Who are we?

Manitoba Master Gardeners

  • Have earned an internationally respected horticultural designation
  • Are volunteers helping their local gardening communities
  • Provide public education, project leadership and gardening advice
  • Supported by their Association, continue to gain and share expertise
  • Are leaders in fostering sustainable, ecologically sound gardening practices
Click on the tabs above to learn more!

“The Manitoba Master Gardener Association (MMGA) cultivates the development and continuous education of Master Gardeners, supports volunteerism, and encourages sustainable proven gardening practices in Manitoba.” February 2020

With 100 Master Gardener members and about 55 members still completing their certification, the MMGA is a vibrant organization involved in community projects, horticultural organizations and educational activities throughout Manitoba.

Free 2-year MMGA membership

Once registered as an MMGA intern, you receive a free two-year membership with full member privileges. Most interns complete their training, required voluntary service and final exam within two years. You are then invited to join as a fee-paying member ($25/year) to finish your certification and receive an MMGA Master Gardener Certificate.

MMGA membership features

Study groups. MMGA Study Groups are informal learning and support clubs of both MGs and interns that meet regularly. You get to know others from your neighbourhood or region for networking, mentorship and ‘moral support’ as you work through your courses online.

Opportunities to learn and participate. The bi-monthly MMGA newsletter, frequent Member Updates and our website keep you current on new volunteer opportunities and success stories; the latest horticultural advances, recommended horticultural resources; and upcoming events. Regular MMGA-hosted education sessions – during Covid offered via Zoom – feature guest experts, and three members-only meetings yearly are for socializing, information-sharing and fun (including prizes!)

Certification

There are four main steps to becoming a Manitoba Master Gardener

  1. Register in and complete the Gardening at USask required online basic training courses
  2. Register for and complete a 40-hour volunteer practicum through the MMGA
  3. Achieve at least 70% on the final Gardening at USask basic training exam
  4. Join the MMGA as a fee-paying member.

Click on the tabs above to learn more!

Anyone can take any Gardening at USask class, even if just one class for personal interest. However, if you want to become certified, you must enrol in the Manitoba Certification program plus the required courses listed in the next tab. The Manitoba certification program fee includes all administrative fees, access to several pre-recorded training courses (that serve as program textbooks) – and your examination fee. 

Details on the steps to Manitoba certification – the first two steps can be done concurrently:

  1. Register in the Manitoba Certification Program course (see next tab)
  2. Register for the MMGA Practicum. You will receive information about Practicum registration from the MMGA after you register for the Certification course. The Practicum of 40 hours volunteer service gives you the opportunity to practice hands-on what is involved in being a certified Manitoba Master Gardener. The details of what constitutes an approved Practicum activity, how to find suitable opportunities, and how to record your participation is available here. You must complete the Practicum before writing the exam.
  3. Complete the required academic courses through Gardening at USask (see next tab).
  4. Complete the final exam through USask. The exam is online, multiple choice, and contains questions taken from the study questions found in the required courses. You can write the exam as many times as you like, using it as both a training tool and an assessment. The computer will save your best attempt. 70% is a passing grade.
  5. At the end of your two-year free membership in the MMGA, join our organization as a paying member, receive your Certificate, and take advantage of the many benefits of membership in this active, all-volunteer association.

Anyone can register for the courses below, but if you want to certify as a Manitoba Master Gardener you must be registered in the MG program. You can sample one or two classes first, but when you are ready, you must register in Manitoba Master Gardener Certification course ($175), as this constitutes your Master Gardener registration and you must complete all 10 courses shown below.

The courses are online on a “learn at your own pace, register anytime” format. Being online, the courses are available anywhere in Manitoba with sufficient Internet access. You can start on the date you want, watch anytime it works for you, and repeat the courses as often as you need to feel you have learned the material – all for the original posted fee. The total cost is about $805 plus gst and the total course hours are about 64 hours.

