The Master Gardener Training Program is demanding and intensive. Classroom work constitutes more than 80% of the training period, and a portion of each weekly six hour session is practical, hands-on activity related to the particular subject matter. Subjects include basic botany, soils, fertilizers, entomology, citrus, turf grasses, ornamental plants, diseases, and other related topics. All information is based on research recommendations of the University of Florida and other authoritative sources.
There is a materials fee for those who participate in the training. This fee includes the cost of a Master Gardener Notebook containing extensive reference materials from the University of Florida/IFAS. These materials are updated frequently so Master Gardeners always have the most current recommendations approved by the University of Florida/IFAS Cooperative Extension Service. On completion of the 75-hour training period, all Master Gardener trainees are required to satisfactorily pass a comprehensive examination on the materials covered. Only then can the trainees be certified and be awarded the title of Master Gardener. Once certified, Master Gardeners must abide by the policies set out by the University of Florida and IFAS. The "Policies Regarding Florida Master Gardeners" are attached and should be carefully studied. As Master Gardeners assist the Extension Service Agent and staff, they are in effect "extending the Extension Service". As such they provide advice and recommendations that have been well documented as a result of experimentation and testing and are approved by the University of Florida. Master Gardeners deal primarily with consumer horticulture questions and various information requests.
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