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:
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 2023 Master Gardener training will run from September 7 – November 30 (every Thursday from 9-4) and will be held at the Brookside Congregational Church in Manchester.
Applications for the fall In-person class are no longer being accepted (the deadline was July 31, 2023). However applications may be submitted for future classes which will take place in other parts of the state. The location of the spring class (March – May 2024) has not yet been chosen. Applications for the fall hybrid training will be accepted until August 15, 2023. See below for details.
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.
Applications for the 2023-2024 hybrid Master Gardener training class are no longer being accepted (the deadline was August 15). However applications may be submitted for future classes at any time.
Learning will be self-paced & on-line, mixed with Zoom meetings and site visits to suit a variety of schedules.
The training will take place in three sessions:
Fall 2023: Wednesday September 13– Saturday October 14
Winter 2024: Wednesday January 31 – Saturday February 24
Spring 2024: Wednesday March 27 – Wednesday April 17.
Zoom meetings on Wednesday 5:30-7:30 will allow you to ask questions, meet Extension experts, and learn about the next unit. Each session will require two in-person site visits scheduled for alternate Saturdays.
Because all site visits are within Grafton County, priority will be given to Grafton County residents. Enrollment will be limited to 25 participants.
The delivery of information for this program is mostly on-line. Therefore, in order to participate, you will need to have reliable computer access and reasonable internet bandwidth. We are committed to insuring that anyone who wants to take the hybrid training can do so and will work with your local library to ensure sustained access to a computer and to the internet for anyone who needs support. Please let us know how we can help.
A Zoom-based interview will be required prior to acceptance into the training program.
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.