  1. Manitoba Master Gardener Certification: $175, about 10 hours plus tracking and the final exam.
  2. Garden Fundamentals: $150, about 16 hours
  3. Botanical Latin: $50, about 4 hours
  4. Tree and Shrub ID: $75, about 6 hours
  5. Insects in Your Yard and Garden: $75, about 8 hours
  6. Plant Diagnostics for Home Gardeners: $50, about 3 hours
  7. Common Plant Disorders: $50, about 3 hours
  8. Common Plant Diseases: $50, about 3 hours
  9. Safe Use of Pesticides and Alternatives: $50, about 5 hours
  10. Communications: this is a two part class with each part $40, about 3 hours. Part 1 is online, on demand, independant learning. Part 2 is live online, with an instructor and is scheduled every fall, winter and spring in our Upcoming Classes section. You must register for each class separately.

For specific information on each course, or to register, click on the course name above.

We strongly recommend you take Garden Fundamentals and Botanical Latin first as one or both are prerequisites for most of the other required courses. Beyond this, you can take the courses in any order.

Under Gardening at USask and MMGA regulations, you have five years to complete all required courses plus your volunteer service Practicum – see the Details tab above for more on the Practicum.

Once you have completed the required courses through Gardening at USask and completed your voluntary hours (Practicum) with the MMGA, you can request access to the final exam.

The Master Gardener exam is both a final test of your learning and a training exercise. It consists of 100 multiple choice questions and is open-book (but not open Internet).

You can take the exam as many times as you wish. The questions will randomize each time and the computer remembers your highest grade. This means you can practice with it as many times as you want until you feel really comfortable with the content.

Once your grade is above 70%, you are considered to have completed the exam, but you are welcome to keep using it as a training tool to hone your memory and knowledge.

Gardening at USask Master Gardener Courses

A sample of Gardening at USask program values:

  • Science-driven recommendations
  • Improving biodiversity above & below ground
  • Sustainable, low impact choices
  • Prevention before action
  • Instructors passionate about teaching and their work

Click on the tabs above to learn more!

Gardening at USask constantly seeks to provide the best, most up-to-date, locally applicable information. This means recommendations change as scientific understanding or new information emerges. Classes are continually updated to ensure the best information is offered.

All of the classes have a strong pesticide-free focus, regardless if the pesticide is organic or inorganic, purchased or homemade. The notable exception is Safe Use of Pesticides and Alternatives. Why is this course required? Because you need to understand how to use these safely if you’re going to be able to give good advice.

Vanessa Young, Gardening at USask manager

The “best practice” recommendations and course development at Gardening at USask are based on the following values:

  • Recognition that there are many ways to be successful.
  • Promotion of active decision making rather than defaulting to unconsidered, habitual practice.
  • Encouragement for you to develop a holistic emotional and physical relationship with your space.
  • Provision of science-driven recommendations.
  • Focus on improving biodiversity above and below ground.
  • Recognition that soil health is the foundation to garden health.
  • Encouragement of sustainable, low environmental impact choices.
  • Promotion of consumer-lite approaches (ie. change what you do rather than purchase a product solution).
  • Encouragement for you to prevent rather than react.
  • Toleration of imperfection.
  • Avoidance of unnecessary complications.
  • Instructors who are passionate professionals who have made their chosen topic a large part of their life's work and they enjoy teaching

Gardening at USask course policies:

  • Age restrictions: Gardening at USask required MG courses are open to everyone age 16 and older. There may be exceptions to this on a case-by-case basis. Contact  gardening@usask.ca to request an exception.
  • Pre-requisites: The only prerequisites are an interest in gardening, basic literacy and basic computer skills. However individual courses may require other courses in their Master Gardener program as prerequisites (see Required Classes tab).

University of Saskatchewan online courses are offered on Canvas and the live-stream courses are offered on Zoom.

  • Transfer credits: Transfer credits from other appropriate courses may be accepted. This is on a case-by-case basis. Note that course credit eligibility expires after five years. Contact gardening@usask.ca

Contact us

For more information about MMGA’s Manitoba Master Gardener certificate process, please contact Darlene Belton, MMGA Education Standards Co-Director: training@mgmanitoba.com

For more information about the required courses through the University of Saskatchewan and related policies, please contact Vanessa Young, Horticulture and Agriculture Lifelong Learning Programs: gardening@usask.ca