Become a Master Gardener

Background: The first Master Gardener program began in 1973 at Washington State University to meet a high demand for urban horticulture and gardening advice. Since its inception, Master Gardeners have been connected with land-grant universities and their cooperative extension services. All fifty states and eight Canadian provinces have active programs. Clemson University Extension is the essential hub for South Carolina’s Master Gardener program.

Master Gardeners work throughout the year with their local Consumer Horticulture Agent and Extension to deliver research-based information to citizens. Training is required for selected applicants, first in at least forty hours of class, and secondly in a structured internship. Participants learn foundational principles of horticulture including basic botany and plant physiology, soils and plant nutrition, plant pathology, and pest management, and over time, become well-versed in specialized topics such as turf management, weed ecology, fruits, and irrigation.

Master Gardener is a service organization. If you enjoy learning by doing, and if you like working with the public, then you might be a candidate for becoming a Master Gardener. Note that certified Master Gardeners are required to earn annual educational service hours and continuing education hours by working in the Extension Master Gardener Office, going on visits with teams to consult with those looking for assistance, and serving with other Master Gardeners at forums such as the Aiken Farmers’ Market or at annual plant sales and educational presentations. 

To Apply: We appreciate your interest in the Master Gardener Volunteer Training Class (MGVTC). The class is offered between August 1 and December 31. Dates and times vary by host site. If you would like to be notified of the next MGVTC, fill out this form.

General Information: For general information about the program, please visit the Clemson Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Website.

Also, you can visit the Lexington County Master Gardener Volunteer Association website and the Aiken Master Gardener Association website to find out about the programs and events offered throughout the year.

In addition, check out the Clemson Extension Horticulture page to find out about our free and fee-based programs.

For more information, please contact:

Jennifer B. Weaver
Urban Horticulture Agent and Master Gardener Coordinator
Cooperative Extension Service – Lexington/Aiken Counties
Clemson University
International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Certified Arborist #SO-1386A
605 West Main Street, Suite F
Lexington, SC. 29072
w 803.359.8515