Become a Santa Rosa County Master Gardener 

If you are a Santa Rosa County resident who has an interest in gardening and would like to share that interest as a volunteer in the Master Gardener program, we encourage you to apply for training as a Master Gardener.

What is a Master Gardener? | Is Master Gardening for you? | How are Master Gardeners trained? | What are the training topics? | How do Master Gardeners volunteer their time? | How do I become a Master Gardener?

What is a Master Gardener?

A Master Gardener is...

  • First and foremost is an educator.  They help the Environmental Horticulture Agent disseminate research-based gardening information.
  • Has an interest in any type of gardening, such as vegetables and ornamentals.
  • Wants to share gardening knowledge and skills within the community through Extension programs.
  • Is trained by the University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service.
  • Is willing to donate volunteer service hours in approved activities in the year following training.

Master Gardeners help clientele choose the right plants for their landscape at the 2007 plant sale.


Is Master Gardening For You?

To help you decide if you should apply for Master Gardener training, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I want to learn more about plant care and gardening?
  • Do I look forward to sharing my knowledge with people in my community?
  • Am I eager to participate in a practical and intensive training program?
  • Do I have enough time to attend the training and to complete my volunteer work?

If you answer "yes" to the above questions, the Master Gardener program may be for you!

Master Gardener volunteer by teaching youth about beneficial insects.


How Are Master Gardeners Trained?

Theresa Friday, Extension Faculty, coordinates the training program and does the majority of the teaching.  Classes are held on Fridays from 8:30 am to 1 pm beginning in January and running approximately 15 weeks.

State and regional University Extension specialists, Master Gardeners and other horticulture experts teach classes.  During the training sessions, these experts will use lectures and hands-on acclivities to expose participants to the many different aspects of horticulture.

2008 Master Gardener Olympics

The blue team wins an event at the 2008 Master Gardener Olympics--one of the teaching methods used during the training course.


What are the Training Topics?

Some of the topics covered during the training course include: basic botany, entomology, fruit crops, lawns, plant diseases, soils, fertilizers, vegetables and many more.


How do Master Gardeners Volunteer Their Time?

Once the participants enter the training program, it is time to begin volunteer service.  Volunteer activities vary according to the county's needs and the volunteer's expertise and interest.  A current list of projects is available on the Santa Rosa County Master Gardener website (


How Do I Become a Master Gardener?

Master Gardener recruitment and selection takes place in the fall of the year.  Completed applications for the 2012 class must be either brought in or postmarked by November 18, 2011in order to be considered for the next training program.

Download the 2012 application.

UF/IFAS Extension staff and a panel of Master Gardeners will review the application.  Interviews of prospective volunteers will be conducted.

A fee will be charged to cover the cost of materials and supplies. 



Applications for the 2012 class are being accepted.  Please download the application, complete it and return by November 18, 2011.

Application for the 2012 Santa Rosa County Master Gardener Training Course