Aloha | E Komo Mai!
Welcome to the Kauaʻi Master Gardener (MG) Program homepage. The Kauaʻi MG Program is a volunteer program administered by the University of Hawaiʻi (UH) College of Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) Cooperative Extension Service (CES). Kauaʻi Master Gardeners are trained volunteers who assist the University in its mission to deliver relevant, research-based, environmentally sound horticulture information to the public. Through community outreach and education, we strive to promote sustainable gardening practices and environmental stewardship on Kauaʻi.
Typically, the MG Training Program is offered once a year over a span of 16-weeks from February to May. The Training is conducted by UH faculty and local experts in botany, plant physiology, soil science, organic agriculture, plant pathology, entomology, native plants and more. Participants receive around 64 hours of classroom training, equivalent to a college-level introductory horticulture course. The program’s core curriculum covers the following topics:
- Basic Botany & Plant Physiology
- Plant Propagation & Pruning
- Organic Gardening & Composting
- Ornamental Crops & Flowers
- Plants Native to Hawaiʻi
- Tropical Fruit & Nut Trees
- Entomology & Integrated Pest Management
- Plant Disease & Diagnostics
- Invasives Species & Weed Management
- Garden Food Safety
- Turfgrass & Lawn Management
- Soils & Plant Nutrition
Classes are held at the Kauaʻi Agricultural Research Center in Wailua Homesteads, or via Zoom with hands-on activities. There is a course fee that covers materials and resources used in the course, and it is determined on a yearly basis. Last year it was $200, and it will be calculated each year based on expenses and available funds.
In the first year after completing the training course, participants are required to fulfill a minimum of 50 hours of volunteer service in order to become certified Master Gardeners. Volunteer opportunities include, to name a few:
- Staffing the Farmers Market ʻPlant Doctorʻ booth
- Developing demonstration gardens
- Growing plants to sell at garden fairs
- Writing for the MG newsletter, Facebook page, or local paper
- Conducting internet or field research
- Teaching and consulting at school and community gardens
- Offering lectures and workshops at various venues around Kauaʻi
A minimum of 40 hours of volunteer service and 10 hours of continuing education per year is required in order to maintain active status in the program.
Certified Kauaʻi MGs enjoy many benefits, including the chance to join a community of like-minded people, passionate about gardening and making a difference on Kauaʻi. Other benefits include the opportunity to participate in ongoing membership activities such as the MG Continuing Education Program, monthly meetings, field trips, statewide conferences, free seeds, workshops, social events, and more!
Interested in Joining Future Master Gardener Classes? Apply here!
We're now taking applications for the 2024 class! Please fill out this form with some background info and we'll get back to you around the beginning of the new year for an interview! We typically start reviewing applications around November and begin interviews in January, so please fill in the form before the end of the year.
Need Some Gardening Advice?
We have a 'plant doctor' booth at the Puhi Grove Farm Farmers Market, each Saturday from 9:30 to noon. We welcome questions and are happy to consult. It's also a great opportunity to buy seeds, sourced by us from the University's Seed Lab.
Please also check out the database of FREE CTAHR publications on tropical agriculture, created by extension agents and researchers at the University of Hawaiʻi, as well as the HānaiʻAi Newsletter of FREE information about advances in sustainable and organic agriculture in Hawaiʻi (some of them written by our very own Master Gardeners).
Existing Kauaʻi Master Gardener Internal Login Links
VMS - Volunteer Management System
Training Course Slides, Videos, and Links (CMS)