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Polk County Master Gardeners

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach in Polk County

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Events

The Polk County Master Gardeners host events throughout the growing season to provide educational opportunities to the community. Each year we host a few signature events, as well as other pop-up events throughout the spring/summer. 

Garden Tour


Our next Garden Tour is in the Works! Check out extraordinary gardens created by ordinary people across the county in this educational event! Check out more information on our 2024 Garden Tour page. 


Bus Trips

Take a charter bus to explore nearby gardens and sites in Central Iowa and beyond! Read more and register on this page. 


Ask a Master Gardener


Visit us at the Downtown Des Moines and Beaverdale Farmers' Markets during the growing season! Come with your burning questions, or check out timely gardening information you can use at home. 


Don't Miss out!

Check our page often for pop-up events, summer lecture programs, and more!

Upcoming events

    • 6 May 2024
    • (CST)
    • 21 Oct 2024
    • (CST)
    • 29 sessions
    • Demonstration Garden 3305 92nd Street Urbandale IA

    Come hangout at the Demonstration Garden and help maintain it! Early in the season planting and then general weeding, watering, and later in the season picking vegetables to donate to the food pantry. Don't have to be a Master Gardener to come help.

    Be sure to check in and let us know if you are new!


    • 8 Jun 2024
    • Start and End at: 1625 Adventureland Dr. Suite A. Altoona, IA

    Register for the Polk County Master Gardener Bus Trip! This year we are headed to Iowa City for a day full of activities. Stops include: The Newton Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, University of Iowa Arboretum, two beautiful local private gardens, shopping opportunities at plant nurseries, and lunch at Pizza Ranch.


    For a full itinerary and additional details, follow the registration link below or see more about the event on PCMG Bus Trip Page!


    Register Now!

    • 13 Jun 2024
    • 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
    • Demonstration Garden, 3305 92nd St, Urbandale
    Register

    Join us at the Demo Garden for this presentation by Kelly Jensen.  Common weeds will be identified along with where they may be normally found. A number of organic methods of control will be explained as well as the shortcomings of these methods.  Herbicide control methods and their risks will also be included. 

    This event is open to the public.


    • 15 Jun 2024
    • 7:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    • 3rd Street Downtown, South of Court Avenue

    Polk County Master Gardeners will be available to answer all your horticulture and gardenening questions at the Des Moines Downtown Farmers' Market, 7 a.m. to noon. Each month the MG's have information on various gardening topics and often have free seeds and other great resources! You can find them on 3rd Street, south of Court Avenue. 

    • 18 Jun 2024
    • 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
    • Enabling Garden, 1050 1st Ave. S; Altoona, IA 50009, behind the Altoona Hy-Vee
    Register


    (Southeast of the Hy-Vee behind loading dock)

    1050 1st Ave. S., Altoona, IA

    Tuesday, starting at 6pm at the Enabling garden.  Educational Speaker, Emily Morris with Hope Agency will share her experiences, services and activities of the Hope Agency.  Emily, along with a crew of workers from her agency, is often found working alongside volunteers at the Enabling Garden where they also maintain a raised bed year after year. 

    • 19 Jun 2024
    • 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
    • Discovery Garden - 1207 E Iowa St. at the Iowa State Fair, South of the Agriculture Bldg.
    Register

     

    Join the Discovery Garden Master Gardeners for an enjoyable evening about everything hostas! The evening is free education and Master Gardeners can count this as one hour of continuing education.

    Presenter is Ken Outzen from Rainbow Gardens in Jewell Iowa.  He has 1000+ varieties at his Garden.



    • 20 Jun 2024
    • 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
    • Demonstration Garden 3305 92nd St, Urbandale
    Register

    How can we create backyards that will attract and support our local bird communities?  Annie Fangman from Red Tail Planning and Design will share best practices for developing an inviting space where our feathered friends can thrive.


    • 27 Jun 2024
    • 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
    • Demonstration Garden 3305 92nd St, Urbandale
    Register

    Join Master Gardener, Paula Farrell, for the "art of brining nature inside." Paula will leads us on a journey through the history of Ikebana and the ways it differs from traditional floral design.


    This event is open to the public.


    • 9 Jul 2024
    • 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
    • Enabling Garden, 1050 1st Ave. S; Altoona, IA 50009, behind the Altoona Hy-Vee
    Register

    (Southeast of the Hy-Vee behind loading dock)

    1050 1st Ave. S., Altoona, IA

    Get you summer garden menus spiced up with inspiration from Master Chef, Grant Gillon, winner, Fox’s Master Chef, season 13. Lean more and follow Grant here: https://linktr.ee/grantgillon .   

    This event is open to the public. Bring a lawn chair to sit and enjoy the ambiance of Enabling Garden while learning tricks of the trade from Grant!  




    • 10 Jul 2024
    • 1:00 PM - 3:30 PM
    • Discovery Garden - 1207 E Iowa St. at the Iowa State Fair, South of the Agriculture Bldg.
    Register

    This event is for Master Gardeners only.

