How to Become a Master Gardener

So you're interested in becoming a Master Gardener - here's how!

Master Gardeners in Training (MGiTs) must successfully complete an educational component and also complete the required annual volunteer hours before they become certified as Master Gardeners.

If you think you'd like to become a Master Gardener in Training (MGiTs) you must first complete an application form and sit an eligibility test with your local Master Gardener group. You must score 50 percent on the test, and then come to a Master Gardener meeting to provide some information on why they want to be a Master Gardener and their gardening experience. We are always looking for people who want to give back and can use their skills and knowledge to make a positive contribution to the group and the local community.


There are three paths toward completing the educational component for certification as a Master Gardener in Ontario.

1. University of Guelph Courses

You may take the following 3 online courses specified below from the University of Guelph.

  • Cultural Practice for Plants
  • Introduction to Plant Identification
  • Growing Plants

2. Dalhousie University Master Gardener Program (formerly Nova Scotia Agricultural College)

You may complete the following 4 online courses in the Master Gardener Program from Dalhousie University's Faculty of Agriculture.

  • The Science of Gardening
  • Maintaining the Garden
  • Plant ID
  • The Art of Gardening

3. Certification Exam

If you have recently completed a diploma or degree in horticulture or comparable education, have experience in the industry or extensive horticultural knowledge, you may choose to write the Certification Exam.

If you are not sure what you want to do or want more detailed information, contact us or check out the the Master Gardeners of Ontario website.

Volunteer Commitment

Once you are accepted as a MGiT, you will begin your volunteer commitment and begin to record your volunteer hours. All MgiT and Master Gardeners are required to provide a minimum of 20 advice hours and 10 administrative or education hours per year.

Once you have completed both the educational (within 3 years) and volunteer requirements (for two years), you are officially a Master Gardener!