Colorado Master Gardener Program application period open now to Sept. 15

Whether you are a person doing your own backyard gardening or someone who does it for a living, the Colorado Master Gardener program may be for you. The Colorado Master Gardener program is a program where you learn about gardening in Colorado. The first step is to apply now, between Aug. 1 and Sept. 15, at or go to

The 12 gardening classes include vegetable gardening, tree care, diagnosing problems, weed control, plant pathology, soils and some time spent on mountain gardening. This Colorado Master Gardener program will be taught online, starting Oct. 30, and going through March 31, 2024.

The two program tracts are No. 1 — the volunteer tract. If a person has time to volunteer to teach horticulture to others, they can take the class for a reduced fee. By agreeing to be a volunteer, the fee is reduced to $200. With the reduced fee, the volunteer agrees to provide 50 hours of volunteer time back to Colorado State University and the San Luis Valley through the local extension office after they have completed the classes. 

The second tract is the non-volunteer tract. It is called the Colorado Gardener Certificate. Those who chose this program will not provide the volunteer hours to Colorado State University and the San Luis Valley. Those following the Colorado Gardener Certificate tract will not become a Colorado Master Gardener. They are not eligible to call themselves a “Master Gardener”. This tract pays the full fee of $530. There are a limited number of scholarships available which cover half of the fee.

The application period opens Aug. 1 and closes Sept. 15, and the first step is to apply now. As all Colorado State University volunteers require, background checks and reference checks are required. After the background check is completed, you can register and pay for the course. Payment is due Oct. 25 and classes begin Oct. 30. 

Learn more and apply online at You can also learn more from the SLV Area Extension Office by calling 719-852-7381, emailing Larry Brown at [email protected] or Jennifer Norris at [email protected], or stopping in at 1899 East Highway 160, Monte Vista.

CSU Extension programs are available to everyone without discrimination.