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How To Become a Texas Master Gardener

Training and contact information, plus resources for gardeners

Anyone with an interest in gardening and enough spare time to complete program requirements may apply to become a Texas master gardener.

Initial certification requires that trainees attend a minimum of 50 hours in specialized courses, which are offered once a year, and fulfill at least 50 hours of volunteer service within one year. Some extension agents administer a final exam. Annual recertification requires a minimum of six hours of continuing education and 12 hours of volunteer service.

Class curricula and program requirements vary by county. Course fees, which range from $95 to $250, cover study materials and other costs. Some programs offer scholarships. For more information, contact your county extension agent, or statewide coordinator Jayla Fry at (979) 845-3308 or jbfry@tamu.edu. Visit mastergardener.tamu.edu.

Texas Master Gardener Publications and Resources

Composting: Recycling Yard and Food Waste, Cameron County Master Gardener Association, two-page brochure, free online

EnviroSmart, Rockwall County Master Gardeners, outreach newsletter published quarterly, free online

The Gardener’s Table Cookbook: Recipes from the Master Gardeners of Cameron County, 400 recipes and a monthly to-do list for Cameron County yards and gardens, 2013; $15, Cameron County Extension, (956) 361-8236

Garden Wise Gazette, Collin County Master Gardeners, outreach gardening newsletter published six times a year, free online

Guidelines for Starting a Community Garden, Tarrant County Master Gardener Association, free online booklet

Gulf Coast Gardening, Galveston County Master Gardeners, outreach gardening newsletter published six times a year, free online

Herbs for the Upper Gulf Coast of Texas, Galveston County Master Gardeners, free online 100-page booklet

How to Grow More Than Rocks in Blanco County, Texas, Blanco County Master Gardener Association, 2014; $13, Blanco County Extension, (830) 868-7167

In Our Coastal Gardens, Aransas/San Patricio Master Gardeners, free online plant-selection guide, print version available, (361) 790-0103

Our Edible Landscape, Galveston County Master Gardeners, free online guide, print version available, $12, (281) 534-3413