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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

    • 5 Mar 2024
    • 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    • 1625 Adventureland Dr. Ste. A
    Register

    Join the PCMG and their presenters, Lynne Campbell and Dan Hagan, for an engaging and informational evening.  Lynne will share about pollinators and how to attract pollinators to your garden. Following her portion of the evening, Dan will dive into landscaping with native plants and plant choices for supporting pollinators. 

    • 16 Mar 2024
    • 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
    • FFA Enrichment Center - Ankeny Campus

    " Growing a Greener Tomorrow"

    The Dig Into Gardening (DIG) Symposium is Polk County’s premiere research-based horticulture and gardening education event! Open to everyone from the home gardener to the horticulture pro, DIG will feature keynote speakers, breakout sessions and hands-on workshops.

    Attendees will learn the latest gardening techniques and best practices from a variety of experts including local Master Gardeners, Industry Experts and Iowa State University specialists and educators.

    There will be opportunities to visit with vendors who can share their products and expertise. The home gardener or seasoned professional will walk away informed, inspired, and ready to dig into their gardens this spring season!

    If you are interested in sponsoring, being a vendor, or participating learn more on the DIG Website. The event counts for 4.5 hours continuing education for MGs.


    Register- Buy Ticket Now!

    • 23 Mar 2024
    • 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    • 92nd Street and Dewey Gibbs Road in Urbandale
    Register

    Pruning training for Polk County MG Interns will be offered at Demonstration Garden this Spring! The course is designed for new Master Gardeners but will be opened up if a few slots remain with just a few days to the event.

    If you register and later must cancel please cancel here or Contact Stephanie to cancel as there may be a waitlist.

    Saturday, March 23, 9:00 am to noon

    Agenda

    • 9:00 - 10:00 am - education by Andy Schmitz, Director of Horticulture/General Manager of the Brenton Arboretum. (counts toward annual education hours)
    • 10:00 - noon -  optional hands-on pruning of trees and shrubs, working in small groups (counts toward volunteer hours)

    Class is limited to 25 attendees. Master Gardener interns are encouraged to participate and are given first opportunity.



    • 25 Mar 2024
    • 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
    • Urbandale Library
    Register

    Demo Garden Volunteers are encouraged to attend the Spring Kick Off Meeting. During this meeting, Demo Garden Management Team will review volunteer opportunities at the garden, events for the season, planned projects and fundraisers, offer sign ups to volunteers for the events, and more.

    Demo Garden is also honored and pleased to be one of the gardens included in this year's PCMG Garden Tour!

    Please join us if you are interested in learning more about volunteering with Demonstration Garden and join in the excitement of a brand new year!

    Please contact Demo Garden Leads at demogarden16@gmail.com for more information.

    • 27 Mar 2024
    • 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM (CST)
    • ISU Extension Office
    Register


    This event is a PCMG only event. 


    Join us for a unique and enriching evening at the "Sowing Seeds of Success" mentor night where the next generation of gardening enthusiasts will take root. This special event is designed to cultivate the growth of our newest Master Gardener interns, providing a fertile ground for knowledge, skills, and relationships to flourish.

    As the evening unfolds, mentees will have the precious opportunity to meet and pair with experienced Master Gardener mentors, embarking on a journey of growth and learning. Through the nurturing guidance of their mentors, PCMG interns will begin to sprout, developing into the skilled and passionate gardeners of tomorrow.

    The night will feature an engaging training session focused on fostering effective mentor-mentee relationships, highlighting the key qualities that make a successful pairing. Participants will learn how to communicate effectively, set realistic goals, and provide mutual support, ensuring that both mentors and mentees thrive in this collaborative environment.

    In the spirit of planting seeds for future success, the evening will include a hands-on activity designed to strengthen the newly formed bonds between mentors and mentees. Whether it's creating a serene mini Zen garden or adding a personal touch to a terracotta planter, this activity will symbolize the beginning of a fruitful relationship, rooted in shared passions and aspirations.

    Additionally, mentors and mentees will work together to complete a worksheet that lays the groundwork for their ongoing partnership. This practical tool will assist pairs in scheduling regular meetings and workdays, allowing them to nurture their connection and ensure the steady growth of their gardening skills and knowledge.

    "Sowing Seeds of Success" is more than just an event; it's the start of a beautiful journey for our Master Gardener interns. By planting these initial seeds of mentorship and collaboration, we are cultivating a vibrant community of knowledgeable, passionate, and skilled gardeners, ready to enrich our world one plant at a time.

    Join us for an evening of growth, connection, and inspiration. Let's plant the seeds for a greener tomorrow, together.


