Becoming a Master Gardener!
WSU Jefferson County trains new Master Gardeners to be effective community educators in gardening and environmental stewardship. We are continuing our rich tradition, welcoming new members every year. The WSU Extension Master Gardener Program is open to everyone with an interest in gardening and a willingness to use their knowledge, experience, and enthusiasm to make a positive impact on their local community.
In this eleven week class, you will be enrolled in an online course provided by WSU and attend local lectures and hands-on horticultural training. Training occurs at the WSU Classroom in Port Hadlock for eleven Thursdays, from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm. The cost for this course is $265 and is paid in two steps. First, send in the application along with $190, paid to WSU Jefferson County Extension. Once you’re registered for the class, you will receive a link to sign up for the online portion of the training and will pay the remaining $75 electronically to WSU.
Registration with payment due is August, but we recommend your register early as the class fills quickly. Mail applications back to: Master Gardener Coordinator, WSU Jefferson County Extension, 121 Oak Bay Road., Port Hadlock, WA 98339.
The online portion of the training course is divided into modules that cover the core competencies for WSU Master Gardener volunteers in the state. These modules include Botany and Plant ID, Soils and Plant Nutrition, Entomology, Plant Pathology and Plant Problem Diagnosis, Weed Management, IPM and Pesticides, Woody Landscape Plants, Herbaceous Landscape Plants, Lawns, Fruit Crops, Vegetables, Sustainable Gardening, Vertebrate Pests and Houseplants/greenhouses. Each online module consists of presentations by WSU faculty, chapter readings from the WSU Master Gardener Manual, videos, exercises, and other resources. Quizzes for each module are based on the Training Manual chapter(s) included in modules. Computer web access is necessary for compatibility.
In the classroom, we supplement the online content with additional lectures on horticultural topics from local experts, field trips to outstanding local and regional garden and farms, and hands-on learning activities with experienced Master Gardener volunteers.
Upon completion your training, we ask you to give a minimum volunteer commitment of 40 hours each year for two years working on Master Gardener projects or approved outreach projects of your own design (80 hours total). Scholarships are available.
Cost of the training without the volunteer commitment is $575, of which $75 is paid directly to WSU. There are a limited number of full-tuition students, which are usually, but not limited to, horticultural professionals who don’t have the time to volunteer.
What Do Master Gardeners Do?
- Serve the community and enjoy the camaraderie of great people who love gardening, learning, and serving.
- Assist the public diagnosing their plant problems, and learning sustainable garden practices in plant clinics.
- Participate in the design, development, and maintenance of the Demonstration Gardens in Port Townsend and Port Hadlock. Donate vegetables from demonstration plots to local food banks and soup kitchens.
- Develop and present fun and stimulating plant and gardening related educational programs for school children across Jefferson County.
- Conduct classes, workshops, and demonstrations for the general public about a wide variety of horticulture topics.
- Teach, facilitate, or assist new Master Gardener trainings.
- Participate in continuing education to further develop personal gardening knowledge and skills.
- Conduct plant sales to provide plants to the public at affordable prices (Master Gardener Foundation of Jefferson County (MGFCC) fundraiser to support MG educational outreach).
- Put on the annual Secret Garden Tour of beautiful and unique area gardens (MGFJC fundraiser to support MG educational outreach).
- Staff Master Gardener information booths at the Jefferson County Fair, the Conservation District Native Plant Workshop, and other events.
If you are looking for a way to expand your gardening knowledge, serve your community, and continue your personal growth, we hope you will consider joining this premier volunteer program created and administered by Washington State University (WSU).