The Master Gardener certificate program offers a wide variety of gardening and horticultural courses for all levels of ability and knowledge.
- Participate in related activities, tours and events on campus and beyond.
- Socialize with other gardening enthusiasts at events to learn and share knowledge.
- Instructors are trained professionals who specialize in their teaching area.
- Hands-on teaching methods also provide access to resources available through the University of Saskatchewan.
- There is no time limit. You can start the program at any time and take as long as you need to complete the program requirements. The U of S Master Gardener Certificate is flexibly designed so you can take courses according to your schedule.
- The U of S Master Gardener Program is open to anyone. There are no deadlines for registration or for completion of the program.
- Courses are offered throughout the year.
Master Gardener Certificate Requirements
- The U of S Master Gardener Program is open to everyone age 16 and older. The only prerequisite is an interest in gardening–and enthusiasm.
- Register anytime and take as long as you want to complete the program. To receive your certificate, complete 7 core courses, a 40-hour volunteer internship and an open book exam.
- Garden Fundamentals and Botanical Latin are recommended as your first courses and are prerequisites for your Tree and Shrub ID course. Beyond these recommendations, you can take the courses in any order you wish.
- The 40 hour volunteer inservice may be completed within any year of your choosing.
- Once you have completed your classes, you can request access to your open book, multiple choice exam.
- The total cost of the program including registration fee, all 7 core workshops (6.5 days of class time), examination and certification is under $800.
- Once you become a certified University of Saskatchewan Master Gardener, you are required to put in a minimum of 20 hours of volunteer service annually and attend a minimum of six hours of course instruction every two years to keep your certification current.
To Become a U of S Master Gardener:
- Anyone can take any of our classes at any time, just for personal interest. However if you want to become certified, you need to enroll in the Certification program as well. The registration fee includes all administrative and final examination fees as well as a subcription to the U of S Master Gardener newsletter. It also includes your home study course material for reference purposes. Only this registration fee is payable up front. The core course fees are due whenever you chose to enrol in a course. On completion of the seven core courses, a take-home, open book, multiple choice exam based on material from the program text and core courses can be written.
- Complete the seven core courses that are offered throughout the year and during Hort Week.
- Complete your internship: 40 hours of volunteer time within one year. Sometimes people feel there isn’t any volunteer opportunities in their community but if you see a need in your community, you can fill it through your community service based internship. Some ideas include: writing articles, assisting seniors with yard work, assisting U of S researchers, planting a community garden, sitting on the board of your local hort club, planning or participating in horticulture outreach education activities like Gardenscape, growing plants for fundraising and charity, designing a therapeutic garden, advising or assisting in a school yard garden, etc. In addition to finding your own opportunity, we also send out notices of volunteer opportunities through email.
- Email us at email@example.com to request your exam.
You will be considered a University of Saskatchewan Master Gardener Trainee until you have fulfilled all of the above requirements.
Courses and Workshops
Core Courses are offered at least twice a year and some are available through distance education. They can be taken for personal interest or applied toward your U of S Master Gardener Certificate.
Core courses can be taken through distance education (online/home study) or as short-term face-to-face workshops during Hort Week.
Master Gardener courses are indicated with (MGCC) on course descriptions. Core courses include:
- Garden Fundamentals: (workshop or distance format). This course is a prerequisite for Tree & Shrub I.D.
- Botanical Latin: (workshop or distance format). This class is recommended, though not required, to take before Identifying Insects in Your Yard & Garden and Tree & Shrub I.D.
- Identifying Insects in Your Yard & Garden: (workshop) Botanical Latin is recommended, though is not a required prerequisite.
- Safe Use of Pesticides and Alternatives: (workshop)
- Common Plant Diseases: (workshop)
- Tree & Shrub I.D.: (workshop) Garden Fundamentals is a prerequisite for this course. Botanical Latin is recommended as well, though is not a required prerequisite.
- Communications: (workshop) Teachers and other professional communicators may be exempt from this course on a case by case basis.
Core courses are regularly updated to ensure that you get a hands-on education. Courses include activities and demonstrations whenever possible to help increase your learning and to provide practical application to your horticulture studies. Botanical Latin and Garden Fundamentals are prerequisites for other core courses. Botanical Latin, Garden Fundamentals and Safe Use of Pesticides are also available through distance education and the remaining core courses are currently being developed for distance formats.
Gardening Workshops: Over 30 special interest courses, tours or events are offered annually with something for every are of interest level of gardening ability. While core courses are offered throughout the year, most general workshops, tours and events are offered during Hort Week.
