Master Gardener Program

Part-time Non-credit Certificate Program


Update: The next start date for the full Master Gardener Program will be Spring 2022!

Attend a FREE Information Session planned for Fall 2021. 

A collaboration between Vancouver Island University and Vancouver Island Master Gardeners Association.

Designed for the experienced home gardener, this is an intensive training program providing up-to-date information on all gardening basics. Through this program you will be able to:

  • Meet other gardeners in an atmosphere of sharing and exploration
  • Fill gaps in your gardening knowledge
  • Provide satisfying solutions to future gardening problems
  • Know where to find the answers to new challenges
  • Give back to your community and share your joy of gardening.

Course Delivery

The program consists of 78 hours of classroom training, followed by 65 hours of volunteer service. The classroom training component is delivered on Tuesdays and Saturdays in a workshop format (12 weeks). The program will take place in a hybrid delivery model with coursework being available online and in person. 

Program Content

Classroom component covers a full range of gardening topics such as:

  • Botany and plant identification
  • Soils
  • Pruning
  • Plant diseases, hardiness and protection
  • Specialized information about specific plant types
  • Sustainable landscape design
  • Weed management
  • Composting
  • Propagation
  • Basic entomology and integrated pest management

Volunteer Service component is where students share their gardening knowledge and passion with the community, supported by experienced Master Gardeners.

Start Date

Next Program:  January 2022

Admission Requirements

  • Experienced home gardener, prepared to share knowledge and enthusiasm with the gardening public.

How to Register

  • An information session will be held in Fall 2021 through zoom registration to be confirmed.
  • Email to be added to the interest list to be updated, when info session registration is available. 

Start Date and Application Deadlines

Program Start Date Accepting Applications Campus
Next Intake(s)
  • Possible January 2022 start date, with an information session Fall 2021.

Application Fee
Testing Required
Admissions Assistant

Name: Naomi Knodel
Phone: 250-746-3512

Area Secretary Contact

Name: Amanda Gill
Phone: 250-746-3575

Coordinator Contact

Name: Kim Tooby
Phone: 250-746-3546

Documentation Deadline

For program information please call Kim Tooby at 250-746-3546 or email Please call Area Contact Person to put your name on an interest list.


VIU Application for Admission required. Program takes place at G.R. Paine Horticultural Training Centre, 2324 East Wellington Road in Nanaimo. See G.R. Paine Horticultural Training Centre for more information. The Master Gardener Certificate Program consists of Advanced Gardener: Theory and Practice AMMG 023 (78 hours) September through to December followed by the Master Gardener In Training Volunteer Component AMMG 030 (70 hours)