Master Gardener Program

The Washington State University (WSU) Master Gardeners (MG) of Thurston County is a volunteer service program. There is a perception that to become a WSU Master Gardener you must know everything about gardening. This is unrealistic and untrue. To be a WSU Thurston County Master Gardener you must have gardening experience, but more importantly you must have the commitment to be a lifelong learner and sharer of information. This program offers gardeners opportunities to gain personal gardening knowledge but our primary focus is to develop community educators. Once trained, WSU Master Gardener volunteers help deliver messages to the citizens of Thurston County related to water-wise gardening, how to grow your own food, low-impact landscaping, diagnosing plant diseases, identifying insects/pests etc. We provide a number of different venues, including demonstration gardens, community booths and question/answer clinics through which volunteers deliver these messages.

The WSU Master Gardener Program has yearly training to educate Interns (trainee) about Integrated Pest Management and Sustainable Gardening Practices. Interns work closely with Mentors and other Certified MGs and donate their time at the Demonstration Gardens, Clinics and Foundation fundraising activities to earn the required volunteer hours. Once both the training and service hours are completed, they graduate from Intern to Certified. Volunteer and continuing education hours must be completed each year for a person to remain an active participant in the program. It is a valuable way for people to help educate other Thurston County residents in good gardening practices. (A copy of the 2020 WSU Master Gardener Handbook can be found by downloading the Master Gardener Handbook (pdf). The WSU Master Gardener training will also teach you how to access even more resources for those subjects you may not know too much about. You will become part of over 200 Thurston County WSU Master Gardeners who have very diverse backgrounds of gardening expertise and interests. As a result of this diversity you will have fun learning from one another while making lifelong friendships. Interested in becoming a WSU Master Gardener?

Current information can be found at If you need additional information, please e-mail  Cori Carlton at or call her at 360-867-2162.

Master Gardener Plant Clinics

Click Plant Clinics for more information about the educational clinics which are available to the public.