Become a Louisiana Master Gardener

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Master Gardeners are members of the local community who take an active interest in their lawns, trees, shrubs, flowers and gardens. They are enthusiastic, willing to learn and help others, and able to communicate with diverse groups of people.

What really sets Master Gardeners apart from other home gardeners is their special training in horticulture. In exchange for their training, people who become Master Gardeners contribute time as volunteers, working through their local Master Gardener Program Coordinator to provide horticulture-related information to their communities.

Any Louisiana resident with an interest in horticulture and a desire to volunteer for community service may apply to the Master Gardener Training Program. Master Gardeners moving from other states are evaluated on a case-by-case basis through discussion with the individual, local coordinator, and State Coordinator.

A volunteer in training is expected to complete 100 percent of the prescribed hours of instruction. If, for any reason, you need to miss a class, please visit with your local LMG coordinator regarding missed class material.

In order to retain the Louisiana Master Gardener title, individuals are required to complete a minimum of 20 volunteer service hours and six continuing education hours each year. Documentation requirements and validation of volunteer service and continuing education hours are under the supervision of the local Master Gardener Program Coordinator or individual designated by the coordinator.

The Louisiana Master Gardener training program provides a balanced, integrated, practical course in gardening. Special topics, based on Louisiana gardening needs, are part of the curriculum and involve a balance of lecture and hands-on activities. The training is provided by LSU AgCenter Extension faculty and other horticulture experts.

Primary topics covered in the training include:

  • Soils and Plant Nutrition
  • Basic Botany and Plant Propagation
  • Basic Plant Pathology and Entomology
  • Vegetable Gardening
  • Fruit Culture
  • Woody Ornamentals
  • Annuals and Perennials
  • Lawn Management and Weeds
  • Environmental Horticulture
  • Diagnostics/Problem Solving

Classroom participation should include 100 percent attendance during the training period. If you need to miss a class session, please visit with your local LMG coordinator to make up the missed material. Class format differs by program, but most of the programs are held for three to six hours one or two days per week, and generally conducted at a parish Extension office. Upon completion of the formal coursework, participants are required to satisfactorily pass a comprehensive examination on the materials covered.

To graduate as a Master Gardener, each trainee must pass a final examination. Examinations are prepared by the local Master Gardener Program coordinator in collaboration with class instructors.

Examinations are under the direction of the local LMG coordinator. As such, they may be open-book or closed. Final exams are designed to evaluate a trainee's ability to retrieve information from the Louisiana Master Gardener handbook and other horticultural resources.

A score of 70 percent or higher is needed to pass.

Louisiana offers 30 parish-level Master Gardener programs with volunteer participation in 58 parishes. LMG trainings are offered at various times during the year and at various parish Extension offices across the state.

To help you decide if you should apply to be a Master Gardener, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I want to learn more about the culture and maintenance of many types of plants?
  • Am I eager to participate in a practical and intense training program?
  • Do I look forward to sharing my knowledge with people in my community?
  • Do I have enough time to attend training and to complete the volunteer service?

If you answered yes to these questions, the Master Gardener program could be for you.

The base fee for participation in the Louisiana Master Gardener Program is $150.

This amount covers costs for the training manual, name badge, certificate and supporting educational materials.

Additional overhead cost may be included as determined by the local Master Gardener Program coordinator and may vary from one parish to another depending on local situations.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, a limited number of Louisiana Master Gardener classes are currently offered. Most of the classes are virtual or hybrid (mix of virtual and face-to-face), though some classes may be offered entirely face-to-face.


2022 East Baton Rouge Master Gardener Class

Specific class details are currently being established

Class will likely begin late summer/early fall.

For more information or to be placed on the waiting list, please contact Bert Hammett at AHammett@agcenter.lsu.edu


2022 Lafayette Parish Master Gardener Class

Classes will be held at the Ira Nelson Horticulture Center.

The Lafayette MG classes will begin mid-August 2022 and meet every Thursday for 12-13 weeks. A fee of $200 and a background check will be required for those who are accepted and choose to enroll in the program.

Note: applications for the 2022 class are currently closed. For more information on the 2023 class, contact the Lafayette LSU AgCenter at 337-291-7090 for an application or refer to the Lafayette Parish Master Gardener Facebook page for an application.


2022 Livingston Parish Master Gardener Program (2022 Fall Class)

Classes will be held at the SELU facility in Walker.

Classes begin on August 17, 2022 and conclude on November 23rd.

For more information, contact class coordinator Clark Robertson atCRobertson@agcenter.lsu.edu


2022 Grant/LaSalle Master Gardener Classes

Classes will be held at Camp Grant Walker

Orientation Session: August 11, 2022

Classes will be held weekly from 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM.

