How to Become a Master Gardener Volunteer: 2023 Training Schedule

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Master Gardener volunteers of Chatham County logo

How to Become a Certified Master Gardener℠

Volunteer in Chatham County in 2023

1)  Attend one of three Information Sessions, scheduled for:

  • 4/27/2023 6:30 -7:30 p.m. ONLINE                        REGISTER
  • 5/16/2023 4:30 -5:30 p.m. ONLINE                        REGISTER
  • 5/17/2023 9:30 -10:30 a.m.  IN-PERSON                REGISTER

2) Attend at least five (5) Extension Gardener classes

The Extension Gardener series of webinars and workshops are open to the public (anyone can attend), and also serve as a foundation for understanding research-based home gardening and horticultural practices for prospective Master Gardener Volunteers℠. Prospective Master Gardener Trainees need to attend five workshops or webinars by March 2024. Extension Gardener workshops or webinars attended since January 2023 will count towards the minimum five, including previous Winter Tree ID workshops (Jan. 2023), Vegetable Seed Starting (Feb 2023) workshops, and the Piedmont Landscape Conference (Feb. 2023). Attending as many of these classes as possible will further enhance your training experience.

Class Schedule

Click on the name of the class for more information and how to register.

workshop Date Time

Warm Season Vegetable Gardening 101 (Online)

April 18, 2023 6:00-7:30 p.m.

Pest, Disease, and Weed Management in Vegetable Gardens

 June 7, 2023  9:00-11:00 a.m.

Pest, Disease, and Weed Management in Vegetable Gardens (Online)

June 7, 2023 6:00-7:30 p.m.

What’s the Matter with My ‘Mater?

July 5, 2023  9:00-11:30 a.m.

What’s the Matter with My ‘Mater? (Online)

July 5, 2023 6:00-7:30 p.m.

Native Perennials for the Home Garden

Sept. 20, 2023 9:00 – 11:00 a.m.

Native Perennials for the Home Garden (Online)

 Sept. 20, 2023  6:00 – 7:30 p.m.

Identification of Trees of the Piedmont

Sept. 23, 2023 9:00 a.m.  – 1:00 p.m.

Fundamentals of Composting

Dec. 1, 2023 9:00 – 11:30 a.m.

Tree Identification in Winter

Jan 16, 2024 9:00-12:00 and 5:30-8:30

Vegetable Seed Starting

Feb. 7th 2024 9:30-12:00, 5:30-8:00

3) Submit your application by June 30th, 2023

Applicants will be notified of acceptance into the program on July 14, 2023. 

To receive a printed copy of the application and Certification Agreement, contact N.C. Cooperative Extension, Chatham County Center at 919-542-8202 or email

4) Submit the application fee by July 28th, 2023

The total application fee is $100. 

  • $50 is the fee to help support the statewide program
  • $50 covers the expenses of the materials for the Volunteer Core Training workshops (see below)
  • Cash or check (payable to ‘Chatham County’)

5) Complete Extension Master Gardener Core Training

Whereas the Extension Gardener webinar and workshop series focus on how to grow plants and other basic gardening skills, the Extension Master Gardener Core Training program provides in-depth training on learning and practicing the research and diagnostic skills required to be a Master Gardener Volunteer. As a representative of NC State Extension, Master Gardener Volunteers disseminate scientific, research-based information backed by NC State University, NC A&T State University, and other land-grant university extension services from across the country.

Core training classes will be held on Tuesdays from  Sept.12  – Oct. 31, 2022, 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Extension Master Gardener℠ Volunteer Core Training Schedule UPDATED 9/5/23

Master Gardener Volunteer Class Date (2023) Time
Orientation; Extension History, Resources, & Research Methods Sept. 12 9:30-3:30
Botany and Plant Identification Sept. 19 9:30-3:30
Diseases & Disorders of Plants Sept. 26 9:30-3:30
Beneficial & Pest Insects of Plants Oct. 10 9:30-3:30
Weed Ecology & Management Oct. 17 9:30-3:30
Soils and Fertility Management Oct. 24 9:30-3:30
Diagnostics and Integrated Pest Management Oct. 31 9:30-3:30
Final Review, Take Home Exam Released (ONLINE, RECORDED) Nov. 7 10:00 – 12:00
Final Exam Due Nov. 28 5:00 p.m.

6) Volunteer with N.C. Cooperative Extension, Chatham County Center

Volunteers will complete a 50-hour internship within one year of completing their training. Trainees are encouraged to begin volunteering during the training course by assisting with a class project. Learn about volunteer opportunities and outreach efforts you can be part of!

Volunteers are also strongly encouraged to complete a project or participate in a team project during their first year. This can include writing an article for the newsletter, developing a presentation or training module, participating in experimental research projects, or developing other educational materials.

Learn More:

NC State University and N.C. A&T State University commit themselves to positive action to secure equal opportunity and prohibit discrimination and harassment regardless of age, color, disability, family and marital status, genetic information, national origin, political beliefs, race, religion, sexual identity (including pregnancy), and veteran status. NC State, N.C. A&T, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and local governments cooperating.