Ready to start your gardening adventure with Illinois Extension Master Gardeners?

STERLING, Ill.- Earth scattering questions haunt people of the gardening kind. Is quack grass related to duck weed? Where do seeds for seedless watermelons come from? How do you debark a dogwood tree? If you are haunted by “a need to know” and a desire to share your newly found knowledge with anyone who will listen then University of Illinois Extension Master Gardener volunteer program may be for you.

You don’t have to be a gardening expert to become a Master Gardener. All you need is an interest in gardening, some time to volunteer in the community, and a desire to share your knowledge with others. The program is more about connections... connecting people with other gardeners, with their community, and with reliable resources for information. Once connections are forged, it’s time to get sowing and growing in our many meaningful community projects.

We all know no one ever really “masters” gardening. Together we are constantly learning. That’s what makes it fun. The Master Gardener program emphasizes practical gardening experience teamed with research-based information from University of Illinois Extension. We help people put knowledge to work as we share information about sustainable garden and landscape management practices, aesthetically pleasing and recuperative environments, and healthy food production.

For the full Master Gardener experience, we recommend face-to-face training at your local University of Illinois Extension office. Whiteside county extension is offering face to face training to start August 25 through November 3. For more information contacts us via email us at: 

Just can’t fit face-to-face training into your schedule? No problem. Online training is an excellent option for Illinois residents. To become a University of Illinois Extension Master Gardener and before you can register for online training you must contact your local University of Illinois Extension office to be accepted into the local program. Online training starts June 15 through September 21. Registration closes soon, contact us at