Become a Master Gardener

We are looking for volunteers who:

  • Are interested in gardening and horticulture
  • Are curious and love to learn
  • Can make a commitment to the program – 40 volunteer hours and 40 education hours in the first two years. Then 20 volunteer hours and 10 education hours after the Master Gardener training.

We welcome participants with all levels of gardening experience.

Who are Master Gardener Volunteers?

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 projects. 

If you are interested in the Master Gardener Training for professional development, or do not intend to volunteer, you may apply for the course as a ProHort participant. 

Important Dates:

  • To be announced for 2022

Steps to Become a Master Gardener Volunteer

  1. Declare your intent to become a Master Gardener to your County Extension and Outreach office
  2. Apply online to be a part of the Master Gardener Volunteer Training when the application period opens
  3. Be selected to participate
    • Submit and pass the background check. Background check not required for ProHort.
    • Pay class fee ($195 for MG trainees; $550 for ProHort); fee includes the training book (MG Resource Guide). 
  4. Complete the ISU Extension and Outreach Master Gardener training
    • Complete online course materials over a 10-week period
    • Participate in 4 in-person sessions through your county office
    • Take pre- and post-assessment to gauge knowledge change
    • Topics include: Vegetables, insects, houseplants, flowers, fruits, turfgrass, landscape design, native plants, plant propagation, wildlife, integrated pest management, and common plant problems
    • Receive the MG Intern certificate (or ProHort certificate) upcon completion of training
  5. Volunteer in your community
    • Complete 40 volunteer hours by the end of the next calendar year 
    • 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
  6. Stay involved
    • Master Gardener volunteers remain active members by completing 10 hours of continuing education and contributing 20 hours of volunteer service
    • Report your volunteer and continuing education hours online by December 31st of each year