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.

Seven Training Options for 2024


Self-Paced Online Training 
Winter/Spring 2024 | January 29-April 29 | Register by January 10
Summer 2024 | June 10-September 30 | Register by May 20
Fall 2024 | October 7-December 31 | Register by September 9

Hybrid Training
Winter/Spring 2024 | Tuesdays | 9 AM-Noon | February 6-April 16
Register by January 29
In-person portion at Piatt County Extension Office (Monticello)

Winter/Spring 2024 | Wednesdays | 5:30 PM - 8:30 PM | February 7-April 17
Register by January 29
In person portion at Macon County Extension Office (Decatur)

Fall 2024 | Tuesdays | 9:00 AM-Noon | September 10-November 26
Register by September 6
In-person portion at Decatur Public Library (Decatur)

Fall 2024 | Thursdays | 5:30-8:30 PM | September 12-November 28
Register by September 6
In-person portion at DeWitt County Extension Office (Clinton)



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 interns to become certified Master Gardener Volunteers. 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