Master Gardener program offers online training

URBANA – For 46 years, University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners have measured success by gardens planted, insects identified, produce harvested, and the millions of hours volunteers have logged by helping others learn to grow.

From farms and small towns to suburbs and the inner city, more than 2,600 volunteers statewide put their mission of “helping others learn to grow” into practice by providing gardening education and outreach in their communities. Take your love of gardening to the next level in 2022 by joining the Master Gardeners.

Online training is again being offered starting Jan. 31. This self-guided course is for Illinois residents and can be taken from the comfort of home on a desktop, laptop or tablet.

The training includes videos, a manual, reading materials and quizzes. The course can be completed in 14 weeks with four hours of weekly work. A strong internet connection is highly recommended.

This course is aimed at exposing participants to in-depth horticulture content through 13 modules including soils and fertilizers, plant diseases, entomology, pest management, organic gardening and more. For more information, visit

The course costs $300 and registration is open until Jan. 10. Local fees may also apply. For more information or to fill out an application form, contact your local Illinois Extension Office at Not all counties are offering the online training option.

After receiving training, volunteers participate in education programs in their communities. Those opportunities may include speaking at garden clubs, civic groups or schools; answering calls or emails at garden help desks; establishing demonstration gardens that serve as educational tools; and educating citizens on how to establish community gardens.