Become a Master Gardener!

All volunteers are trained with 40 hours of horticultural classes and return 40 hours of volunteer service in Blount County. 

A Tennessee Extension Master Gardener horticultural textbook is provided as part of the class fee charged to attendees of these classes.  

The classes are taught by professors and other industry professionals who share their knowledge and experience.

To obtain the Extension Master Gardeners Certificate:  40 hours of volunteer service in addition to attending the classes is required. Once the certificate has been achieved (the second year of service), the volunteer hours requirement to maintain Master Gardener certification and BCMG membership is 25 hours a year.

Update on 2019 Master Gardener Intern Training

There are nineteen Interns enrolled in the BCMG General Training Course for 2019.  In February, as the course approached the halfway point of the 12-week series, the Interns enjoyed a lecture on Chapter 8 - Woody Ornamentals from Mark Sharp, former MG and owner of "My Personal Gardener”.  Click HERE for pictures!

Sharp also covered a section on new shrubs that have been introduced to the market over the past several years and gave a demonstration on proper pruning techniques. Later, during the session, Sharp’s son Stan Sharp, also from "My Personal Gardener", led a timely discussion and demonstration of proper shrub planting and covered the use of organic products in the landscape.

The Interns have completed a lot of the basics - Intro to Botany, Soil Sciences and Water Management, Plant Pathology, Tennessee Vegetation and Flora and have been to the UT Gardens Greenhouse for a session on seed starting. All students have also completed indoctrination in the MG Program and Volunteer Guidelines and most have already joined our local Blount County Master Gardener Association. Interns have also enjoyed an opportunity to begin that all important volunteer time by attending the pruning demo and work day at the Maryville College’s Fruit Tree Grove.

As is standard with the MG Program in Tennessee, all Interns must complete 40 hours of volunteer activity and accumulate an additional 8 hours of CEU credits in the calendar year of their Internship to reach the Certified level. It isn’t too early to begin thinking of recruiting people to join the ranks and take the General Training Course in 2020. Current plans call for an evening class schedule that would again begin in January of next year. Watch for more information and announcements.


Master Gardener General Training Class for 2021

The Master Gardener program, conducted throughout the US and Canada, is a two part educational effort in which enthusiastic gardeners are provided intense horticulture training. In return they “pay back” local university extension agents through volunteerism. 

Blount County Master Gardeners' projects include a partnership with Habitat for Humanity, Project Hope a youth- and science-based program to teach middle school students STEM through gardening, an annual plant sale, the Shakespeare Garden at the Blount County Public Library, the Townsend River Walk, and the Maryville College Grove project, to name a few.

For 2021, the 13-week training course is scheduled to begin January 26th and conclude April 27th.  Classes will be held Tuesday mornings from 10:00 am until 12 noon at the Blount County Public Library. An informational session will be held Tuesday, December 1, 2020 at 6:30 pm in the Dorothy Herron Room at the Library.  Click HERE for the press release about the session.

Applications for the upcoming class will be accepted through January 8, 2021.  The training cost for the course is $220.  The fee includes all training materials and is due after your application has been approved. The course is limited to the first 30 registrants. 

An application is available at the link below, or you can obtain one at the Blount County Extension office located at 1219 McArthur Road, Maryville, TN, 37804

Click to download the application:

Tennessee Master Gardener Application

Deliver the printed application to the information meeting or mail it to Blount County Extension Office, Attn: James Hutchison, 1219 McArthur Road, Maryville, TN 37804

Blount County Extension Master Gardeners


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