    • 30 Mar 2024
    • 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM
    • Demonstration Garden 3305 92nd Street Urbandale IA
    Register

    This event is for Master Gardeners Only.

    Alfonso Lopez and Barb Appleby will conduct a grapevine pruning education program at the Demonstration Garden on Saturday, March 30 at 9:00 am. class is limited to Master Gardeners. Class limited to 10 people, but  an 11:00 program on the same day will be offered with a waitlist of 4 or more people. 


    • 11 Apr 2024
    • 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    • 1625 Adventureland Dr. Ste. A
    Register


    Join the Polk County Master Gardeners on Program Night with Tivon Feeley, Forest Health Program Leader with the DNR. The topic for the night is Planting Diversity for the Future: Recommended trees and cultivars after the latest pests and derechos -- what to replace/replant.

    The event will kick-off at 6 p.m. with a soup potluck. We are looking for one additional volunteer to bring a soup to share. You can earn an hour of service for soup preparation and another half an hour for serving at the potluck. If you are interested in volunteering to bring a soup, please email Mary Poulter at poultermk76@gmail.comAlso, feel free to bring a side dish and your own beverage and vessel for water/coffee.  

    Additionally, don't forget to bring a recipe to submit or gardening tip to share for the Master Gardener Cookbook: Plant * Grow * Cook -- from garden to table, collected recipes and garden tips through the seasons.


    • 16 Apr 2024
    • 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    • ISU Polk Extension, 1625 Adventureland Dr. Ste. A
    Register


    Do you know which flowers are edible? Whether you are looking for new recipes to spice up your favorite dish or looking for flowers to add flare to a dish as a garnish, you will love this topic!  Nancy "Ike" Eichmann, a Polk County Master Gardener, will be presenting on Edible Flowers. Edible flowers can be used to add color, fragrance, and of course flavor to dishes from salads to soups, entrees, and desserts—but first it is important to understand which flowers and which flower parts are safe to eat! 

    After the presentation, enjoy recognizing all the 2024 accomplishments of the Master Gardener volunteers with awards and milestone recognitions. 


    • 20 Apr 2024
    • 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM (CST)
    • Demonstration Garden
    Join us Saturday, April 20th for the Demonstration Gardens annual spring clean up.  Start time is 9 am.  Arrive when you can, leave when you must.  Generally we go until noon.  Mist, not a problem.  Sprinkles, not a problem.  Heavy rain and we will reschedule for the following week, April 27th, as our rain date. 
    • 20 Apr 2024
    • 12:00 PM - 3:30 PM (CST)
    • Enabling Garden, 1050 1st Ave. S; Altoona, IA 50009, behind the Altoona Hy-Vee

    A-Z Perennial Plant, Flea Market, and Craft Sale

    Saturday April 20, 2024

    Noon – 3:30 pm

    Enabling Garden

    (Southeast of the Hy-Vee behind loading dock)

    1050 1st Ave. S., Altoona, IA

    The Enabling Garden will be hosting a perennial plant sale featuring unique daylilies, ornamental grasses, native plants, blooming perennials, ground covers, and so much more. Lightly used garden tools and equipment along with crafts will also be available for purchase. 

    All proceeds benefit the work at the Enabling Garden and Polk County Master Gardeners.

    Unlike in years past, there will be no pre-sale online, so come to sale and pick from a large selection of plants to get your garden growing.

    Consider joining The Enabling Garden Facebook Group for notifications

    Questions about this sale can be directed to Linda Brown at ericandlindabrown@gmail.com.  Polk County Master Gardeners and interns looking for volunteer hours should contact Linda before the sale.  There is plenty of work to prepare for the sale and to conduct the sale.

    • 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!


    • 18 May 2024
    • 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM (CST)
    • Enabling Garden, 1050 1st Ave. S; Altoona, IA 50009, behind the Altoona Hy-Vee


    (Southeast of the Hy-Vee behind loading dock)

    1050 1st Ave. S., Altoona, IA

    The Enabling Garden will be hosting a hosta and houseplant sale on May 18, 2024 from 11 am to 2 pm. There will be an abundance of other types of plants as well for your home and garden.

    All proceeds benefit the work at the Enabling Garden and Polk County Master Gardeners.

    Consider joining The Enabling Garden Facebook Group for notifications

    Questions about this sale can be directed to Linda Brown at ericandlindabrown@gmail.com.  Polk County Master Gardeners and interns looking for volunteer hours should contact Linda before the sale.  There is plenty of work to prepare for the sale and to conduct the sale.

    • 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!

Past events

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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