Become a Master Gardener


Do you enjoy gardening? Do you wish you had a greater knowledge of plants and how to make your garden grow Would you like to be able share you newly gained knowledge with others? If you would you like to join a group who loves to share its knowledge and love of plants, then consider becoming a Master Gardener.

New Jersey Master Gardeners are trained volunteers who assist Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES) Cooperative Extension in its mission to deliver horticulture programs and information to the general public. Anyone with an interest in gardening and a commitment to volunteer service can become a Master Gardener. No previous education or training in horticulture is required.

Students are required to complete a training program that runs from September through May. These classes are taught by Rutgers professors and New Jersey horticultural experts.  To become a certified Master Gardener, you must complete 60 hours of volunteer service on one of our committees or in any of our supported gardens. Please check out “Where we Volunteer” on this website. 

The first day of the program will be Wednesday, Sept. 29th at 10 AM on Zoom.

This year’s training will be organized differently than in past years, not the least of which being that it will be offered online -at least until early 2022 (which will be decided by the pandemic.) The other difference is that the weekly lecture may not be on the same day of the week (Wednesday) or time (9 am -12:30 pm.) Because of Zoom, I am able to invite a broader range of lecturers to teach, and while my target of a Wednesday morning class is my first choice, there may be some speakers who are unable to accommodate that request. They may be available on a Thursday afternoon, or a Tuesday morning. The schedule of classes will be shared with you so that you can adjust your calendar.  The lectures will also be recorded, so that if a Thursday class does not fit your calendar, you will be able to hear the lecture at your convenience.
The fact that the lectures will be recorded means that some people may only attend the training by viewing the recorded sessions during the evening or weekend. For these students I will make available an evening review session to answer any questions raised by a lecture. The review session will be Wednesday evenings from 7 – 8 pm.  
To meet the requirements of becoming a certified Rutgers Master Gardener volunteer there will be required participation in a variety of training and volunteer activities. One example: The horticulturalist of Branch Brook Park will give a lecture on pruning trees and shrubs online, with a pruning field practice at Branch Brook Park where 10 hours of pruning practice will be a requisite of completing training. The pruning practice will be scheduled by each student with the staff at Branch Brook Park. So, some students might be pruning on a Monday morning, some on a Tuesday afternoon and maybe a few more on a Saturday. The ten hours of practice would be completed over multiple days.
Program fee is $300.00 which will be due at the beginning of class.

Download and print the application and send it in!

Click here to learn more about the Rutgers Master Gardener program.  Also see

Rutgers NJAES Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Program Policies & Procedures