For more information or to sign up, please contact Keith Hawkins at KHawkins@agcenter.lsu.edu


2022 Tangipahoa Master Gardener Class

Classes will be held at the LSU AgCenter Tangipahoa Parish Extension Office (305 E. Oak Street, Amite)

First class: August 10, 2022

Classes will be held weekly from 9:00 AM until Noon from August 10th through November 16th

A fee of $185 and a background check will be required for those who are accepted and choose to enroll in the program.

For more information, contact Horticulture Agent Dr. Mary Helen Ferguson by emailing MHFerguson@agcenter.lsu.edu or calling 985-277-1850.


2022 St. Tammany Parish Master Gardener Class

St. Tammany Parish Louisiana Master Gardener Program will hold its annual training starting August 3 and run through November 16. Weekly class meetings will be held at the St. Tammany Parish Extension Office (1301 North Florida St., Covington, LA 70433) from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM every Wednesday evening. For more information or to be placed on the waiting list, please contact William Afton at WAfton@agcenter.lsu.edu.


2022 Piney Hills Master Gardener Program (Webster and Claiborne Parishes)

Classes will be held at the LSU AgCenter Webster Parish Extension Office

First class: Thursday, July 14, 2022

Classes will be held weekly from 6:00 – 9:00 PM on Thursday evenings

For more information, contact John Monzingo at 318-927-3110 (Claiborne Office) or 318-371-1371 (Webster Office)


2022 Southwest Louisiana Master Gardener Class

Classes will be held at the LSU AgCenter office in Calcasieu Parish, beginning on June 21, 2022. The classes will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:00 - 4:00 PM until August 18th.

For more information or to be placed on the waiting list, please contact Robert Turley at RTurley@agcenter.lsu.edu


2022 Downriver Master Gardener Training Class for St. Bernard and Plaquemines

Classes will be held at Docville Farm - 5124 E. St. Bernard Hwy., Violet, LA 70092

Classes will be held weekly from 9 am - Noon on Thursdays beginning June 16th.

For more information, please contact Anna Timmerman at atimmerman@agcenter.lsu.edu or 312-846-0689 (cell M-F 8am-4:30pm).


2022 Master Gardeners of Greater New Orleans (Jefferson and Orleans Parishes)

Classes will be held at the Garden Study Center in the New Orleans Botanical Garden in City Park.

Classes begin on Tuesday, May 31st and will be held weekly from May 31st through August 9th.

The deadline to submit an application is May 15, 2022.

For more information, please contact Chris Dunaway (Jefferson Parish) at CDunaway@agcenter.lsu.edu or Dr. Joe Willis (Orleans Parish) at JWillis@agcenter.lsu.edu


2022 Master Gardener Training Program for Natchitoches and Sabine

Classes will be held at the LSU AgCenter Natchitoches Parish Extension Office

First class: May 10, 2022

Application due no later than April 15, 2022

Anyone wanting more information can call the AgCenter office in Natchitoches at 318-357-2224 and ask for the county agent, Randall Mallette.


2022 Northeast Louisiana Master Gardener Program

Classes will be held at the Ouachita Parish Extension Office Auditorium.

Preliminary class: Thursday, May 5th at 6:30 PM

For more information, contact Kerry Heafner (Ouchita Parish Horticulture Agent) at KHeafner@agcenter.lsu.edu


2022 Cenla Master Gardener Program

Classes will be held at the LSU AgCenter Avoyelles Parish Extension Office

8592 Highway 1, Mansura, LA 71350

First class: Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Classes will be held from 1:00 – 4:00 PM

For more information, contact Mr. Keith Hawkins at KHawkins@agcenter.lsu.edu


2022 Westside Master Gardener Program (West Baton Rouge and Iberville)

Classes will be held at the LSU AgCenter Office in Iberville Parish

Classes begin on Wednesday, March 30, 2022 at 6:00 PM

Classes will be a combination of online, in-person, and labs

For more information, contact class coordinator Dr. Sara Shields at SRShields@agcenter.lsu.edu


2022 Livingston Parish Master Gardener Program

Classes will be held at the SELU facility in Walker

Classes begin on Wednesday, February 2, 2022

For more information, contact class coordinator Clark Robertson at CRobertson@agcenter.lsu.edu


2022 Northwest Louisiana Master Gardener Program

Classes will be held in Shreveport.

Classes begin January 20, 2022

Classes are held on Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. January through March

For more information or to sign up for the 2023 class waiting list, contact Mark Wilson at MAWilson@agcenter.lsu.edu.


2022 La-Terre Master Gardener Program (Lafourche and Terrebonne)

Classes will be held in Raceland

Classes begin on Thursday, January 6, 2022

Classes are held on Tuesdays and Thursdays

For more information, contact class coordinator, Barton Joffrion at BJoffrion@agcenter.lsu.edu


2022 Beauregard Master Gardener Program

Classes will be held at the Rosepine Research Station

Classes begin on Thursday, January 6, 2022

Classes are held on Thursdays from January through March/early April

For more information, contact class coordinator, Keith Hawkins at KHawkins@agcenter.lsu.edu

1/11/2022 5:30:00 PM
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