    This will be a special tour for us to the  Allendan Seed Company in Winterset IA. This company produces native wildflower and grass seed to sell wholesale and retail  nationwide. This will be an exciting opportunity to learn about every stage of the native seed and plug production process.   Allendan has over 6,000 acres of wildflowers and grasses that produce the seed which they sell.  If wanting a preview, check out their website, (Allendan seed.com) to learn more about this Company.

    Polk County Master Gardeners should meet at the Discovery Garden (DG) at noon, drive to Allendan Seed Company. The address is 1966 175th Ln, in Winterset IA 50273.  Our tour (Download PDF with tour details) is scheduled for 1:00 pm and it will be approximately 1-2 hours long.  Then our trip back will take us back to the DG for work night from 4-6.  

    Please register so we know how many to expect.

    • 11 Jul 2024
    • 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM (CST)
    • 92nd & Dewey Gibbs Urbandale across of Valarius Elementary


    Come to the Demonstration Garden, one of Urbandale's most hidden gems! Join the Polk County Master Gardeners for an Annual Open House this year on July 11th featuring a variety of garden-related demonstrations.

    Featured are children’s activities, live music, refreshments, and Master Gardeners available to answer your home horticulture questions. It’s a relaxing environment with ideas and activities such as a garden scavenger hunt to get families and friends working together while exploring Demonstration Garden.

    Come out and be inspired by new garden trends and see how to incorporate natives, cut gardens, edible landscapes food gardens and more. Let the master gardeners of Demonstration garden show you tips and trick on having garden success. Refreshments provided!

    • 17 Jul 2024
    • 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
    • Discovery Garden - 1207 E Iowa St. at the Iowa State Fair, South of the Agriculture Bldg.
    Register

     Interested in roses?

    Our own PCMG, Susan Ekstrom, will share her experience of planting and growing roses in Iowa. Join Susan in the Discovery Garden at the Iowa State Fair. This event is open to the public. 

    • 18 Jul 2024
    • 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
    • Demonstration Garden, 92nd and Dewey Gibbs St, Urbandale
    Register



    Marcia Leeper, garden enthusiast, will present “Epic Tomato & Garden Vegetables That Rock”:  Let’s review new ideas about growing tomatoes and their history. We will explore the best ways to grow vegetables in containers and planting them in the landscape.

    The public is invited to this event.

    • 20 Jul 2024
    • 7:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    • 3rd Street Downtown, South of Court Avenue

    Polk County Master Gardeners will be available to answer all your horticulture and gardenening questions at the Des Moines Downtown Farmers' Market, 7 a.m. to noon. Each month the MG's have information on various gardening topics and often have free seeds and other great resources! You can find them on 3rd Street, south of Court Avenue. 

    • 25 Jul 2024
    • 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
    • Demonstration Garden 3305 92nd St, Urbandale
    Register

    Dustin Reese from Ted Lare Garden Center will discuss fall blooming perennials with a focus on the later blooming varieties in order to help promote pollinator food sources as late into the season as possible, all the while still adding aesthetic value to our beds and borders.


    • 31 Jul 2024
    • 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
    • Discovery Garden - 1207 E Iowa St. at the Iowa State Fair, South of the Agriculture Bldg.
    Register

    Let's Talk Conifers!

    We are excited to host Paula Flynn to give us a talk on Wednesday evening, July 31 at 6:00 pm.  Her talk will be on one of her favorite subjects.....Conifers.  She loves growing conifers.  She has an extensive collection of dwarf and unusual conifers which she will be sharing with us about and more on conifers.

    • 1 Aug 2024
    • 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
    • Demo Garden, 92nd and Dewey Gibbs St, Urbandale
    Register

    Presenter: Patty Sneddon-Kisting, Executive Director, Urbandale Food Pantry.

    The public is invited to this event.

    • 6 Aug 2024
    • 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
    • Enabling Garden, 1050 1st Ave. S; Altoona, IA 50009, behind the Altoona Hy-Vee
    Register

    (Southeast of the Hy-Vee behind loading dock)

    1050 1st Ave. S., Altoona, IA

    Educational speaker, Donald Lewis, Professor Emeritus, Iowa State University will speak o plant pathology and diseases and also enlighten us on the world of insects among us. Donald’s expertise is plant pathology, entomology & microbiology. Please bring your burning question as this event will offer time for lost of Q & A.


    This event is open to the public. Please bring a lawn chair to sit in and join us in the garden.

    • 17 Aug 2024
    • 7:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    • 3rd Street Downtown, South of Court Avenue

    Polk County Master Gardeners will be available to answer all your horticulture and gardenening questions at the Des Moines Downtown Farmers' Market, 7 a.m. to noon. Each month the MG's have information on various gardening topics and often have free seeds and other great resources! You can find them on 3rd Street, south of Court Avenue. 

    • 21 Sep 2024
    • 7:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    • 3rd Street Downtown, South of Court Avenue

    Polk County Master Gardeners will be available to answer all your horticulture and gardenening questions at the Des Moines Downtown Farmers' Market, 7 a.m. to noon. Each month the MG's have information on various gardening topics and often have free seeds and other great resources! You can find them on 3rd Street, south of Court Avenue. 

