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 to Gardening  ✿  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 exam (multiple choice)

When are Master Gardener classes offered?

The Master Gardener class is offered yearly, usually late fall or early spring, 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. UPDATE: The 2018 Fairbanks Master Gardener Course is now scheduled! Class will meet Oct. 9-Dec. 6, Tuesdays and Thursday, 6-9 p.m., at the UAF University Park Building, 1000 University Ave., Room 108. Click here for information and registration.

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? 

A registration fee of $300 covers the cost of supplies and literature used in training, including Alaska's Sustainable Gardening Handbook.

How do I register?

Dates for the next Master Gardener class are to be determined. To be placed on a class interest list and receive notification of registration, email rlboswell@alaska.edu. If you are unable to attend a Master Gardener class in person, you may be interested in our Alaska Master Gardener Online Course.

Information and resources:

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