Training Program

2021 Master Gardener Volunteer Training Program

The Master Gardener Volunteer training will take place online in 2021 and will include self-paced learning modules coupled with live virtual sessions where participants will have direct access to dozens of horticultural experts from across the state. The course, designed to train volunteers for horticulture and food system related community service projects, will cover vegetable and fruit production, plants for the Maine landscape, soil health, composting, pesticide safety, food security, and more. Participants will be expected to engage in fun volunteer opportunities over the summer months and beyond. 

The application period for the 2021 Master Gardener Volunteer Program is now closed. We are no longer accepting applications.

Course Fee: $250 (limited financial assistance is available)

Course Schedule: The training program will be divided into two parts, a spring and fall semester, which will take place:

  • Spring semester: March 1 to May 23, 2021
  • Fall semester: September 7 to October 31, 2021 

Program Requirements:

  • 2 to 4 hours of self-paced learning content in the form of short videos, readings, activities, online discussions and self-graded quizzes each week 
  • County led sessions, the first and last virtual sessions of each semester (4 total)
    • Optional: Panel Q&A sessions with Extension experts and industry experts (attendance is highly recommended)
  • A mid-term and final assessment (open-book, grade of 70% required to pass)
  • Volunteer at least 40 hours on a community project (includes virtual volunteer opportunities) in 2021 to complete certification. Please note: Service opportunities and expectations will be adjusted based on public health safety guidelines.
    • In order to maintain the Master Gardener Volunteer certification, volunteers must commit to volunteering a minimum of 20 hours every calendar year with an approved project and submit an annual enrollment form.

Technology Requirements:  This program will be entirely online. An email address, access to a reliable internet connection, the newest version of your web browser and an electronic device (i.e. laptop, desktop, iPad, or tablet) with video/audio capabilities are required to complete this course.

Accommodations: If you need a reasonable accommodation, please contact us at or 207-581-3188 by January 24, 2021. If requests are received after this date, we may not have sufficient time to make necessary arrangements.

Refund Policy: 50% refunds will be available until March 8th. 

Live Virtual Sessions: These sessions will take place for about 1½ hours the same time every week (only 4 are required). Please check your county meeting time below and the course schedule for more details. 

  • Tuesdays at 6pm: Aroostook, Androscoggin, Cumberland, Franklin, Oxford, Penobscot, Piscataquis, Sagadahoc and Somerset counties
  • Wednesdays at 12pm: Hancock, Kennebec, Knox, Lincoln, Waldo, Washington and York counties

Course Schedule (tentative)

Week of Self-Paced Content

Live Virtual Sessions (*Required)

March 1 Pre-work: Intro and Orientation to Brightspace One-on-one Brightspace/Zoom training sessions (15 min each)
March 8 Orientation & Volunteerism County Led Session: Welcome and Introductions *
March 15 Botany Botany Activities and Panel Q&A
March 22 Propagation Plant Propagation Tips & Tricks
March 29 Soils Panel Q&A: What’s your soil wellness routine?
April 5 Small Fruits Panel Q&A: So you want to start a new volunteer project?
April 12 Food Safety Panel Q&A: Small Fruits and Food Safety in the Garden
April 19 Pesticide Safety  
April 26 Plant Diseases Panel Q&A Plant Diseases and Pesticide Safety
May 3 Vegetables Panel Q&A Vegetable Crops
May 10 Vegetables Maintenance Panel Q&A Vegetables Maintenance
May 17 Mid Term Exam County Led Session: Spring Semester Wrap Up *



Week of Self-Paced Content

Live Virtual Sessions (*Required)

September 7 Food Systems and Food Security County Led Session: Fall Semester Welcome Back *
September 13 Plants For the Maine Landscape (part 1) Panel Q&A: Food System and Food Security
September 20 Plants For the Maine Landscape (part 2) Panel Q&A: Landscape Design & Maintenance
September 27 Landscape Design and Maintenance Panel Q&A: Plants for the Maine Landscape
October 4 Entomology Panel Q&A: Entomology, Ticks and Pesticide Safety
October 11 Tree Fruits Panel Q&A: Tree Fruits
October 18 Composting Panel Q&A: Composting
October 25 Final Exam County Led Session: Final Assessment and Wrap Ups *