UCCE Master Gardeners of Solano County
University of California
UCCE Master Gardeners of Solano County

Master Gardener

The Master Gardener Volunteer Program is a partnership among the University of California, USDA, county governments, and California residents.  This program is an important outreach and public service arm of the UC's Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) direct at home gardeners. Master Gardener Program training and management are administered by the county UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE) offices.  Certified Master Gardener are agents of UCCE. In exchange for the excellent training they receive, Master Gardener volunteers extend horticultural information and offer educational programs and garden-related demonstrations in their communities.

The mission of the UC Master Gardener Program is to extend to the public research-based information, verified by UC experts, about home horticulture, pest identification, landscape maintenance, and other environmental issues.  All of the Program's outreach emphasizes the importance of sustainable landscape practices in addressing multiple environmental concerns, including water and air quality, energy and soil conservation, invasive species, and waste management.

Become a Master Gardener

The UC Master Gardener application period is now OPEN!

If you are interested in being considered for the 2017 Training Class, please fill out this file and return it to the UC Master Gardener office at 501 Texas Street, 1st floor, Fairfield, CA 94533 attention: Jennifer.  If you need a paper copy sent to your home, email or call Jennifer Baumbach, Program Coordinator, at 707-389-0645 or jmbaumbach@ucanr.edu with your information.

Deadline to apply for 2017 class is October 31, 2016.  Late submissions will not be considered.  

The following provides an overview of the application process and requirements for becoming a Master Gardener

  • Do you believe in volunteering within your community?
  • Do you enjoy sharing your gardening knowledge?
  • Are you interested in learning about research-based home horticulture and other related topics?
  • Can you attend a 16-week training course?

If you answered yes to all of these questions, the Master Gardener program may be for you. The University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) Master Gardener program provides the public with research-based information about home horticulture verified by UC experts.

 The application process includes two steps:

  1. Written application and
  2. Personal interview.

Interviews usually happen in early November.

A selection panel interviews applicants who must demonstrate effective communication skills, the ability to work with the public, and an interest in gardening. Applicants pay a non-refundable fee for the training that covers all of the required books, reference materials, fingerprinting, and official badge once the training is successfully completed.

Applicants must be residents of Solano County. This UC Master Gardener program is administered by the UC Cooperative Extension office. If you are not a Solano County resident, contact your local UC Cooperative Extension office for training information. Selected candidates are those interested in extending home gardening information as a UC Master Gardener volunteer.

How are Master Gardeners trained?

The intensive course of study comprises over 75 hours of classroom time, and a field trip.  Topics include intro to horticulture, soil science, irrigation and water conservation, weeds, plant diseases, insects, integrated pest management, edible gardening (vegetables, fruits & nuts), landscape trees and ornamentals, and more. Graduation and certification as a Master Gardener requires attendance of all classes, and a minimum passing grade of 70% on the final.

Who are the instructors?

Instructors include UCCE Advisors and Specialists, faculty from the University of California and local community colleges, as well as local experts, such as other Master Gardeners.

What happens after I graduate and become a Master Gardener?

After attending all class sessions, and successfully completed the final with 70% or higher, trainees receive a graduation certificate. New Master Gardeners are required to contribute fifty (50) hours of community volunteer work during the next twelve months. Every year thereafter, twenty-five (25) hours of volunteer activity is required. UCCE approved volunteer opportunities are available for Master Gardeners to extend University research-based information to the gardening community in Solano County. Volunteer activities include conducting workshops, diagnosing plant problems, and speaking to community groups. We also dispense advice over the phone and with social and mass media. Each year twelve (12) hours of continuing education is also required. The UC Master Gardeners of Solano County appreciate your interest in the program. 

Gardening Resource Guide

The UC Master Gardeners in Solano County have created a Gardening  Resource Guide.  It is a great source of information and education about home gardening and associated resources. 

The cost of the guide is $20.00 and can be purchased at the UC Cooperative Extension office in Fairfield, 501 Texas Street, first floor. Check (payable to UC REGENTS) or cash only.

cover page

The guide includes information about:

Solano’s climate zones and soil types
Nurseries, specialized vendor and other garden related suppliers
Arborists, landscapers and other service providers
Soil and water testing laboratories
Relevant laws
Gardening calendar
Gardens and other places to visit
And so much more!

For more information contact the office at 707-389-0645 or jmbaumbach@ucanr.edu 

Program Coordinator

Photo of Jennifer Baumbach Jennifer Baumbach
Title: Master Gardener Program Coordinator for Solano and Yolo
Specialty: almost everything horticultural
Fairfield Office
501 Texas Street
First Floor
Fairfield, CA 94533-4498
Phone: (707) 389-0645
Fax: (707) 429-5532
Email: jmbaumbach@ucanr.edu

Webmaster Email: jmbaumbach@ucanr.edu