Master Gardener Training

The mission of the Illinois Master Gardener program is “Helping Others Learn to Grow.” To become a Master Gardener all you need is an interest in gardening, time to volunteer in the community, and a desire to share your knowledge with others.

Master Gardener training, taught by University of Illinois Extension educators and specialists, emphasizes practical, research-based information.Training topics include: botany, annuals and perennials, soils, insects, woody ornamentals, vegetables, fruits, turf, integrated pest management, and wildlife. After the training program, Master Gardeners volunteer their time and expertise by sharing their horticulture skills with the community through garden projects, educational outreach and helping others learn to grow.

DeWitt, Macon & Piatt are Offering Five Training Options in 2023!

  • Self-Paced Online Training
    • Winter 2023 | Jan 30-April 30 | Register by Jan 5
    • Summer 2023 | June 12-Sept 30 | Register by May 15
    • Fall 2023 | Oct 2-Dec 31 | Register by Sept 1
  • Hybrid Training
    • Winter 2023 | Tuesdays | 9 AM - Noon | Feb 7 - April 18
      • Register by Jan 27
      • In-person portion at DeWitt Co. Extension (Clinton)
    • Fall 2023 | Thursdays | 5:30-8:30 PM | Sept 14-Dec 7
      • Register by Sept 11
      • In-person portion offered at Macon Co. Extension (Decatur) and Piatt Co. Extension (Monticello)


Self-Paced Online Training | $300

Hybrid Training | $175

This includes the Master Gardener manual and additional training materials.

Participants may be eligible for fee waivers, please contact us for details.


Upon successful completion of training, volunteers log 40 hours as an intern to become a certified Master Gardener Volunteer. To remain certified, active Master Gardener Volunteers complete 10 hours of continuing education and volunteer 20 hours in approved projects yearly. Volunteer opportunities vary by county. 

Volunteer & Continuing Education Hours