Log in

Polk County Master Gardeners

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach in Polk County

Log in

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 15 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 $150.

Fall offering for 2023 is now full in Polk County. Please join the Growing Connections Newsletter and follow us on Facebook to stay informed on our events and programs.

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 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 and Soil Fertility
  • Composting
  • Trees and Shrubs
  • Botany
  • Plant Pathology
  • Entomology
  • Sustainable Landscape Design
  • Fruit Culture
  • Turfgrass Management
  • Weed Science
  • Integrated Pest Management
  • Pesticides and Pesticide Safety
  • Animal Ecology
  • Vegetables and Herbs
  • Houseplants and Propagation
  • Herbaceous Ornamentals

Contact Us
Office: 515-957-5768

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

This institution is an equal opportunity provider. For the full non-discrimination statement or accommodation inquiries, go to  

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software