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Master Gardener Program

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The WVU Extension Master Gardener Program provides people interested in gardening with the opportunity to expand their knowledge and sharpen their skills by taking part in Basic/Level 1 and Advanced/Level 2 training programs that provide in-depth training in various aspects of horticulture.

The program helps residents better understand horticultural and environmental issues through community engagement in gardening and beautification projects at schools, parks, public institutions, community organizations, and locations throughout the state.

Benefits of becoming a WVU Extension Master Gardener

Among the many benefits for getting involved with the WVU Extension Master Gardener program, here are the highest-ranking ones:

  • Getting to know more about gardening and horticulture to expand personal horizons and be able to help others
  • Significant improvements in quality of life, including physical activity, social activity, self-esteem and nutrition
  • Offers opportunities for professional development through continuing training opportunities
  • Meeting like-minded people and engaging in the garden activities you are passionate about
  • Opportunities to assume responsibility
  • Encourages individual independence
  • Gaining respect in the community for your newly developed horticultural skills
  • Flexibility to conduct volunteer work

How do you join?

The first step is to contact your county office and ask about the training program. Under normal circumstances, the WVU Extension Master Gardener Program is offered through our local WVU Extension Service offices. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the training program has been migrated to an online platform. You will still need to contact your local WVU Extension Service office to go over the registration, fees, paperwork and how to get the manuals.

The Fall 2021 training series will run from August 26 until November 23.

Over the course of the 17-session online training program, you will receive 51 hours of instruction in a variety of topics, including botany, plant propagation, entomology, pesticides and pest management, plant disease, soil science and nutritional management, turfgrass management, vegetable gardening, tree fruits, small fruit, pruning, landscape design, woody ornamentals, indoor plants, herbaceous plants and garden wildlife management.

From there, pass a test and complete 40 hours of initial volunteer work and you’ll have earned the right to call yourself a WVU Extension Master Gardener.

What then?

Get out and help others grow while you grow your knowledge! Each year, a WVU Extension Master Gardener must complete 20 volunteer hours and 10 additional hours of horticulture training. Opportunities to volunteer are numerous, everything from helping your local WVU Extension agent answer questions to community beautification projects, coordinating school gardening programs to helping maintain the demonstration garden at the state fairgrounds in Fairlea — just to name a few.

There are numerous opportunities to connect with fellow Master Gardeners, not only in your community, but also across the state. The West Virginia Master Gardener Association hosts an annual conference that allows Master Gardeners from all over West Virginia to share ideas and projects and learn from expert speakers and interactive tours. 

If you have questions about the program, contact your local WVU Extension Service office to get started today.

Master Gardener Member Resources

How to order a WVU Extension Master Gardener Manual

County Master Gardener Program coordinators are responsible for signing up new trainees and will take care of ordering the manuals for those participants. Each coordinator will submit their county’s manual order to the WVU Extension Service Agriculture and Natural Resources office by contacting the office manager, Katie Herlihy ( with copy to Mira Danilovich, WVU Extension Master Gardener Program Coordinator ( The office will prepare the invoice and send it with the shipment of the manuals.

Manuals are available in two formats: a printed version and an electronic version. Printed manuals are $75, and the electronic version is $30. You will find all the related information covered in 22 chapters across more than 1,000 pages.

Master Gardener Annual Awards

Extensional Master Gardener Association

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Master Gardener News & Events

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Become a Master Gardener in Fall 2021
female planting in a garden

WVU Extension Service Master Gardener training, typically offered through in-person courses organized by WVU Extension Service offices around the state, will once again be available online via Zoom sessions. 

Something we learned through this COVID-induced way of conducting our training is that many people found it very appealing and wanted to have the online training opportunity again this fall. Some counties are starting to offer in-person sessions, but given the volatility of the COVID situation, the best approach is to have a hybrid platform. 

Register for the 2021 Master Gardener Conference

The 25th annual Master Gardener Conference will be held virtually on March 20-21, 2021 via Zoom. 

This year's event is free and open to everyone, from beginners to garden experts. To register and find more information about the schedule and speakers, visit the Master Gardener Conference.

West Virginia Extension Master Gardener Program.

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Upcoming Extension Master Gardener Events

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