The Master Gardener Program is a cooperative effort between community volunteers and Cape Cod Cooperative Extension staff to provide unbiased horticultural information to the residents of Barnstable County.  Working with Master Gardener volunteers, Extension can expand its ability to provide quality information to the residents of Barnstable County through an array of horticultural programs.

Master Gardeners are adults of all ages who love gardening and who have previous gardening experience.  They come from all walks of life and are willing to learn about horticulture and share that research-based information with others!

Click here to view the Master Gardener informational brochure.

Click here to visit the new Master Gardener website and to see what they are up to!

Becoming A Master Gardener

Master Gardener Program Overview

2022 Master Gardener Application

Candidates for the program will be chosen through an interview process from the pool of applicants.  Once selected the candidates will participate in a training program that will prepare them in becoming Master Gardeners.  Upon graduating from the program the candidates will then be required to give back to the program in volunteer hours (largely spent on the plant clinic and hotline).

Master Gardener Programs Include:

Annual Plant Sale
Ask a Master Gardener
Autumn Joy
Backyard Horticulture
Children’s Garden
Demonstration Garden
Hydrangea Festival
Master Gardener Scholarship
Plant Clinic & Hotline
School Garden Program
Soil Test Clinics
Speaker’s Bureau
Spring Horticultural Conference

 
 
Community Outreach & Education
School Garden Program – Master Gardeners Assisting in School Gardening
Click here for the School Garden Program Brochure.
Click here to request a Master Gardener to come to your school.

 

 

 
Ask a Master Gardener

Click here for the Master Gardener Speakers Bureau brochure and comprehensive list of topics.

To make a request for a speaker to speak to your organization or group, please fill out the information on the form by clicking on the link below.

Click here to request a speaker from the speakers bureau


The Master Gardener’s information table is where we answer gardening questions and have handouts available on various current horticultural topics.

The Master Gardener’s may participate at community events where our Horticultural message can be an integral part of the event theme. We reserve the right to cancel within one week of the event if staffing by the Master Gardeners is not available.

Click here to request a Master Gardener

NOTE: REQUESTS MUST BE RECEIVED AT LEAST ONE MONTH PRIOR TO EVENT.

Master Gardeners enhance the economy and environment through horticultural education.

Master Gardeners use applied research and the research resources of the University of Massachusetts.

Master Gardeners connect people with their environment by helping them find sound management practices for home and urban natural resources.

Master Gardeners create and maintain an aesthetically pleasing environment.

Master Gardeners promote well-being through people/plant interactions and horticulture therapy.

Master Gardeners contribute to a safe, abundant food supply through home fruit and vegetable production.

HISTORY

The Smith-Lever Act was passed by Congress in 1914. This act initiated the formation of the Cooperative Extension and is often referred to as the Cooperative Extension Act. The Act provided the funds for Land Grant Universities to develop practical applications of research knowledge and the means to demonstrate those applications to the public. By 1918, each county had at least one Extension Service agent who was responsible for disseminating this information to the public.

The purpose of the Cooperative Extension is much the same today as it was 100 years ago; to provide educational opportunities for all, to conduct research for the benefit of mankind, and to disseminate knowledge and information to the public. Traditionally, this information and knowledge has been provided in the areas of: Natural Resources, Agriculture, Family and Consumer Sciences, and Youth Development.   In 1972, an Extension Agent in Washington State, inundated with questions from home gardeners, decided to train a group of volunteers to help him handle the outreach of information. This was the beginning of the Master Gardener Program and the idea rapidly spread across the country. The Cooperative Extension soon maintained Master Gardener programs in all 50 states.

The University of Massachusetts Cooperative Extension ran the Master Gardener Program in Massachusetts until 1989. At that time, the loss of county based Extension personnel throughout much of Massachusetts resulted in the termination of the University of Massachusetts Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Program. However, support for Extension in Barnstable County still existed and the county Extension office remained.  Roberta Clark, Barnstable County Extension Educator, and a group of Master Gardeners organized Cape Cod’s first Master Gardener Class in 1990. The Master Gardener Association of Cape Cod was established in 1993 and is a non-profit (501c3) organization run by a Board of Directors.

The Master Gardener Association of Cape Cod maintains a strong relationship with the Cape Cod Cooperative Extension. That relationship is served by the Horticulture Extension Educator who advises the Association in continuing its mission to assist the Cape Cod Cooperative Extension in meeting the horticultural needs of Cape Cod’s population.

On Cape Cod, the Master Gardener Program is a cooperative effort between community volunteers and the Extension staff to provide unbiased horticultural information to the residents of Barnstable County. The efforts of the Master Gardeners increase the ability for Cooperative Extension to reach a greater number of people using the expertise gained during training. The Master Gardeners “Help Others Learn to Grow” by engaging in a number of programs, including the Horticulture Clinic and Hotline, the Demonstration Garden, the Children’s Garden and many others.

 HORTICULTURE CLINIC

The Cape Cod Cooperative Extension Horticulture Clinic Is open to handle gardening questions, soil samples and diagnostic questions.  However the clinic is not being staffed regular hours and questions should be submitted by email to gardeners@barnstablecounty.org .  The clinic is not able to handle walk-in clients or phone calls at this time.

If you have a horticulture or gardening question please submit your question to gardeners@barnstablecounty.org  Please be as detailed as possible with your question.  For questions that involve insect id, plant id, weed id or disease/mysterious problem solving please include high quality pictures with your email so that we can make a conclusive diagnosis.  For pointers on how to take high quality diagnostic photos click here.

Soil and Diagnostic samples can now be dropped off at our new location.  212 Mid-Tech Dr., W. Yarmouth.  Soil Submission Form and Diagnostic forms will be available below the black mailbox at the front entryway.  Please be sure your sample is accompanied by one of these forms and that your sample is clearly marked with your name and any pertinent information.  Samples can be placed in the mailbox when complete.  Soil will continue to be tested at no cost to residents.  We do ask that you limit your samples to 5 per household.

PLEASE NOTE:  The extension office will remain closed to the public until further notice.  Any follow up questions should still be directed to email to: gardeners@barnstablecounty.org or by phone: 508-375-6700.

For more extensive testing including nutrients and fertilizer recommendations – use the UMass Soil Testing Lab.  Instructions on how to take a soil sample.

Mail samples to:
Cape Cod Cooperative Extension
Soil Test
PO Box 367
Barnstable, MA 02630