Master Gardener

Becoming a Master Gardener Volunteer

A Master Gardener Volunteer is an individual who provides service to his/her community by assisting people in addressing horticultural problems. Any resident of Wisconsin 18 years or older is eligible to be a Master Gardener Volunteer. Potential Master Gardener Volunteers should be interested in horticulture (a formal degree is not necessary), dependable, unbiased and open-minded, and willing to help people with their horticultural concerns. Participants are expected to provide volunteer service to their community.

Level One Master Gardener Training

Level One Master Gardener Training is a minimum of 36 hours of in-depth classroom training on a variety of horticulture topics including soils, botany, entomology, plant pathology, houseplants, landscaping, turf, vegetables, fruits, and ornamental plants. This provides a basic understanding of the information necessary to complete the volunteer service required for certification, as well as learning where to acquire additional information and resources. At this time there is not a scheduled Level One Master Gardener for La Crosse County.

Level Two Master Gardener Training

Level 2 training is a series of 6-12 week online programs on specific topics provided through the Master Gardener Program Office in the spring (January – April). Completion of Level One Training is required in order to participate in Level Two. Certified Master Gardener Volunteers may take the training online from home. The Goal of Level Two Training:  To expand upon Level One training with more focused horticultural topics and expanded volunteer concepts.

La Crosse County will not be offering a Level 2 classroom training.  Level 2 Training is available online, for more information go to the following link: Level 2 Training.

Master Gardener Program Onboarding

Participating in the Master Gardener Program Onboarding course fulfills the requirements of joining the Extension Master Gardener Program in Wisconsin.

MG Onboarding course participants:

  1. Receive an orientation to the Wisconsin Extension Master Gardener Program, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension
  2. Learn the program requirements to be a Wisconsin Extension Master Gardener
  3. Demonstrate basic knowledge of horticulture with the open book entrance exam

The Master Gardener Program Onboarding Online Course registration details are available by attending the County Open House. By completing Onboarding, you will fulfill the requirements to become a certified Master Gardener Volunteer, including the Master Gardener exam and university requirements of criminal background check, risk management training and volunteer agreements. The Master Gardener exam (open book/open notes) tests basic horticulture knowledge. By participating in the upcoming FIH course, you will increase your gardening knowledge, improve your skills, and be prepared for the Master Gardener exam. 

Learn More/Join the Mailing List

To learn more about the Growing and Caring for Plants in Wisconsin: Foundations in Gardening course, go to

For questions about the Master Gardener Program, go to

To join the mailing list to receive information about future Growing and Caring for Plants in Wisconsin: Foundations in Gardening and Master Gardener programs, go to: Click on “Join our Mailing List”.

Frequently Asked Questions, visit the FIH website at: