The Florida Master Gardener Program is a volunteer-driven program that benefits UF/IFAS Extension and the citizens of Florida. The program relies on dedicated volunteers who have an interest in gardening and in giving back to their communities.  The mission of program is, “to assist Extension Agents in providing research-based horticultural education to Florida residents”.  Master Gardener volunteers can serve as an “Extension” of the University of Florida/Polk County and share that information with county residents.


Examples of volunteer projects include:

  • Staff information booths at community events and festivals.
  • Serve in an "ask the expert" capacity answering homeowners' call-in and walk-in questions to the Plant Clinic.
  • Write horticulture-related news articles for local newspapers, and other news outlets.
  • Prepare and present programs on horticultural topics to gardening clientele groups, including garden clubs, civic clubs, library plant clinics, and homeowners.
  • Assist with programs that engage kids in gardening, including 4-H and school gardens.
  • Develop and maintain the demonstration gardens around Polk County.
  • Assist with workshop registration, planning, packets, surveys, marketing.


If you are interested in volunteering with the Florida Master Gardener Program in Polk County, contact us.  Applicants are added to the list of candidates, and once applications are reviewed, candidates may be contacted for an interview.


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Master Gardener Information



Trees and Cold Weather

Native trees tend not to be too susceptible to the cold here in central Florida, UNLESS they are native to southern Florida, and the gardener, who is terribly susceptible to the allure of nursery catalogs, has allowed them to outgrow their pots and put them into the ground. Mea culpa! As a consequence, I keep an eye on the weather report, watching for the dreaded, but fortunately rare Canadian freight train of arctic chill air. Once I hear