Become a Master Gardener

Become a
Master Gardener

You don’t need to know everything about gardening to become a Master Gardener — you’ll continue to learn the more you participate in the program. You do need to be committed to lifelong learning and community service, as these are the cornerstones of the Wisconsin Extension Master Gardener Program.

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How to get started

Step 1 | Participate in an approved learning opportunity.
To be a successful Master Gardener, you need foundational knowledge about growing and caring for plants in Wisconsin. Extension offers several “approved learning opportunities” to prepare individuals for the Master Gardener Program.

Approved learning opportunities occur annually in fall. A majority of participants complete the online Foundations in Gardening course, though there are limited in-person courses offered in select counties. These approved learning opportunities are led and facilitated by Extension Horticulture Educators and cover objectives and subjects in the Wisconsin Extension Master Gardener Program Onboarding exam.

Step 2 | Complete the Master Gardener Onboarding course.
The online Onboarding course introduces you to the requirements of the Wisconsin Extension Master Gardener Program. The course takes place in February and March each year. As part of the course, participants must pass the horticulture entrance exam, which requires a score of 70% or better.

As a Master Gardener you apply your knowledge and skills educating others and conducting horticulture-related volunteer activities at local organizations. Volunteer service and continuing education are required to be completed and reported each year. Your involvement will lead to an increase in knowledge and skill in yourself and those you reach. You will use your knowledge of plants to improve the lives of others and the community you live in. This, ultimately, will lead to a bigger change in the world around us.

Transferring from another state?
If you are a Master Gardener who has relocated to Wisconsin from another state, or if you are rejoining the program after a period of inactivity, contact to learn your specific program requirements.



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