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Contact Us

Elizabeth Sosa
Program Coordinator
University of Illinois Extension
421 W Pines Rd, Ste 10
Oregon, IL 61061
Phone: 815-732-2191
FAX: 815-732-4007

Ogle County Master Gardeners

Ogle County Master Gardeners

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Master Gardener Program

What Is the Master Gardener Program?

The University of Illinois Extension Master Gardener program teaches adult volunteers to help disseminate up-to-date, research-based horticulture information to home gardeners. Master Gardeners mission is "Helping Others Learn to Grow".

Why Become a Master Gardener?

From the trees along our city streets to flowers in backyard gardens, horticulture affects everyone. Gardening enriches people's lives and communities. As a Master Gardener, you'll learn about environmentally sound and practical gardening techniques specific to your growing area. You'll also play an important role in sharing that information with others in your community.

What Qualifications Do I Need?

Anyone can become a Master Gardener--it does not require a degree in horticulture! You do, however, need to:

  • Have a sincere desire to learn and share home horticulture information.
  • Have practical experience or knowledge of gardening.
  • Be willing to follow U of I pest control recommendations and home horticulture information.
  • Be able to communicate effectively.
  • Devote time to training sessions and volunteering.

What Does the Training Involve?

Training sessions are typically offered one day a week over a four-month period and are led by University of Illinois Extension educators and other horticultural experts. An online option is also available. A total of 66 hours of instruction is required to complete the program. For specific information about dates, times and locations, call our office at 815/732-2191.

What Will I Learn?

A combination of classroom instruction and demonstrations is used to present information about topics such as:

Basic Botany Annuals & Perennials Landscaping
Soils & Fertilizers Fruits Ornamental Grasses
Houseplants Insects Propogation
IPM & Pesticide Safety Diagnosis & Diseases Weeds
Trees and Shrubs Vegetables

Volunteer Opportunities

Master Gardeners learn to be effective volunteers. There are many ways you can fulfill your commitment of at least 60 intern hours:

- Answer home gardener questions in the Extension office.

- Participate in programs such as Plant-a-Row, Ready, Set, Grow, Outdoor Stewardship Days, Day of Dabbling, & the Master Gardener plant sale.

- Work with the Junior Master Gardener program.

- Serve as a resource person in community gardens at schools, parks and nursing homes.

- Assist in preparing and staffing exhibits, displays and demonstration sites.

- Give demonstrations and talks to local libraries & civic groups.

The Master Gardeners also meet monthly to plan events and trips, tour gardens, learn new techniques and just have fun.

Master Gardener Hotline Help Desk

Volunteer Master Gardeners are available to answer your gardening questions at the Extension office on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings during the growing season. Call 815-732-2191 or email


Monday, Wednesday, Friday

9:00am – 12:00pm

October - March

On call – Call 815-732-2191 and a Master Gardener will return your call.