Polk County Master Gardeners

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach in Polk County

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Become a Master Gardener

Master Gardener Training

ISU Extension and Outreach in Polk County offers the Master Gardener Training each year in late summer through fall. 

Classes are held both online and in-person at various locations around Polk County. In-person classes help supplement online learning through hands-on, experiential learning.  

Within 12 months of completing the training, participants are expected to complete a 40 hour volunteer internship on approved projects before receiving their Master Gardener Certificate. Certified Master Gardeners continue to complete an annual volunteer and education requirement.

Cost for the Master Gardener Training is $195.


Frequently Asked Questions

What sets a Master Gardener apart from a home gardener?

Master Gardeners are enthusiastic, willing to learn, and have the ability to communicate and share their knowledge with diverse groups of people.


Is prior experience or education is required to become a Master Gardener?

No, no prior experience or education is required. After acquiring the Master Gardener Certificate, volunteers must complete a minimum of 10 hours of educational training and provide 20 hours of volunteer service annually.


What if I don't want to become a volunteer, but I would still like to take the course? 

The Master Gardener program is a volunteer service organization. Volunteer service is required to use the "Master Gardener" title. Participants who are interested in the program solely for education can register for the "ProHort" certification, the fee for this training is $550. 


Class Topics

  • Soils
  • Botany
  • Plant pathology
  • Entomology
  • Landscape trees and shrubs
  • Home landscape design
  • Fruit culture
  • Turfgrass management
  • Weeds
  • Integrated Pest Management
  • Animal ecology
  • Vegetables
  • Houseplants and propagation
  • Herbaceous ornamentals



Contact Us
Office: 515-957-5768
polkmg@iastate.edu

ISU Extension and Outreach, Polk County:
1625 Adventureland Dr.
Suite A | Altoona, IA 50009

extension.iastate.edu/polk/

This institution is an equal opportunity provider. For the full non-discrimination statement or accommodation inquiries, go to www.extension.iastate.edu/diversity/ext.  


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