Become a Master Gardener

If you enjoy gardening, wish to become a better gardener, want to share your knowledge with others, and have time to volunteer – you should consider becoming a Piedmont Master Gardener!

The Albemarle-Charlottesville unit of Virginia Cooperative Extension trains a new group of Master Gardeners every year starting in February and ending in May. Applications for the 2020 class are accepted anytime until December 1st, 2019.

Training Program

The training course includes approximately 70 hours of classroom instruction taught by experts in various gardening areas such as soil, landscaping, integrated pest management, disease diagnosis, and more. Classes are held Mondays from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM at the 5th Street Extended-Albemarle County Office Building and at various field sites within the county. While going through the course, each trainee has a Master Gardener as a mentor.


Interns are expected to complete an examination at the end of the course as well as complete 50 hours of volunteer service within one year to be certified as a Master Gardener. Volunteers are then expected to give at least 20 hours of service and complete 8 hours of approved continuing education each year they wish to remain an active member. Volunteers must follow the research-based recommendations of VCE and may not use the Master Gardener designation to promote commercial horticulture services.


Application packets may be downloaded here or picked up in person the VCE office off of Stagecoach Road. Multiple information meetings are held during the fall for prospective applicants and application packets will be available. VCE also requires a background check once an application is submitted. Upon acceptance, a fee of $190 is charged to defray the cost of the course with need-based scholarships available. Feel free to send all questions to the Master Gardener Coordinator Scott Boven by email ( or by phone (434-872-4581).