About the New Hampshire Master Gardener Program



    The Master Gardener program started at Washington State University in 1973. The name came from the German word “Gartenmeister,” which roughly translated means “Master Gardener.” The originators of the program had worked in Germany and learned that Germans bestow titles for hard‐earned proficiency levels in various crafts.

    The New Hampshire program started in 1993. Master Gardeners are trained volunteers, who share their enthusiasm for gardening with the general public.
    By serving as volunteer educators in their community, Master Gardeners help UNH Cooperative Extension reach more people.

    A Master Gardener is a:

    • volunteer who is willing to work on horticultural projects that extend the outreach capabilities of UNH Cooperative Extension
    • gardener with interest, experience and knowledge of any type of gardening
    • teacher who is eager to share gardening knowledge and experience with others
    • student curious to learn scientifically-based gardening information

    This is a volunteer program and is not to be used for professional advancement or commercial advertising.
    Some projects that Master Gardeners are involved with:

    • Education Center Infoline - answering garden questions from the public
    • School/youth gardens - using school gardens to teach many topics
    • Community gardens - helping residents learn to grow their own food
    • Historical museum and nature center garden interpretation - providing interpretation about past and current garden benefits
    • Speakers Bureau - presenting approved programs to garden clubs, library groups and other civic organizations
    • Writing articles for local publications - sharing knowledge via written media
    • Ask a Master Gardener Info Booth - providing knowledge at Farmers’ Markets, community fairs, public expos

    Next In-person Class

    The fall 2024 Master Gardener Volunteer training will run from September 5-November 21, on 12 Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. The location has not been finalized; however it is likely to be in the southwestern part of the state and residents from that region will be given priority.

     If the dates and location are not convenient, applications may be submitted for future classes which will take place in other parts of the state. We will also be offering a hybrid class in 2025, open to a wider geographic area.

     Applications are welcome at any time. The deadline for the fall class is July 19, or when full.

    The fee for the class is $300 plus $25 for a printed manual (electronic versions are available for free). Financial assistance is available. Anyone who is interested in the training must complete an application and qualified applicants will be interviewed prior to acceptance into the class.

    Submit an Application


    Master Gardener Hybrid Training Class

    If in-person participation is not convenient for you, our hybrid training offers a combination of self-paced on-line learning, evening Zoom meetings and a few Saturday in-person and hands-on opportunities.

    Watch for more information for the 2025 hybrid class schedule.

     Questions? Contact Ruth Smith at ruth.smith@unh.edu.

    The cost of the training is $300. However, we believe that cost should never be a deterrent, so financial aid and payment plans are available to those who need it. Once accepted into the training, please request aid. In addition, there is a $45.00 charge to access the on-line website containing all the course materials.  This will be available to you after the course ends as well.  

    Submit an Application


    Master Gardener Program Manager
    Phone: 603-351-3831
    Office: Cooperative Extension, Taylor Hall, Durham, NH 03824