How to Apply, Training and Fees

Who Can Become a Master Gardener Volunteer?

Everyone who successfully completes the forty-plus hours of training, and volunteers at least 40 hours towards community gardening programs and activities can become a Master Gardener.

Apply to Become a Maine Master Gardener Volunteer

2019 Training Schedule*

All classes are 5-8:30pm. We follow the UMaine, Orono inclement weather policy. Call 207.581.7669 to find out if class is cancelled. 

February 26 Orientation & Seed Starting
March 5 Soils
March 12 Weed Management & Botany Part 1
March 19 Vegetables Part 1
March 26 Insect/Plant Disease Management
April 2 Small Fruit Part 1
April 9 Sustainable Landscape Design
April 16 Vegetables Part 2
April 23 Botany Part 2
April 30 Pesticide Safety
May 7 Small Fruit Part 2 & Good Agricultural Practices
May 14 Tree Fruits
May 21 Woody Ornamental Plants
September 3 Herbaceous Ornamental Plants
September 10 Propagation
September 17 Composting
September 24 Final Exam & Harvest Potluck

*Schedule is subject to change


County, state, and federal tax dollars and donations do not fully cover the true costs of offering this program. Consequently, we must charge a program fee of $220. Accepted applicants will receive an email giving instructions on how to use our secure payment portal. PLEASE DO NOT SEND MONEY BEFORE RECEIVING THESE INSTRUCTIONS.

The Master Gardener Volunteers program is a statewide program and is one of the most popular and valued programs offered by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension. This program is committed to offering high-quality horticultural education to all interested Maine residents. To help us meet this goal and to keep the program affordable, the program relies on tax dollars, donations, and program fees.

Limited financial assistance is available. Contact Kate Garland, email for more information.

Background Check for New Master Gardener Volunteers

It is the University of Maine’s policy to conduct a background check on those who have direct responsibility for the care, safety, and security of community members or property and the care, safety, and security of minors (under 18), the elderly, incapacitated persons, or persons with developmental disabilities who participate in University-sponsored programs. Master Gardener projects are diverse in scope and there are many occasions where Master Gardeners do take on this level of responsibility. It is for that reason we conduct background checks on all volunteers.

All prospective Master Gardener Volunteers are required to complete a background check. If you are accepted into the program, Extension staff will provide you with the necessary paperwork for the background check. The Human Resources Department handles the background check process and staff does not receive a copy of the results.

Please be aware that any issues arising from the background check will not necessarily preclude you from participation in the program or being unable to volunteer, but it may impact which projects you are ultimately matched with. The University of Maine is committed to providing a safe environment for teaching, learning, and community outreach.

Training Materials

The online Master Gardener Volunteers Manual is a collection of bulletins, chapters, and links that have been carefully selected to provide you with timely, in-depth, and applied information on a number of important horticultural topics. This format will allow you to access new and updated materials long after your training. Please contact Kate Garland if you have any concerns regarding your ability to access the online manual for the training.

Directions to Training Sites


We Welcome Donations to Support Master Gardener Volunteer Activities.

The University of Maine does not discriminate on the grounds of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, including transgender status and gender expression, national origin, citizenship status, age, disability, genetic information or veteran’s status in employment, education, and all other programs and activities. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies: Director, Office of Equal Opportunity, 101 North Stevens Hall, 207.581.1226.

If you are a person with a disability and need an accommodation to participate in this program, please call Marjorie Peronto at 1.800.287.1542 (in Maine) to discuss your needs. Receiving requests for accommodations at least seven days before the program provides a reasonable amount of time to meet the request, however, all requests will be considered.