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NC State Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program

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NC State Extension Master Gardener volunteers are members of the local community who take an active interest in their lawns, trees, shrubs, and gardens. They are enthusiastic, willing to learn and help others. What sets these volunteers apart from other home gardeners is their special training in horticulture and their willingness to educate others. In exchange for their training, Master Gardeners contribute time as volunteers, work through their Cooperative Extension Center to provide horticulture-related information to the public.


Once you successfully complete the training program and pass the open book final exam, you will begin a volunteer internship. During your internship, you will learn even more about plants and people. Master Gardeners function as resource individuals for horticultural questions that come into their local Extension center.

Volunteer Training

If accepted into the Extension Master Gardener program you will attend a training course. Classes are taught by Extension staff and local experts. The program offers a minimum of 40 hours of instruction on horticulture topics including lawns; ornamental trees and shrubs; insect, disease, and weed management; soils and plant nutrition; vegetable gardening; home fruit production; garden flowers; and water conservation. You will receive a North Carolina Master Gardener training manual — full of comprehensive horticultural subjects. It will be a valuable tool in answering homeowners’ plant questions.

Examples of volunteer service include:

  • diagnose plant, insect, and disease problems
  • staff plant clinics and educational exhibits
  • design a demonstration or community garden
  • lecture on various gardening topics
  • bring the joy of gardening to citizens and young children

How Do I Become a Master Gardener Volunteer?

View and print the Extension Master Gardener Application

Send a completed application to:

Spencer Thomas
N.C. Cooperative Extension
PO Box 129, 201 St. Andrew Street
Tarboro, NC 27886

Is This Program Right For Me?

Do I want to learn more about the culture and maintenance of many types of plants? Am I eager to participate in a practical and intense training program? Am I willing to take an exam at the end of the class? Do I look forward to sharing my knowledge with people in my community? Do I have enough time to attend all training classes and to serve as a volunteer? Can I volunteer on weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.? If you answer all these questions yes, then you are a prime candidate.

Certified Extension Master Gardeners & Trainees:

Social Media and Extension Master Gardeners:

Extension Gardener™ is a statewide horticultural program that provides timely, research-based horticultural information. It helps North Carolinians:

  • Increase their gardening knowledge
  • Manage their landscapes
  • Sustain the environment

NC Extension Master Gardeners – Facebook Page

NC Extension Master Gardener Volunteer – Public Site – do you:

  • Need Gardening Help?
  • Want to Support the Master Gardening Program?
  • Want to Become a Master Gardener Volunteer?
  • Want to Check out what Master Gardener events are going on in your county?