Become a Dubuque County Master Gardener


Steps to Become a Master Gardener

  1. Apply online to attend the training
  2. Complete a scheduled interview 
  3. Submit and pass the background check and pay the $195 course fee
  4. Complete the Extension Master Gardener core training
    • 40 hours of horticulture education offered via webinar in the fall: September through November
    • 20 hours of face-to-face training via hands-on workshops, tours, and site visits
    • Complete pre- and post-survey to assess how much knowledge has been acquired
  5. Volunteer in your community
    • Complete the 40 hour internship by December 31, 2017 as approved by the county coordinator. Volunteer on projects and at events to deliver horticulture education in the community.
    • Not interested in volunteering? Register for the core course as a Pro-Hort trainee ($550 fee) and receive a certificate upon completion of the course.
  6. Stay involved
    • Master Gardeners can remain active members in following years by attending ten or more hours of continuing education and contributing 20 hours or more of volunteer community service.
    • Report your volunteer and continuing education hours online by December 31st of each year.

Courses are taught by Iowa State University faculty, local horticulture experts & Extension educators.

Topics include: houseplants, flowers, turf grass, vegetables, landscape design, woody landscape plants, plant propagation, fruits, soils, wildlife management, integrated pest management, plant pathology and entomology.

Core training is offered in Dubuque County in the fall with a combination of webinars and face-to-face sessions. The core training also includes a full Saturday of hands-on workshops at Iowa State University.


Important Dates

August 1, 2017- Application deadline for core training

August- Interviews with Master Gardeners, background check submission, and acceptance into the program


The charge for the class is $195 including all sessions and materials (if registered by the deadline of August 1st, 2017). Late registration fee is $245. All first-year Master Gardeners who complete their requirements and 40 hours of service will get a Master Gardener shirt and name badge.


To register please complete this online application. To request more information contact the Dubuque County Extension Office at 563-583-6496.


Tentative 2017 Training Schedule: 

August 29th, 2017 at 6:00pm: Master Gardener Training Orientation: This will cover introductions and what is expected in the weeks ahead.

September 5th, 2017 at 6:00pm: Core Training begins

  • Classes will be held Tuesdays at sites around Dubuque beginning at 6:00pm. Workshops will last from 1-2 hours depending on topic and instructor.

October (dates TBD): ISU Class on Campus

  • Master Gardener trainees take a field trip to Ames, Iowa for a day to study horticulture with Iowa State University professors and staff and other Iowa Master Gardener trainees.

November 14th, 2017, 6:00pm: Final Core Training Class

  • 40 hours of volunteer service begins, interns are paired with a Master Gardener mentor to help acheive this requirement and align with gardening projects of interest.
The detailed training schedule will be posted soon! Stay tuned. 
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