What is the Master Gardener Volunteer Program?

The OSU Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program is a premier, statewide network of volunteer education and leadership development; as well as a consumer horticulture education delivery system that maximizes human, material and natural resources, and values teamwork and excellence in educational programming. The Master Gardener Volunteers' knowledge, experience and enthusiasm have become essential to Extension education of consumer horticulture in the state of Ohio.

The Master Gardener Volunteer Program provides an extensive course in horticulture in exchange for a donation of volunteer hours to share your gardening knowledge with the community through OSU Extension sponsored activities.

Master Gardener Volunteer Training

Volunteers are an important component of the OSU Extension system. Volunteers are not required to have gardening skills or knowledge; but a passion for learning about gardening and sharing this knowledge with others is a must! There are many opportunities to obtain hours either with a “hands-in-the-dirt” group project or as a “behind-the-scenes” individual contributor supporting non-physical activities.

Master Gardener Volunteer training is offered for residents of Licking County and surrounding areas. The training program provides a balanced, integrated, practical course in plant science. Core topics that are part of the training are oriented to Extension and the Master Gardener Volunteer Program:

    Basic Botany
    Plant Physiology
    Soils and Soil Fertility
    Basic Entomology
    Basic Plant Pathology
    Plant Disease Diagnosis
    Pesticide Use and Safety
    Plant Identification
    Home Lawn Care
    Trees and Shrubs
    Home Vegetable Production
    Home Fruit Production
    Backyard Wildlife Management
    Herbs and more!

How do I know if I'd make a good Master Gardener Volunteer?

  • You want to learn more about plants and gardening.
  • You are eager to participate in a practical and intensive training program.
  • You enjoy sharing your knowledge with others.
  • You have the time to attend training and serve your community as a volunteer educator.


This new method of training fits your schedule!

The next Master Gardener Volunteer Training will take will take place in the fall of 2021. 

COST: The county fee is $100 and is payable after interview and acceptance into the program. Scholarships are available by contacting Lori Swihart at swihart.33@osu.edu.

Volunteer Commitment

The Master Gardener Volunteer training course consists of:

1. A minimum of 50 hours of online instruction which includes hands-on lab work.

2. An equivalent number (50) of horticultural significant volunteer hours is required with in a year to become a Certified Master Gardener Volunteer.

Master Gardeners remain active from year to year by:

  1. Obtaining ten (10) continuing education hours
  2. Donating a minimum of twenty (20) community service hours.

. Only pre-approved Ohio State University Extension sponsored activities count toward the requirement.

Understanding more about the program:


If interested in online classes and becoming a Master Gardener Volunteer, please go to our

State Master Gardener website at the link below.

State Master Gardener Volunteer website


Applications for training in Licking County are not being accepted at this time.

For more information on becoming a Licking County Master Gardener Volunteer contact Lori Swihart at (740) 618-6334 or via email at swihart.33@osu.edu


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Master Gardener Volunteers of Licking County OSUE