September 1, 2017 - Apply online for the core training
Steps to Become a Master Gardener
- Apply online by September 1, 2017 to attend the training
Be selected by your local Extension office for the Master Gardener core training
- Find out about the program from an Extension office near you
Submit and pass the background check
- Receive notification that the background check has cleared, register for the core course, and pay the class fee ($195 at most locations); training manuals are included in the fee.
Complete the Extension Master Gardener core training
- 40 hours of horticulture education offered in the fall: September through November
- Complete pre- and post-assessment to gauge how much knowledge has been acquired
- Courses are taught by Iowa State University faculty, local horticulture experts & Extension educators
- Topics include: Houseplants, flowers, turfgrass, vegetables, landscape design, woody landscape plants, plant propagation, fruits, soils, wildlife management, integrated pest management, plant pathology, and entomology.
- Core training is offered in locations throughout the state 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.
Volunteer in your community
- Complete the 40-hour internship by December 31, 2018, 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.
- 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.