What is Master Gardener Education?
In Kitsap County the Master Gardener Educational program consists of an annual 12 week course that begins in January. Training is a combination of online and in-class study being held on Fridays, mid January through to mid April.
The Master Gardener core curriculum includes lectures in basic botany, horticulture, soil science, sustainable garden management, Integrated Pest Management (IPM), plant health care, pesticide safety, entomology, insect pest management, plant pathology, plant disease diagnosis and control, weed identification, and pruning.
In Kitsap County there is a sign up list to join the Master Gardener program. Applications are mailed around the middle of October each year. Approximately fifty students are selected after an mandatory interview process held in November. Fees are $75 for the online portion and $155 for in class supplies and materials. Scholarships and payment options are available upon request.
Master Gardener Certification
Master Gardeners in their first year of training must complete 50 hours of volunteer time in order to be certified in the program. Of these 50 hours, interns must volunteer 16 hours in an assigned clinic site, 8 hours at the extension office clinic, 10 hours in a selected learning garden and 20 hours of approved educational outreach.
In their second year and beyond, certified Master Gardeners are required to participate in 16 hours of approved educational outreach for the public, complete 3 clinic shifts and 10 hours of continuing education for a total of 35 hours yearly.
Master Gardeners are volunteer educators in their community. Those who are seeking education for employment or personal purposes only will want to apply for a Certificate in Horticulture Basics and pay a higher fee which is $75 for the online portion and $350 for the materials and course certificate.
How Do I Apply for Master Gardener Training?
A sign-up list is kept at the Kitsap County Extension office for those interested in the Master Gardener Training class.
For more information about the Horticulture programs at Washington State University Kitsap County Extension, contact the Horticulture Coordinator — 360-337-7157 x6262