COLUMBIA, Mo. – A new session of online Master Gardener training begins Jan. 30.
Popularity of the online classes has grown steadily since University of Missouri Extension began offering them in 2013, said David Trinklein, state horticulture specialist for MU Extension.
The online class is an alternative for people who would otherwise have to travel many miles to attend Master Gardener training.
Trinklein and MU Extension regional horticulture specialist Sarah Denkler teach the 14 online sessions. “These classes represent a viable option for people who can’t take the weekly classes in person,” Trinklein said.
Classes are delivered as a series of narrated PowerPoint presentations. Participants need a composite score of 70 percent on chapter quizzes to pass the course.
The motto of the Master Gardener program is “Helping others learn to grow.” Topics covered include basic botany, soils and plant nutrition, vegetable gardening, fruit production, insects and diseases, landscaping and landscape plants, turf management and pesticide safety.
The training is the first step toward Master Gardener certification. At least 30 hours of volunteer service is also required, Trinklein said. Local Master Gardener chapters help online trainees find volunteer opportunities to meet the service requirements.
“There are Master Gardener programs in every state of the union and in most provinces of Canada,” Trinklein said.
The course also may be taken for personal enrichment only for a higher registration fee.
The registration deadline for the online spring session is Monday. Classes begin Jan. 30.