Become a Master Gardener

Read more about the Master Gardener Program in Polk County

Prior experience or education is not required to become a Master Gardener.  

Class topics include:

  • Soils

  • Botany

  • Plant pathology

  • Entomology

  • Landscape trees and shrubs

  • Home landscape design

  • Fruit culture

  • Turfgrass management

  • Weeds

  • Integrated Pest Management

  • Animal ecology

  • Vegetables

  • Houseplants and propagation

  • Herbaceous ornamentals


After completing the core class Master Gardener Interns serve the community with 40 hours of volunteer service.

To maintain the Master Gardener Certification, volunteers must complete a minimum of 10 hours of continuing education and provide 20 hours of volunteer service annually.

Class Tuition is $195 for Master Gardener Certification.

This fee includes materials for the core class, on-campus class and a Master Gardener resource guide and workbook.

Polk County Master Gardeners (PCMG)

The  Polk County Master Gardeners program is a volunteer service training program whereby adults are given advanced training in horticulture in exchange for volunteer service to the community. 


The Mission of the Polk County Master Gardeners Program is to provide current, research-based, home horticulture information and education to the citizens of Iowa through ISU Extension programs and projects.


In addition, through their participation in educational activities, Master Gardeners also increase their own personal knowledge in horticulture.

In 2019, Iowa State Extension and Outreach Polk County Master Gardeners program reported over 19,000 hours of volunteer service.


Polk County Master Gardeners have numerous projects they manage and facilitate throughout Polk County, Iowa to include:


What sets a Master Gardener apart

from a home gardener?

Master Gardeners are passionate about serving their communities and sharing gardening best practices. Master Gardeners are individuals who have taken the Master Gardener training  program. They share their time and expertise as volunteers in community gardens, city beautification projects, farmers markets, and more.

© 2020 by Polk County Garden Tour Committee

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In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, and reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Program information may be made available in languages other than English. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, and American Sign Language) should contact the responsible State or local Agency that administers the program or USDA’s TARGET Center at 202-720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339. To file a program discrimination complaint, a complainant should complete a Form AD-3027, USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, which can be obtained online at, from any USDA office, by calling 866-632-9992, or by writing a letter addressed to USDA. The letter must contain the complainant’s name, address, telephone number, and a written description of the alleged discriminatory action in sufficient detail to inform the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (ASCR) about the nature and date of an alleged civil rights violation. The completed AD-3027 form or letter must be submitted to USDA by: (1) Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; or (2) Fax: 833-256-1665 or 202-690-7442; or (3) Email: This institution is an equal opportunity provider.


For the full non-discrimination statement or accommodation inquiries, go to