Knox County Master Gardeners

Join Us

  • Do you enjoy working with plants and gardening?
  • Do you have a Volunteer spirit and a desire to help others?
  • Whether your thumb is bright greennot-so-green, or brown, join our training classes and share your interests with our community.

Our Mission: Helping Tennessee Grow Better Communities

In support of Extension in Tennessee, the mission of the Knox County Master Gardener program is to educate and serve the community using research-based information on best-practices in horticulture, environmental stewardship, and integrated pest management.

We collaborate with groups and individuals in our community to develop opportunities for all ages and backgrounds to fulfill a passion for gardening.

Volunteers Make the Difference!

Over 200 enthusiastic, friendly volunteers throughout Knox County manage all aspects of the program and deliver services to the community. Everyone who is trained to become a certified Master Gardener is expected to return a minimum number of community service hours. Most volunteers contribute much more than expected because we love what we do and see the impact of our work in the community. We know you will, too.

Beginning Your Journey as a Master Gardener

We are currently seeking dedicated volunteers to join our wonderful group and serve in the community. While a background in gardening is a plus, we welcome all applicants, regardless of your gardening experience! To become a certified Tennessee Extension Master Gardener, you must first complete a 40-hour training course, which covers a variety of horticultural topics such as Basic Botany, Soil Science, Weed Science, and many more. Upon course graduation, you then must complete 40 volunteer hours at an Extension approved project and 8-hours of continued education within one year of completion of training. The first year is the most difficult for new volunteers, but the education and service are well worth the time commitment!

Application and General Training Information    

The Knox County Master Gardener training is held every spring, typically from January through April each year. We offer both morning and night classes, based on the year. Morning classes are held on even years (2020, 2022, 2024, etc.) and night classes on odd years (2021, 2023, 2025, etc.). Applications can be submitted anytime before November 1st of each year, but earlier is better as applicants are contacted in the order received. 

2024 Knox County Master Gardener Volunteer Training    

Residents of Knox and surrounding counties are invited to participate in the 2024 UT-TSU Extension – Knox County Master Gardener volunteer training!

The training will be held every Wednesday morning from 9am to 12pm starting January 10th and ending on April 24th, 2024*. Classes will be held in-person at the UT Extension Eastern Region office, located at 1801 Downtown West Blvd., Knoxville, TN. Class topics include Basic Botany, Integrated Pest Management, Soil Science/Nutrition, Fruit and Vegetable Gardening, Ornamentals, Native Plants, and more!

Applications should be submitted by November 1st, 2023. The cost is $200 and is due by December 1st, 2023. The registration fee includes all training materials and is due after receiving an acceptance letter. Upon completing the training course, participants are required to complete 40 hours of volunteer service in Knox County and 8 hours of continued education. 

For more program information or to apply, please contact the Knox County Master Gardener program coordinator, Rylan Thompson, at 865-215-4593 or

*There will be three classes held on Thursday: February 8th, February 15th, and April 4th.

The Tennessee Extension Master Gardener program is open to all gardening enthusiasts, whether you are a beginner or a professional!

Below is the link to the Tennessee Master Gardener Program application. Click to download the file. After filling out the application, please mail the completed form to: 

Rylan Thompson 

Master Gardener Coordinator

UT-TSU Extension – Knox County 

400 West Main St., Suite 560 

Knoxville, TN 37902

Not in the Knoxville Area? No Problem!

Please visit to find a group near you!

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