You can apply for the Fall 2020 Master Gardener
Volunteer Class now!
Master Gardener Volunteer Trainees toured Harry P Leu Gardens in Orlando with Director Robert Bowden.

Do you enjoy gardening and want to know more about gardening in central Florida? Is conserving and protecting water quality important to you? Does acquiring new skills or expertise learned in workshops or classes challenge you? Do you enjoy sharing what you know with others? If you answered yes to any of these questions, the Sumter County Master Gardener Volunteer program could be for you!

Applications are ready for you to apply for the Sumter County Master Gardener Volunteer program. Complete your Master Gardener Volunteer Application, and then mail it by July 1 to UF/IFAS Extension Sumter County, ATTN: Donna Lester, 7620 SR 471, Suite 2, Bushnell, FL 33513.

Master Gardener Volunteer Classes

Master Gardener Volounteer Classes will be held on Wednesdays, August 26, through December 2, 2020, from 9 am to 3:30 pm. Classes are held at the Sumter County Extension Office at 7620 SR 471, Suite 2, Bushnell. Master Gardener Volunteer students enjoy classroom lectures with experts in their fields, hands-on activities, projects, and field trips. This intensive training covers topics that include:

  • basic botany


    Master Gardener Wildlife Training with Maxine Hunter, Agent from Marion County and her snake!
  • plant propagation
  • soils and fertilizers
  • vegetable and fruit production
  • identifying and controlling insects and diseases
  • identifying ornamental plants
  • pesticide safety and alternatives
  • attracting wildlife
  • and more!

All material covered is based on research from University of Florida. Trainees will receive the newly published Florida Master Gardener Student Manual.

What do Master Gardener Volunteers
in Sumter County do?
Sumter County Master Gardeners at Master Gardener Booth at Epcot Flower and Garden Festival in 2019.

Master Gardener Volunteers are educators who answer horticulture questions for county residents, and:

  • talk with them by phone, email, at plant clinics and event booths
  • write newsletter or newspaper articles
  • develop and give presentations for garden clubs, civic organizations and the MG speaker series
  • support youth programs
  • garden in the award winning UF/IFAS Extension Sumter County Demonstration Garden in Bushnell
  • and, enjoy a variety of advanced continuing education opportunities.

Read about Master Gardener Volunteer Training and Activities and learn about the History of the Master Gardener Volunteer Program. You can also contact Lisa Sanderson with any questions.

Master Gardener interns complete 75 hours of volunteer time. Certified Master Gardeners annually renew their recertification by completing 35 hours of volunteer time and 12 hours of continuing education.

For answers to questions on applying to become a Master Gardener Volunteer or other information about the Master Gardener Volunteer program, please contact Lisa Sanderson, the Sumter County Residential Horticulture Agent II and Master Gardener Coordinator at 352-569-6867, or Donna Lester, Program Assistant, at at 352-569-6864.

Apply Now to be a Sumter County Master Gardener Volunteer!

UF/IFAS Extension programs are open to all persons without regard to race, color, sex, age, disability, religion, or national origin.

by Lisa Sanderson

Source: UF/IFAS Alert –



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