Rutgers Master Gardeners Program: The Rutgers Master Gardener Program serves as a volunteer arm of Rutgers Cooperative Extension’s agricultural and natural resource program. To earn the title of Rutgers Certified Master Gardener, individuals are required to complete an intensive study of botany, entomology, plant diseases, landscaping, and environmentally sound methods of horticulture, as well as volunteer service back to Rutgers or a cooperating agency. Rutgers Certified Master Gardeners use their skills to perform a wide range of community services. In Cape May County, they include gardening demonstrations, staffing the horticulture hotline, staffing information booths at the 4-H Fair and other public events.
Rutgers Master Gardeners can offer advice, information & plant diagnostic services for residents and visitors with non commercial questions on composting, environmentally sound gardening practices, and pest identification.
Call the Cape May County Horticultural Helpline at 609-465-5115, ext. 3653 with questions on lawn care, soil tests, native plants, fruits, vegetables, and more.
More information about the Rutgers Master Gardeners Program
The New Jersey Rutgers Master Gardener Program, founded in 1972, now serves as volunteer arm of the University Extension programs in more than 40 states. Rutgers Master Gardeners are required to pursue a year of intensive study of botany, entomology, plant diseases, landscaping, and environmentally sound methods of horticulture.
Following state certification, Rutgers Master Gardeners perform community service. Programs include a helpline for gardeners, lectures for community groups, and advice and assistance to schools, to bring an understanding of the interrelationships of nature to our lives.
Rutgers Master Gardeners use their skills in a variety of areas, including:
- Gardening demonstrations
- Telephone Helpline and Plant Clinics
- Horticultural therapy
- Information booths at county fairs and other public events
- Research assistance at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
- Harvesting and packing food for the hungry
Rutgers Master Gardeners receive in-depth, hands-ontraining in horticulture from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey faculty and professional staff.
Some basic topics include plant biology, propagation, soil science, and disease and pest control. There is a fee to cover material and program costs. (Scholarships are available.)
In exchange for the training, Rutgers Master Gardeners agree to volunteer a certain number of hours, working in their community in programs sponsored by the Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES). Successful graduates of the training become Certified Rutgers Master Gardeners after they complete their volunteer service.