University of Maryland Extension

Master Gardener Volunteer Training

Our application period for the Master Gardener Volunteer Program in 2020 is closed.  Join our mailing list to be notified of the next application period.  

If you have any questions about the application or require a paper copy of the application, please contact the University of Maryland Extension Baltimore County office at 410-887-8090 or email

Master Gardener Volunteers

Are dedicated gardening enthusiasts from Baltimore County who, because of their love of gardening and environmental stewardship, have expanded their horticultural education and skills in order to help others. Since 1978 Maryland Master Gardeners have used their knowledge, abilities, and enthusiasm to teach, advise, and assist the general public on a wide range of gardening topics.

Becoming A Master Gardener

First and foremost, the Baltimore County Master Gardener (BCMG) Program is a volunteer program with the primary purpose of sharing safe, effective, and sustainable gardening practices with the community. If you have an interest in gardening, a strong desire to share your time and your gardening knowledge with others, and a love of lifelong learning, you may be a good candidate for the Master Gardener Program.

Master Gardener Application Process

Before being accepted into the Master Gardener Training Class, interested candidates must complete the application process outlined below:

1. Complete the application here. The application involves answering questions about your gardening and volunteer background as well as your special skills and interest areas. Please note, you must also include the names of 3 references on your applications and all 3 must be notified upon submission of your application.

2. The Master Gardener Volunteer Coordinator or a Master Gardener Volunteer will contact you to schedule a phone interview. Your references will be contacted via email.

5. After the phone interviews are completed with all applicants and references have been received, 25-30 Master Gardener Volunteer Trainees will then be selected and invited to complete the training course.

Master Gardener Training

After submitting an application, the prospective Master Gardener Volunteer Trainees who are selected for the program attend approximately 50 hours of formal training in core classes. The classes meet one day a week for 10 weeks. On completion of the class work, all participants are required to pass an open-book, summary exam.

Once they have successfully completed the training program, the participants become Master Gardener Volunteer Interns and work to fulfill the 40 hours of volunteer service that is required for certification as a Baltimore County Master Gardener Volunteer. To retain certification, Master Gardeners must give 20 hours of volunteer service to the community and complete 10 hours of approved continuing education every year.

Master Gardener Training Topics

Class topics include Botany, Plant Propagation, Herbaceous Perennials, Woody Ornamentals, Weed Identification, Soils & Fertilizers, Bay-Wise Landscaping, IPM, Plant Diseases, Vegetable Gardening, Native Plants, Composting, Small Fruits & Trees, Pruning, Turf Management, Introduction to Insects, and Ecology.

Master Gardener Training Fees

The non-refundable registration fee is $275.00. The fee includes supplies, the MG Training Manual, and other supplemental reference materials.



Maintained by the IET Department of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. © 2020. Web Accessibility