University of Vermont

Become a Master Gardener

Certified Extension Master Gardeners are trained in research-based home horticulture practices and they apply this knowledge in their communities through volunteer efforts. Over 3,000 Vermonters have taken the Extension Master Gardener (EMG) course since the program started in 1991 and there are currently more than 900 active volunteers. If you are ...

  • Eager to participate in a practical and intensive training program;
  • Looking forward to sharing your knowledge and experience with your community;
  • Willing to serve as an EMG volunteer and have enough time to attend the training, this program may be for you.

There are two steps to becoming certified as an Extension Master Gardener (EMG) in Vermont:

1. Complete the UVM Extension Master Gardener (EMG) Course

  • Instructors are UVM faculty and Vermont horticulture professionals.
  • Curriculum covers the fundamentals of home gardening focused on the plant and soil sciences, including: soils and soil fertility, plant pests and disease management, fruit and vegetable production, healthy lawn management, annual and perennial culture, caring for shrubs and trees, introduction to landscape design, and invasive pest and plant control.
  • Content is specific to the Vermont environment and local needs so that you can put your classroom knowledge to work in your community!
  • Learn more about the UVM Extension Master Gardener course.

2. Volunteer 40 Hours - Share your knowledge!

Volunteers hard at work

A volunteer internship is the way for you to apply your classroom knowledge to real needs in your community. To complete your internship, you'll:

  • Work under the direction of your local Extension Master Gardener Chapter.
  • Partner with Certified Extension Master Gardeners on approved local projects.
  • Have until December of the following year to complete your 40 hours: interns from the 2016 course will have until December 2017.

Examples of volunteer work include staffing educational exhibits at local events and libraries, conducting community workshops, writing a column for your local paper, or working on established EMG garden projects.

The program coordinator will coach and support your efforts, helping you to determine how to use your time most effectively.

Enjoy being a certified Extension Master Gardener

Planting time in the greenhouse

Becoming certified is the beginning of many great opportunities for Extension Master Gardener members. You'll be eligible to attend member only events such as; private garden tours, advanced horticulture lectures, hands-on workshops, and EMG community projects in your local EMG chapter. These activities are a great way to spend time with fellow horticulture enthusiasts while expanding your gardening education!

  • Become part of a network of Extension Master Gardeners ... over 50,000 nationwide.
  • Attend Advanced Courses, workshops, and seminars that detail subjects like landscape planning, pest identification, and composting.
  • Join numerous gatherings and garden visits where you can meet other Extension Master Gardeners who share your gardening interests.
  • Access the entire EMG website for statewide news, events, and volunteer opportunity listings.
  • Continue to improve your community through active volunteer projects.
  • Share your knowledge across Vermont through education and community activities.
  • Promote successful and environmentally safe home horticulture practices.

To remain an active Master Gardener Volunteer, you'll need to complete 20 hours of approved volunteer service and 5 hours of continuing education annually.


Are you already an EMG in another state? Find out how to transfer to UVM Extension Master Gardener.


For more information, please call the Extension Master Gardener administrative office at (802) 656-9562 or email us at

Last modified February 02 2016 02:55 PM