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.

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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.