @10:30AM - 12:00PM
What's Buggin' Me?
Sat Aug 04 @10:30AM - 12:00PM
Fall Planting Workshop
Thu Aug 09 @ 7:00PM - 08:30PM
A Summer Stroll: Garden Tour
Sun Aug 12 @10:00AM - 04:00PM
Meditations in Ink with Bruce Iverson