Master Gardener Program

Wisconsin Master Gardener Program

The University of Wisconsin-Madison Extension Master Gardener Program supports a network of individuals, known as Master Gardeners, dedicated to horticulture education, service, and lifelong learning. Through University research-based horticulture training, Master Gardeners are equipped to address needs and opportunities in their community and throughout the state.

Training is required to become a Master Gardener. Individuals wanting to become a Wisconsin Master Gardener should participate in a learning opportunity from the Wisconsin Extension Horticulture Program such as a county-based in-person course (limited availability) or sign up for our statewide online course Growing and Caring for Plants in Wisconsin: Foundations in Gardening (formerly called Foundations in Horticulture in Wisconsin – Growing and Caring for Plants) and then must complete the online Master Gardener Onboarding course.

Growing and Caring for Plants in Wisconsin: Foundations in Gardening 

The Growing and Caring for Plants in Wisconsin: Foundations in Gardening course teaches participants university research-based methods to successfully grow their plants and manage common pests. This course  introduces a decision-making framework that focuses on understanding how plants grow, why pests and problems happen, and how to keep plant problems from happening. It emphasizes using brain power, common sense, and elbow grease rather than the spray bottle on plants grown inside and out.

To give participants the best information on improving their gardening skills, this twelve-part virtual course includes online videos, readings, interactive quizzes, and scheduled live Q&A webinars with UW Madison horticulture experts. This course, offered annually, is designed to be self-paced so participants can fit it into their schedules. The Wisconsin Extension Master Gardener Program supports Growing and Caring for Plants in Wisconsin: Foundations in Gardening as the primary source of horticultural knowledge required for the Master Gardener program.

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.

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”.

For specific questions about horticulture or Master Gardeners in Walworth County, contact the Horticulture Outreach Specialist, Julie Hill at 262-741-4958 or email at


Walworth County Master Gardener Volunteer Association (WCMGVA)

Founded in 2001, the goal of the WCMGVA is to encourage, foster, support, promote and provide horticulture education throughout Walworth County. Members meet regularly and attend educational events, field trips and tours. Please email for more information.

Support Extension