Tanana District Master Gardener Program — FAQ

What is a Master Gardener?

Alaska Master Gardeners are trained volunteers for the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service located in communities throughout the state. They provide gardening information to others and may become involved in beautification projects in the community. For more information on the statewide program and links to Alaska group sites, please visit our Alaska Master Gardeners page.

How do I become a Master Gardener? 

To become a Master Gardener, you must complete 40 hours of horticultural training and in return, volunteer 40 hours of time to your community. A Master Gardener certificate is awarded to those who successfully complete the class, and an honorary badge is presented to those who fulfill the volunteer commitment.

Who can take the class?

Anyone with an interest in gardening and a desire to help others. A familiarity with Alaska gardening conditions and a commitment to 40 hours of volunteer time are required.

What topics are discussed in class?

Classes typically cover the following subjects (order may vary and are subject to change). Students also enjoy hands-on projects, lively presentations, interesting guest instructors and occasional field trips.

  Introduction    Volunteer Service    Basic Horticulture    Plant Classification    Botany: Plant Structures and Functions    Soil Structure, Function and Management    Houseplants: Requirements and Care, Plant Propagation, Pruning    Vegetable Gardening    Fruit and Berry Crops    Composting and Water Quality    Greenhouse Gardening    Plant Disease: Principles, Causes and Care    Lawn Establishment and Maintenance    Insect and Mammal Pests: Identification and Control    Flowers and Bulbs (perennials and annuals)    Home Landscaping    Woody Ornamentals    Open book/take home exam

When are Master Gardener classes offered?

Master Gardener classes are usually held twice per year during the fall/winter and spring/summer semesters, depending on the instructor’s schedule. Classes typically take place in the evenings; however, daytime classes are occasionally offered to give everyone an opportunity to participate.

THE 2013/2014 MASTER GARDENER CLASSES IN FAIRBANKS ARE SET! FIND OUT ALL THE DETAILS HERE.

How do I fulfill my 40-hour volunteer commitment? 

After completing the class, Master Gardener graduates have up to two years to fulfill their 40-hour volunteer commitment. Master Gardeners assist Extension in reaching Alaskans with gardening information by:

  Visiting garden sites    Working in information booths at community events, fairs and mall    Maintaining demonstration gardens    Teaching horticulture to beginning gardeners    Using special talents, such as writing, photography and drawing, to benefit others    Exploring environmental options    Helping to plant educational gardens

More volunteer opportunities will be discussed in class!

What does it cost? 

The cost of training Master Gardeners can vary from distict to district and from year to year. A fee in the Tanana District is charged to cover the cost of supplies and literature used in training, including the Sustainable Gardening: The Alaska Master Gardener Manual. Click here for this year's current registration fee.

How do I register?

If interested, you can find registration information here. Space is limited to 30 students per class — and classes fill up quickly — so be sure to sign up soon! If you are unable to attend a Master Gardener class in person, you may be interested in our Alaska Master Gardener Online Course.

Tanana Valley Master Gardener Update

Check out all the great things Master Gardeners are doing in the Tanana District! The Master Gardener Update is a quarterly newsletter highlighting volunteer activities of the Master Gardeners of the Tanana Valley.

Information and resources:

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