Step One for Acceptance into the 2022 Travis County Master Gardener Program
Have you been thinking about becoming a master gardener or just want to learn more about gardening?
On August 24th at 12:00 pm, the Horticultural Principles and Practices for Central Texas training program with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service begins with a series of virtual, self-paced webinars presented by AgriLife Extension specialists, staff, and Texas Master Gardeners. This virtual course starts on August 24th at 12 pm with an information session explaining how program training will unfold. The cost of the course is $250 with the Texas Master Gardener Handbook or $175 without the Handbook, payable upon registration. Completion of this course is a required prerequisite for those participants who wish to apply to the Travis County Master Gardener Program in December 2022.
The 2022 program began with an information session on June 22. You can watch that session here. The recording explains more how the course will run and what to expect in an all-virtual program. Application to become a Travis County Master Gardener is by invitation only once you pass the course final exam.
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining Microsoft Teams and participating in the virtual learning course.
The Horticultural Principles and Practices for Central Texas course is completely virtual and will consist of two parts: one weekly pre-recorded seminar (self-paced) and one weekly Q&A session (Wednesdays,12 to 1 PM, from Sept 7 to Nov 16). Various Extension personnel are the webinar presenters, and the Q&A sessions are led by Travis County CEA-Hort, Daphne Richards or Travis County Master Gardeners.
Topics are Earth-Kind Principles; Basic Plant Science; Soils; Water & Irrigation; Entomology and Integrated Pest Management; Plant Pathology; Turfgrass; Fruit Crops; and Vegetable Gardening. Other pre-recorded webinar topics are also available to course participants.
The weekly Q&A sessions utilize Microsoft Teams. You can use Teams via web browser, but it functions best by utilizing the Microsoft Teams app. If you are using an Apple iOS device, you must use a Chrome browser to access Teams, or download the Teams app. Microsoft Teams does not function on the Safari browser. Course materials are in a Microsoft Teams class notebook. A Texas Master Gardener Handbook is included in the cost of the $250 registration.
Master Gardener Training
Only those who successfully complete Horticultural Principles and Practices for Central Texas and pass the final exam may apply for the Master Gardener Training program. Master Gardener training is tentatively set to be multi-week and in-person/hands-on training, starting in early 2023. This training will cover additional subject matter and will incur an additional registration fee. Master Gardener training includes the requisite volunteer service to become fully certified TCMG volunteers.
What’s a Master Gardener?
The Travis County Master Gardeners are volunteers for the Travis County AgriLife Extension Service. They assist Extension’s mission to disseminate research-based horticultural and environmental knowledge among the citizens of Central Texas. The Master Gardener training program has a limited number of spaces. Candidates completing the Horticultural Principles and Practices for Central Texas coursework and who submit the best applications will meet with the selection committee for personal interviews. Committee-selected applicants will receive invitations to attend Master Gardener training.
Preferred Skills for Master Gardener Candidates
Successful applicants to the Travis County Master Gardener program have the following list of characteristics, skills, and interests:
- Enjoys helping others
- Enjoys speaking to groups of people
- A willingness to lead projects or events
- Is a lifelong learner
- Has experience teaching others through volunteer work, community organizations, or professional career
- Can successfully work with others in both small and large groups
- Has experience with social media either personally or professionally
- Is willing to contribute blog posts, articles, photographs, or go on camera in virtual formats like webinars or videos
- Loves to garden!
Applications Issued Once Horticultural Principles and Practices for Central Texas Completed
You must complete all the Horticultural Principles and Practices for Central Texas modules and pass the final exam to receive an application,
Please register early to secure a seat in the Horticultural Principles and Practices for Central Texas course. You can register here: https://tamu.estore.flywire.com/products/horticultural-principles-and-practices-for-central-texas-virtual-training
The first class of the course covers the details of the Horticultural Principles and Practices for Central Texas course and is an opportunity to answer your questions.
The total early-bird registration fees for the Horticultural Principles and Practices for Central Texas course are $250 with the Texas Master Gardener Handbook or $175 without the Handbook.
The course cost is payable at registration. The subsequent Travis County Master Gardener training is $150, payable upon acceptance into the program.
Criminal Background Check Required
As a matter of policy, criminal background checks occur on all persons accepted into the Master Gardener training program, and every three years thereafter.
Horticultural Principles and Practices for Central Texas Course
The Horticultural Principles and Practices for Central Texas course consists of Q&A Lunch and Learn Microsoft Teams meetings each Wednesday at 12:00 pm to 1 pm, from August 24th through November 2nd, and webinar recordings hosted on YouTube. Each week participants will receive an email notice containing links to the lesson and a google form to confirm participation. Recordings are only available for 10 days after the email notice. The Q&A Lunch and Learn Microsoft Teams meetings are hosted by AgriLife Extension staff and are focused on the lesson emailed to participants the week before. Topics are Earth-Kind Principles; Basic Plant Science; Soils; Water & Irrigation; Entomology and Integrated Pest Management; Plant Pathology; Turfgrass; Fruit Crops; and Vegetable Gardening.
Travis County Master Gardener Training
The Travis County Master Gardener training is a combination of in-person workshops and e-learning. The tentative schedule is Wednesdays from 9 am to 12pm, in January and February. Workshops are at the AgriLife Extension office (1600 Smith Rd, Austin, 78721) and other Travis County locations. Participants will receive the exact schedule at registration. Transportation is the responsibility of the participant.
You will complete a minimum of 50 hours of volunteer service on Extension-approved projects by December 31 , 2023, in order to be certified a Texas Master Gardener.
Participants earn the title “Texas Master Gardener” after they have completed the training course, passed the final exam, and fulfilled their volunteer commitment. More information about Master Gardeners is available on the Texas Master Gardener Association web page.
What if You Just Want the Horticultural Principles and Practices for Central Texas Course?
Taking the Horticultural Principles and Practices for Central Texas course does not require application to the Travis County Master Gardener program. Sign up for Travis County Horticulture Event Notifications about other garden education opportunities or visit our calendar.
Please contact Sheryl Williams if you have questions about the program. email@example.com