Past events

22 May 2024 Cicadas 2024
18 May 2024 Enabling Garden Plant Sale
18 May 2024 MG Booth Appearance - DSM Downtown Farmer's Market
4 May 2024 Demonstration Garden Plant Sale
27 Apr 2024 Seed Swap & Spring Gardening Workshop
20 Apr 2024 Enabling Garden Plant Sale
20 Apr 2024 Demonstration Garden's Spring Clean Up
16 Apr 2024 Spring Kick-Off and Awards Night: Edible Flowers
13 Apr 2024 Pond Cleaning at Discovery Garden
11 Apr 2024 Program Night with Tivon Feeley
30 Mar 2024 Grapevine Pruning Education
27 Mar 2024 Sowing Seeds of Success: A Mentor Evening for Budding Master Gardeners
25 Mar 2024 Demonstration Garden's Spring Kick Off Meeting
23 Mar 2024 Pruning Lab at Demonstration Garden
16 Mar 2024 2024 DIG Into Gardening Symposium
5 Mar 2024 Pollinator Education and Action & Landscaping with Native Plants
22 Feb 2024 Cultivating Beauty: Growing Annuals at the Discovery Garden
22 Feb 2024 MG Booth Appearance - DSM Home and Garden Show | Rose Farm Stage
1 Feb 2024 Overcoming Barriers to Teaching Others & Diverse Cultures: Different Gardening Methods and Plants
14 Nov 2023 2023 MG Volunteer Fair & Mixer
24 Oct 2023 Volunteer Recognition System (VRS) Deep Dive - MG Training
12 Oct 2023 MG Harvest Celebration
23 Sep 2023 Franklin Library - Polinator Palooza
23 Sep 2023 MG Booth Appearance - DSM Downtown Farmer's Market
21 Sep 2023 Fall Gardening Workshop - Interactive Lab
12 Sep 2023 Public Speaking Skills Workshop - MG Training
12 Sep 2023 Garden Lessons with Master Gardeners
9 Sep 2023 East Side Library Plant Swap
29 Aug 2023 Wild Birds in the Garden
26 Aug 2023 MG Booth Appearance - DSM Downtown Farmer's Market
23 Aug 2023 Tour of Rose Farm in Norwalk
2 Aug 2023 Water Quality and Rain Barrels
25 Jul 2023 Children's Art in the Garden
22 Jul 2023 MG Booth Appearance - DSM Downtown Farmer's Market
20 Jul 2023 Edible Flowers
19 Jul 2023 Everything You Wanted to Know About Tomatoes but Were Afraid to Ask.
13 Jul 2023 Native Pollinators
29 Jun 2023 Container and Small Space Vegetable Gardening
28 Jun 2023 Creating A Living Wall Arrangment
28 Jun 2023 Website Directory Training - Master Gardeners Only
24 Jun 2023 MG Booth Appearance - DSM Downtown Farmer's Market
22 Jun 2023 Blindness and Gardening, Easier than you think.
21 Jun 2023 Planning A Climate Resilient Landscape
17 Jun 2023 Polk County Master Gardeners Bus Tour - 2023
15 Jun 2023 Seed Saving
13 Jun 2023 Plants that Make Beer
7 Jun 2023 Discovery Garden Worknight
6 Jun 2023 Enabling Garden Worknight
23 May 2023 Social Media Brand Development - MG Training
23 May 2023 Water Features
21 May 2023 Demonstration Garden Plant Sale
26 Apr 2023 PCMG Spring Celebration & Program Night with Megan Will
22 Apr 2023 Enabling Garden Plant Sale
22 Apr 2023 Discovery Garden's Pond Seasonal Clean Up
18 Apr 2023 Answering Consumer Horticulture Questions - MG Training
15 Apr 2023 Demonstration Garden's Spring Clean Up
14 Apr 2023 Lunch & Learn at Botanical Gardens
11 Apr 2023 Sustainable Gardening for Climate Change
23 Mar 2023 Program Night with Aaron Steil
7 Mar 2023 Mentor Night
9 Feb 2023 Program Night with Dr. Thomas Rosburg
12 Jan 2023 Program Night with Tivon Feeley
15 Nov 2022 Plant Swap and Voting for Advisory Council
25 Oct 2022 Volunteer Fair
15 Oct 2022 Enabling Garden Clean Up Day
21 Jul 2022 Summer Series Educational Programs
20 Jul 2022 Discovery Garden Education Series - Botanical Card Making
14 Jul 2022 Summer Series Educational Programs
7 Jul 2022 Summer Series Educational Programs
30 Jun 2022 Summer Series Educational Programs
23 Jun 2022 Summer Series Educational Programs
22 Jun 2022 Discovery Garden Education Series - Hostas
16 Jun 2022 Summer Series Educational Programs
12 May 2022 Demonstration Garden Worknight
9 May 2022 Demonstration Garden Worknight
30 Dec 2021 Garden event 1
25 Dec 2021 Garden event 2


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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