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Polk County Master Gardeners

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach in Polk County

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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

    • 8 May 2023
    • (CST)
    • 23 Oct 2023
    • (CST)
    • 30 sessions
    • Demonstration Garden 3305 92nd Street Urbandale IA

    Come hangout at the 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!

    • 6 Jun 2023
    • 31 Oct 2023
    • 20 sessions
    • 1050 1st Ave. S; Altoona, IA 50009, behind the Altoona Hy-Vee

    Sheds are open by 4:00 and we work until we're done--but come when you can and leave when you must.

    At EG we invite our volunteers to sit down together for a free meal. It is provided by volunteers who had previously signed-up to bring parts of the meal. We ring the diner bell about 6:00 most nights (and yes, there's a bell installed on the gazebo"). We do not serve a meal on speaker nights. Volunteers need to bring their own beverage.

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

    • 7 Jun 2023
    • 1 Nov 2023
    • 20 sessions
    • Iowa State Fairgrounds, on the south side of the Agricultural Building. 1207 E Iowa St., Des Moines, IA 50317

    The gardens are all planted and mulched.   Wednesday night is work night. If you would like to join us work begins about 4 PM. There are always weeds to pull and beds to water.

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

    • 21 Sep 2023
    • 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
    • ISU Polk County Extension Office - 1625 Adventureland Dr. Altoona, IA
    • 2

    Fall Garden Basics Interactive Lab - 

    Come out to Altoona for a fun interactive event on various fall gardening tasks such as propagating coleus & begonia, overwintering cannas, dividing & transplanting perenials, bulb basics and other fall gardening tasks. 

    Counts for 2 hrs. of continuing ed for Master Gardeners. This event is open to the public. 

    • 23 Sep 2023
    • 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. 

    • 23 Sep 2023
    • 10:30 AM - 2:30 PM
    • Franklin Ave Library & Community Gardens 5000 Franklin Ave.

    Master Gardeners will have booth and will be presenting on Planting for Pollinators at Franklin Library & Franklin Community Garden's Pollinator Palooza Day. The day will have games, arts & crafts, educational booths, monarch tagging and more.

    • 12 Oct 2023
    • 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    • ISU Extension Office - 1625 Adventureland Dr. Suite A Altoona, IA. 50009
    • 35

    Join the Polk County Master Gardener's for an evening of learning and seasonal celebration. We will have ISU Commercial Crop Specialist, Dan Fillius, talk on cover crops followed by a harvest social where we share food and friendship.  

    Master Gardeners also use this time to make an official vote on New Advisory Council Representatives

    The evening fullfills 1 credit hour for continuing education for Master Gardeners in Polk County.

    • 24 Oct 2023
    • 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
    • 1625 Adventureland Dr. Suite A.

    This event is for Master Gardeners only and is not open to the public. 

    Feel puzzled by the VRS? Want to use the software more efficiently? Just need an overview of how to log hours? Richard Jacob, designer of the volunteer recognition system, will help volunteers better understand the system and it's uses for volunteers.

    Appropriate for all Polk County Master Gardeners!

Past events

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
6 Jul 2023 Demonstration Garden Open House
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
23 May 2023 Water Features
23 May 2023 Social Media Brand Development - MG Training
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
20 Mar 2023 Demonstration Garden's Spring Kick Off Meeting
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

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  

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