Applications for the 2023 Master Gardener Program are Open

Friends’ Garden Team weeding and mulching one of the 20 native Acer rubrum and Nyssa sylvatica they planted along the East Beach.
Friends’ Garden Team weeding and mulching one of the 20 native Acer
rubrum and Nyssa sylvatica they planted along the East Beach. Photo: Michele Sorenson

APPLY TO BECOME A UCONN EXTENSION MASTER GARDENER – 2023 classes will include hybrid and virtual options

The hot, hazy summer days are a great time to plan for next year’s gardening activities! Apply now for the 2023 UConn Extension Master Gardener Program. Classes will be held in Farmington, Brooklyn, Haddam, and Stamford along with an entirely online option. The deadline for applications is Friday, October 14, 2022.

“The program provides the opportunity for beginner, intermediate or experienced gardeners to increase their personal knowledge of the practice of gardening … The program allows you to meet with like-minded people over a common interest – growing plants,” says Advanced Master Gardener Ken Sherrick of Middletown.

UConn Extension Master Gardeners have an interest in plants, gardening, people and the environment.  Specifically, they are willing to share their knowledge, passion and enthusiasm with their communities, providing research-based information to homeowners, students, gardening communities and others. They receive horticultural training from UConn, and then share that knowledge with the public through community volunteering and educational outreach efforts. UConn Master Gardeners help with community and museum gardens, school gardens, backyard projects, houseplant questions and more.

Four of the program cohorts will be in a hybrid class format, with three to four hours of online work before each of 16 weekly in-person classes, running from 9 AM to 1 PM. There will be one entirely online cohort, on Thursday mornings hosted by the Fairfield County Extension Center.

Classes begin the week of January 9, 2023. Subject matter includes basic botany, plant pathology, soils, entomology and other aspects of gardening such as plant categories, native plants, and pest management. After the classroom portion, students complete 60 hours of outreach experience during the summer, along with a plant identification project.

“The Master Gardener program gave me an understanding the role of plants and insects within the ecosystem, which fostered a passion for removing invasive plants,” says Advanced Master Gardener Karen Berger of Canton, who now volunteers on a project to remove invasives, replacing them with native plants that benefit the local environment.

The program fee is $475.00, and includes all needed course materials. Partial scholarships may be available, based on demonstrated financial need.

More information and the application are available at the UConn Extension Master Gardener website at .