Becoming a Master Gardener is a fantastic way to increase your knowledge of sustainable gardening, to meet like-minded gardeners and to give back to your community. Master Gardeners help people understand how to meet their goals in a way that protects and conserves natural resources.

Gail Langellotto

Statewide Master Gardener Program Coordinator, Associate Professor, Urban and Community Horticulture Extension, Oregon State University Department of Horticulture

Being a Master Gardener is about learning, volunteering and fun. If you enjoy learning about gardening, sharing your knowledge with others and volunteering in your community, you should consider becoming a Master Gardener Volunteer.

Marion County Master Gardener training requires completion of the OSU delivered Master Gardener course and a 66-hour volunteer service requirement. Volunteering helps you apply the concepts learned in class and supports the public service commitment of the Master Gardener program. When you have passed the training course and completed your required volunteer hours, you will become a Certified Master Gardener.

Training is available in two formats: classroom and online.

Classroom Based Master Gardener Training in Marion County
As a classroom participant you will learn about practical research-based home-gardening from OSU professors and other experts in a face-to-face interactive learning environment. 2021 class application – check here the beginning of October.

2020 Marion County Master Gardener Course – Salem
Mondays, January 6 through March 23
9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Your training will include topics such as basic botany, entomology, plant disease, soils, water, lawns, ornamental trees and shrubs, pruning, fruits and berries, propagation, composting, organic gardening, weed management, pest management, problem diagnosis and specific information about gardening in the Willamette Valley. You will also learn how to find reputable research-based information you can use to answer difficult questions, because no one knows everything about gardening.

The course fee is $100, payable at the December pre-class orientation (limited scholarships available).

Online Master Gardener Training
If the timing of our classroom training doesn’t work for you, consider OSU’s Master Gardener Online Training for Oregon residents. The online program offers instructor-led recorded PowerPoint lectures on all required topics, a lively forum, assignments and discussions, weekly quizzes, additional resources and more. See the More Information link below for application information.

2020 Online Master Gardener Training
Dates to be announced
More Information

Being a Master Gardener After Training
Once certified, you will have many opportunities for advanced training and volunteer activities. You can attend seminars, teach workshops, make presentations, volunteer in the demonstration garden, participate in community gardening events, answer questions and provide advice at the help desk and plant clinics, work with the Jr Master Gardener program, participate in leadership activities, and more.

To maintain certification, Master Gardener volunteers complete at least 10 continuing education hours and at least 20 hours of volunteer service each year.

More Information
More information is available in the OSU publication, “An Introduction to Being a Master Gardener Volunteer.” Additional questions about Master Gardener Volunteer training may also be sent to

If you are interested in Master Gardener training in a county other than Marion, contact your local Master Gardener program.

Let's Garden

Marion County Master Gardeners™ are trained certified volunteers who promote the joy and science of home gardening in our community. We answer questions, teach workshops, provide speakers, maintain a demonstration garden, and connect home gardeners to the information they need. The Master Gardener program is sponsored by OSU Extension.