Master Gardener Programs
Virginia Master Gardeners are volunteer educators who work within their communities to encourage and promote environmentally sound horticulture practices though sustainable landscape management education and training.
As an educational program of Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE), Virginia Master Gardener's bring the resource of Virginia's land grant universities, Virginia Tech and Virginia State University to the people of the commonwealth.
Extension Master Gardeners work specifically toward the following goals:
- Enhancing the environment through sustainable landscape practices.
- Producing food in public and private gardens to improve human nutrition and food security.
- Using horticulture and landscaping to positively impact youth and improve the overall quality of life for Virginia's Citizens.
Become a Master Gardener - Master Gardener Class 2022 is full!
Please email Chesterfield Cooperative Extension if you would like to be put on a waitlist for next year.
Extension Master Gardeners assist Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) in delivering horticulture education programs to the community. Services include staffing the Master Gardener Help Desk, maintaining the Demonstration Gardens and presenting educational material in a variety of channels. While COVID-19 has changed much about the daily activities of Master Gardeners, their dedication to educating and serving the citizens of Chesterfield County remains the same.
Accepted applicants will receive a minimum of 50 hours of horticultural training before volunteering 50 completion of the classroom and volunteer requirements, interns will graduate as Master Gardeners, and maintain their status with continuing education and volunteer time requirements each subsequent year.
Important Dates and Deadlines
- Applications have closed for this year.
- Applicants Notified of Acceptance: Friday, Dec. 3, 2021 (by close of business)
- Classes: Jan. 24 - March 24, 2022
- Mondays: 9 a.m. – Noon, Virtual (synchronous or asynchronous)
- Tuesdays: 9 a.m. – Noon, Virtual (synchronous or asynchronous)
- Thursdays: 4-7 p.m., In-person, Chesterfield County Central Library Classroom F
The 2022 training will be held virtually on Mondays and Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to noon, and in-person on Thursdays from 4-7 p.m. (conditions permitting). Training will begin on Monday, Jan. 24 and end on Thursday, March 24. The fee for the course is $200 which includes the 500+ page Virginia EMG Handbook and additional course materials. The training schedule includes classes in basic plant growth and development; fruits, tree, and shrub identification; vegetables; weeds; diseases; insects; and related horticulture subjects. The class fee includes a kit of materials that will allow trainees to participate in hands-on activities guided by instructors in the virtual classes.
The hybrid nature of our training allows us to blend the flexibility of virtual learning with the effectiveness of hands-on learning. Monday’s and Tuesday’s virtual classes will be conducted on Zoom and can be joined live from 9 a.m. to noon. If your schedule prevents you from participating at that time, the classes will be available to view asynchronously later that day. All progress measurements (quizzes/tests) for this portion will be taken online. Thursday’s in-person sessions will take place at the Chesterfield County Library Classroom F, directly across from the County Extension Office, from 4-7 p.m. Assessments for this portion may be conducted on site or online. Master Gardener Trainees are responsible for all content presented. A maximum of two sessions can be missed and made up by attending another MG Chapter’s equivalent session.
The Master Gardener program is open to all Chesterfield county residents and to Virginia residents outside of the County who choose to give their volunteer hours within Chesterfield. Virginia Cooperative Extension programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law.
Download the the Master Gardener Class 2022 Fact Sheet (PDF).
- There is a $200 fee to cover costs of training materials. (Price subject to change)
- Classes will be held from January to March.
After completing classroom training, participants serve a 50-hour internship with the Extension Office and help conduct educational programs for the general public.
Horticulture Aspects Covered
The Master Gardener volunteer training program includes all aspects of horticulture, including the following:
- Annuals, Bulbs, and Perennials
- Attracting Beneficial Wildlife
- Botany and Propagation
- Home Fruit and Indoor Plants
- IPM and Pesticide Safety
- Landscape Design
- Plant Disease
- Soils and Composting
- Vegetable Gardening
- Water Quality
Volunteer projects provide guidance on sustainable landscapes. Volunteers can conduct plant clinics at local nurseries, farmer’s markets and garden centers. They can also oversee teaching and demonstration gardens and staff the VCE Master Gardener Help Desk.
Locally, Chesterfield Extension Master Gardeners make a difference by participating in specific projects including:
- Gardening Classes: Short seminars on numerous gardening topics either for local organizations or to the public at local libraries
- Grass Roots Lawn Care Program: Personalized lawn care recommendations based on a site evaluation and soil test.
- Landscape for Life Program: A six-week series on landscape design, sustainability and maintenance.
- Learn your Landscape Program: Site evaluation and information about residents' back yards.
Master Gardeners are developing gardens to teach homeowners, Master Gardeners, youth, green industry professionals and others about a range of issues including water conservation, pollinator preservation, food production, sustainable maintenance practices and locally adapted plants.