Master Gardener Volunteer Opportunities
The Garden Patch has many volunteer opportunities for Master Gardeners including routine garden maintenance and helping during community events. Volunteers who are able to commit to regular shifts can choose to ‘adopt’ a portion of the garden. This includes caring for a raised bed or part of a healthy yards demonstration garden (Green roof, pollinator garden, polyculture, native prairie, healthy back yard, children’s garden, season extension). All volunteers are required to do a short orientation before their shift.
The Garden Patch is an Urban Agriculture initiative of the Saskatoon Food Bank & Learning Centre. In the last seven years the Garden Patch has grown 110,000 lbs of produce for distribution in emergency food hampers. We are located in the 900 block of 3rd avenue and are open Monday to Saturday from May to October.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up!
Bonnie in the Exhibition area in Saskatoon is looking for help with her yard while she recovers from surgery. If you can help, please call her at 306-664-4065.
Olga is in need of some additional help to maintain a gorgeous yard of prize lilies, various flowers and plants of all types. Some physical restrictions have hindered her gardening passion this year but she is able to work alongside a helper. If you are able to help, please call 306-231-4520.
CHEP Good Food welcomes volunteers from the Master Gardener program to assist with ongoing site development, plant care, composting, and harvesting/processing activities. Volunteer opportunities with the askîy project are available between May and October. To learn more, please contact Wendy Quinton, CHEP’s Volunteer Coordinator by calling 306-655-4575 or sending an email to email@example.com
Do you have a green thumb? Enjoy planning garden spaces? Do you have skills or knowledge about landscape architecture and green space design?
Parkridge Centre is in the planning and development stages for a barrier free community garden space. The space is going to be one of a kind in Saskatoon and will offer the opportunity for residents of Parkridge Centre and members of the Parkridge Community to garden in a completely barrier free environment.
We are currently accepting volunteer applications for the following:
- PRC Horticulture Volunteer: Our Horticulture volunteer works directly with our Occupational therapy department in order to assist with the PRC horticulture program. The program volunteer will provide supports to our residents in completing work in our greenhouse throughout the year.
- Landscape Design Volunteer – Do you have the skills and knowledge to plan a green space or garden space? The Landscape Design Volunteer will assist in the overall design of the barrier free garden space and will work closely with a team of volunteers, staff and community members to ensure that the design of the space is reflective of the needs of the community.
- Plantation Volunteer – do you have knowledge about planting a variety of vegetables, fruit trees, flowers and native to Saskatchewan varieties of plants and trees? Our Plantation Volunteer is responsible for the overall plantation planning including the selection of the plant varieties; they will work closely with the manager of Volunteer Workforce and a team of Garden volunteers to ensure that the proper variety selection occurs and that planting occurs at the correct times.
- Community Garden Volunteer – Our Garden Volunteers will assist with the overall planning, planting, maintenance and harvest within our garden space.
We are seeking the assistance of community members who have a willingness to assist with the overall design and development of a barrier free community garden, if you have specific skills or knowledge you would like to share please feel free to contact Kimberly Quam, Manager of Volunteer Workforce for Parkridge Centre directly at 306-655-3865 or via email at Kimberly.firstname.lastname@example.org
The Saskatoon Horticultural Society (SHS) has been operating for 104 years within the Saskatoon region and consists of volunteers to run its board and the many events held throughout the year. The SHS promotes the enjoyment of art, knowledge and public awareness of horticulture and safe environmental practices to its members. Are you passionate about horticulture and want to network with like-minded people in the Saskatoon region? We have various planning committees that you can join. Each committee consist of 3-4 people and include:
Spring Garden Sale Committee
Passport Tour Committee
Home Grounds Award Committee
Fall Garage Sale Committee
If you do not want to join the planning of these events, you can simply volunteer at the event.
Want to get more involved with SHS? We are always looking for new people to become directors of our society to help achieve our mission. We meet once a month to discuss the direction of SHS. If you want to attend a meeting to see what we are about, please contact Chris at (306) 281-8921.
Please send us an email with your contact information at email@example.com
We are looking for volunteers with various skills, knowledge and availability to help out with the project. Please if you are interested in volunteering with us contact Kim Wenger the Community Greenhouse Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org
Frequently Asked Questions
- helping seniors or less-able individuals garden
- answering a garden phone-in line for your community
- designing, planting or maintaining community gardens in public places such as hospitals, schools, parks, etc.
- developing horticultural therapy programs
- writing a garden column for our newsletter or for your local paper
- teaching gardening classes for your local community colleges, associations or recreation departments
- The list goes on... “If you think there is a need you can fill it!”
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