Become a Master Gardener

Who are Master Gardeners?

They are passionate about serving their communities and sharing gardening best practices. Master Gardener volunteers are individuals who have completed the Master Gardener training and share their time and expertise as volunteers in community gardens, city beautification projects, and farmers markets to name a few. 

Important Dates

Before July 1, 2021

Steps to Become a Master Gardener

  1. Apply online by July 1, 2021 to attend the training in a location near you
  2. Be selected by your local ISU Extension and Outreach office for the Master Gardener training
  3. Pay class fee ($195 at most locations); training manual is included in the fee. Payment is made to the ISU Extension and Outreach county office.
  4. Submit and pass the background check
  5. Complete the ISU Extension and Outreach Master Gardener training
    • 40 hours of plant education offered in the fall: August through November (dates and times vary by location)
    • Complete pre- and post-assessment to gage how much knowledge has been acquired
    • Online sessions are taught by local experts & ISU Extension and Outreach educators
    • Topics include: Vegetables, houseplants, compost, flowers, fruits, turf grass, landscape design, native plants, plant propagation, soils, wildlife, integrated pest management, plant diseases, and insects.
  6. Volunteer in your community
    • Complete the 40 hour internship by December 31, 2021. Volunteer on projects and at events to teach plants 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 training.
  7. Stay involved
    • Master Gardeners can remain active members in following years by completing 10 hours of continuing education and contributing 20 hours volunteer community service.
    • Report your volunteer and continuing education hours online by December 31st of each year.