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Master Gardener training cultivates new volunteers through virtual learning

DAVIE, Fla. – You can’t stop the Master Gardeners from learning. Amid social distancing brought on by COVID-19 and just as Master Gardeners hit their peak training season, UF/IFAS Extension Broward County program administrators and participants are taking their Master Gardener Program on a virtual tour.

The Florida Master Gardener Program is a volunteer-driven program that benefits UF/IFAS Extension and Florida residents. The program relies on dedicated volunteers whose interests and goals are gardening and giving back to their communities.

By taking advantage of online technology, like video conferencing and webinars, the current Master Gardener class is moving forward with week five of its 15-week curriculum. A variety of virtual lessons and hands-on projects will allow volunteers to complete the curriculum in the safety of their homes.

“We are committed to finishing the course with the same quality curriculum along with a variety of technology assists,” said Lorna Bravo, UF/IFAS Broward County Extension director. “This will allow us to train the trainer with a variety of horticulture projects that volunteers can produce and learn from in the safety of their home.”

What’s on tap for the next lesson?

The current class of 27 students will learn how to create a hydroponics container from basic supplies to grow lettuce through online lessons. Future online classes include vegetable gardening, compost/vermicompost, tropical fruits in South Florida, urban food systems, invasive plants/biocontrol and online lectures in developing butterfly gardens and design, turf and best management practices, integrated pest management, and Florida Friendly Landscaping ™ principles.

UF/IFAS Extension Broward County has 225 active master gardeners who provide a variety of specialized leadership and guidance in gardening projects of all types. Sample projects include training residents and educators on how to grow food in urban spaces, teaching communities on how to develop and maintain Florida-Friendly landscaping, providing guidance on how to maintain soil moisture without overwatering just to name a few.

Looking for more information?

For more information on future Master Gardener classes or to arrange assistance on your own project and gardening challenges from the Extension Broward program, email or call 954-756-8533. For a range of self-help and informative articles from master gardeners throughout the state, visit


By: Lourdes Rodriguez, 954-577-6363 office, 954-242-8439 mobile, 

The mission of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) is to develop knowledge relevant to agricultural, human, and natural resources and to make that knowledge available to sustain and enhance the quality of human life. With more than a dozen research facilities, 67 county Extension offices, and award-winning students and faculty in the UF College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, UF/IFAS brings science-based solutions to the state’s agricultural and natural resources industries and all Florida residents.  @UF_IFAS

6 Comments on “Master Gardener training cultivates new volunteers through virtual learning

  1. Where can I get the plans to make those bucket planters?

    • HI Jeffrey,
      I am forwarding your request to Lorna Bravo, the extension director for UF/IFAS Extension Broward who will be happy to assist you.

  2. Who is the UF/IFAS point of contact for the Melbourne, Florida area?


    • Hello Paul, thank you for reaching out to UF IFAS. The UF/IFAS Extension Brevard County office covers and offers programs for the City of Melbourne. Here is some information with a contact number. The website can be reached by logging on to
      The Extension Direction is Elizabeth Shepherd who can be reached via email at If you wish to call the office, please call Tel: (321) 633-1702 but please keep in mind that due to COVID restrictions, there may be some schedule conflicts.

    • Hello Sharon, so sorry for the delay. Let me put you in touch with Lorna Bravo, the UF/IFAS Broward County Extension Director. Her phone 954-756-8529