University of Idaho Extension
Home > about idaho's master gardeners

about idaho's master gardeners

Welcome! You’ve come to the right place to learn about the Idaho Master Gardener Program. Kick off those dirty shoes, pull off those wet gloves, and read on.

Now flourishing in 32 of Idaho’s 44 counties, Idaho Master Gardeners originated in 1976. Every year, it provides eager participants with in-depth, research-based education on a wealth of horticultural topics—from microscopic soil organisms to 60-foot shade trees and from thirsty tropical houseplants to drought-tolerant native shrubs. In 2008 alone, its Idaho-only and joint Idaho-Utah programs graduated 499 new Master Gardeners and delivered enhanced training and service opportunities to 209 Advanced Master Gardeners.

 With their up-to-date understanding of water-smart landscaping, environmentally astute pest control, and landfill-saving composting methods, Idaho’s trainee and certified Master Gardeners and Advanced Master Gardeners donate about 16,000 hours of volunteer time annually—a value of about $200,000 in 2008.

When they’re not responding to homeowners’ queries, Idaho Master Gardeners are:

  • operating plant diagnostics clinics in county Extension offices or at local farmers’ markets
  • installing water-efficient landscapes at public sites
  • beautifying hospitals and senior centers
  • organizing community vegetable gardens and Plant-a-Row efforts
  • instructing garden center clients and garden club members
  • leading 4-H clubs, after-school programs, and Junior Master Gardener classes
  • and bringing horticultural know-how to their communities in many other gratifying ways

Some Idaho Master Gardeners have even launched satisfying careers in the nursery and landscape professions, while a multi-lingual few are extending gardening knowledge to Idaho’s Spanish-speaking populations.

How’s that for a bountiful harvest?