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University of California
Los Angeles County

Gardening with the UC Master Gardener Program

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Who Are Master Gardeners and What Do They Do?
Master Gardeners are volunteers from the community who are trained by the University of California Cooperative Extension specialists and other qualified instructors using research-based information to promote environmentally responsible and sustainable horticultural practices in the home, community and school landscapes.

Master Gardeners extend research-based information by conducting workshops and demonstrations, diagnosing plant and pest problems, speaking to community groups, educating teachers and parents at school gardens, and answering gardening questions at fairs and farmers markets as well as our email and phone helplines.

By training Master Gardener volunteers, we empower neighborhoods to create their own solutions and foster healthier gardens, communities and a sustainable environment.

Since 1993, we have trained 1,068 Master Gardener volunteers who have served 1,140,451 Los Angeles County residents.

2014 MG grad - class - best - IMG_0028
In 2012-2013, our 262 Master Gardeners logged 18,708 volunteer hours and 5,594 continuing education hours helping 147,527 Los Angeles County residents at 287 locations (107 community gardens, 118 school gardens, 3 senior gardens, 15 homeless and battered-women's shelters, and 44 fairs, farmers markets and helplines).

What Master Gardeners Offer to the Public
Grow LA Victory Garden Vegetable Gardening Classes. Basic gardening classes are held at many locations throughout LA County every spring and fall. See description and current schedule. Since 2010, we have trained 1,614 participants at 105 garden locations led by 167 Master Gardeners in 125 class sessions.

On-Site Workshops and Technical Assistance. Want some gardening workshops? Need help with a site analysis? Request Master Gardeners help by clicking here.

Speakers. Looking for a presentation on a range of gardening topics? Our Master Gardeners are experts in the areas of beneficial insects, composting, container gardening, drought-tolerant plants and herbs, integrated pest management (IPM), irrigation, roses, seasonal planting, vegetables, and more. To request an MG speaker, click here.

Have a Gardening Question? Email mglosangeleshelpline@ucdavis.edu with a description of your concern or question. Attaching photos will help the Master Gardener diagnose the problem. OR, you can phone in your concern or question by leaving a detailed message at (626) 586-1988.

Free Email Updates of Gardening Events and Resources. Email ydsavio@ucanr.edu and specify which topic (or both) you're interested in: 1) Home Gardening, Community Gardening and Food Security or 2) School Gardening.

Anything Else? Contact Master Gardener Program Manager Yvonne Savio at ydsavio@ucanr.edu, (626) 586-1981.

Master Gardener Training Program
Acceptance into our annual training program is very competitive. Class size is limited to 50, and we usually receive more than 200 applications. Only adult residents (19+ years old) of Los Angeles County may apply. If you live in another California county, click here to locate the program in your area.

The main criteria for acceptance include 1) prior community service utilizing gardening, 2) knowledge of gardening basics, 3) passion for helping other gardeners to garden sustainably, 4) experience giving public presentations, 5) working with people of diverse backgrounds individually and as a team, 6) initiative in starting and completing projects, and 7) basic computer skills and internet access.

Our application period is from mid-November through the first week of January.

Master Gardeners who graduate from our intensive 3-month training program (every Saturday in March, April and May) must volunteer at least 50 hours during the first year. For the following years, graduates must volunteer at least 25 hours and participate in 12 hours of continuing education per year.

To get onto our mailing list to receive the announcement flyer, email ydsavio@ucanr.edu and specify which topic (or both) you're in interested in: 1) Home Gardening, Community Gardening and Food Security or 2) School Gardening.

Master Gardener Handbook
The handbook is available to the general public. Order directly from UC Publications.

Awards Our Program and Staff Have Received
2010 Horticulturist of the Year, Southern California Horticulture Society
2007 Lifetime Achievement Award, Los Angeles Community Garden Council
2007 Certificate of Commendation, Los Angeles Unified School District
2006 Certificate of Appreciation, City of Los Angeles
2004 Feeding the Hungry Garden Crusader Award, Gardener's Supply Company

To support the Master Gardener Program, please click here.

Webmaster Email: deekim@ucdavis.edu