The Mission of the University of Hawaii Master Gardener Program is to provide the public with unbiased, research based information and sustainable management practices in tropical horticulture suitable for home gardens, local landscapes, urban environments and the community. The Master Gardener program is an educational outreach program administered by the University of Hawaii Cooperative Extension Service.
The Master Gardener Volunteer Training Program is full for 2023.
In order to be Certified as a Master Gardener and to be able to use that title, trainees must complete the 3 components of the Master Gardener Volunteer Training Program:
1. Attend all classes and field trips of the Master Gardener Volunteer Training Program, unless previously approved to be absent by our Coordinator, Ty McDonald. 2. Successfully complete the take-home exams with a passing grade within the time limit set by the Coordinator. The first take-home exam must be completed with a passing grade within that time limit in order for you to continue with the remaining classes.
3. Complete 40 volunteer hours as approved by the coordinator within 1 year of completing the MG Volunteer Training Program. To continue being Certified as a Master Gardener, on-going service of 30 hours of volunteerism is required every year.
What we do
Master Gardeners expand the outreach efforts of the Cooperative Extension Service by interacting with the gardening public in a variety of ways:
- Master Gardener Helpline
- Information booths at agricultural festivals and farmers’ markets
- Educational programs for gardening groups (school age to seniors)
- Sustainable Gardening presentations at the Kona Historical Society Living History Farm
- Growing plants like vanilla orchids in our nursery
- Selling UH seeds, fruit fly traps, lures & bait, and live plants at outreach events
- CTAHR Open House events
- Educational programs and field trips for Master Gardeners
- And more!
The Master Gardener Helpline
Helpline hours are Tuesday and Thursday from 9AM to noon.
West Hawai‘i Island Master Gardeners are trained volunteers who specialize in giving advice and assistance to home gardeners on pests, diseases, and cultivation of plants in Hawai‘i. Research-based horticultural information is provided primarily through the Master Gardener Helpline. Home gardeners can email questions and photos to firstname.lastname@example.org, call (808) 322-4893 during office hours and ask to speak to a Master Gardener, or drop by the office in person.
Vanilla Orchid Project
West Hawaiʻi Master Gardeners are growing vanilla orchids in our greenhouse. The Vanilla Orchid Team pollinate the orchids as they bloom, fertilize the plants, harvest and process the vanilla beans, and divide the plants as necessary. We sell some of the vanilla orchid plants at our outreach events.
Propagating Plants From Seeds Made Easy
With many people starting vegetable gardens for the very first time it’s important to understand the basics of propagating plants by seed. Visions of a bountiful harvest of fresh vegetables intoxicating the beginning gardener’s mind at planting may lead to sowing seed with merely a “wet it and forget it” consideration.
Avid gardeners of all ages and stages, from fuzzy neophytes to gnarled veterans, never lose their fascination with the seed germination process, where seeds sown beneath the soil surface later emerge, full of life, as new seedling plants capable of independent existence.
Three conditions must be met for successful germination. Click here for more