Master Gardener Program

The Rutherford County Master Gardener program is a volunteer service organization offered by The University of Tennessee Extension. The purpose of the Master Gardener program is to train citizens as horticulture educators for their communities. The title Master Gardener is conditional upon complying with the following:

  • Successfully completing the Master Gardener training program
  • Performing and reporting 40 service hours within 12 months of training program completion
  • Attending 4 Master Gardeners of Rutherford County Association meetings per year,
  • Sharing only University of Tennessee-approved recommendations (not home remedies but researched based information)
  • The Master Gardener name badge and title may not be used for commercial gain or to promote commercial products or businesses; and
  • Certification is renewable annually, upon completion of volunteer and educational requirements.

2024 Classes begin January 30th and run every Tuesday from 9am to noon for 14 weeks.

Application packet must be completed and either emailed back to Justin Stefanski at, mailed, or physically delivered to the Rutherford County Extension office at 315 John Rice Blvd. Murfreesboro, TN before December 1, 2023.

After submission of your application, You will be notified of your application selection status by December 20th, 2023. If you are accepted, payment of the $175 training fee may be submitted at that time. Please do not submit the payment with your application or before you have been notified of acceptance to the program. The fee includes all educational training materials that you will get to keep.

Learn more about becoming a Master Gardener
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Master Gardener Podcast
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Garden Basic Program
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Annual Plant Swap Update:

Mark your calendars for Saturday, May 13th, 2023 9am to 11am for the annual Master Gardener Plant Swap at the Lane Agri Park Community Center, 315 John R. Rice Blvd, Murfreesboro. Bring your extra perennial plants, annual plants, vegetable plants, & shrubs to swap!

Plants should be:

  • Well-Rooted in pots
  • Properly Labeled – Name, color, growth habits & divided if necessary
  • Irises in Bundles of 3 = 1 swap
  • Established Seedling 6 pack = 1 swap
  • 1 plant = 1swap

PLEASE NO: small seedlings, seeds or invasive plants.

These Plants will Not be Accepted

  • Tree of Heaven
  • Mimosa
  • Royal Paulownia
  • Autumn Olive
  • Burning Bush
  • Chinese Privet
  • Japanese Honeysuckle
  • Amur Bush Honeysuckle
  • Japanese Wisteria
  • Sweet Autumn Clematis
  • Callery/Bradford Pear
  • Common Reed
  • Winter Creeper
  • English Ivy
  • Multiflora Rose
  • Japanese Spires
  • Common Perieinkle
  • Chinese Wisteria

What is the Mission of the TN Extension Master Gardener program?

To improve the lives of Tennesseans through horticulture education by a dedicated and skilled volunteer.