Registration opens for Master Gardener online training

June 11, 2010

CORVALLIS, Ore. – New or experienced gardeners who want to expand their gardening expertise are invited to take the online Master Gardener course offered by Oregon State University Extended Campus.

Registration is open for “Option One,” offered this fall for the third year. The 12-week online course runs from Aug. 30 to Dec. 5. Those who finish the online course will join 223 other online graduates. One of them is Sarah Patterson, an attorney and director of NGO Lettuce Grow Garden Foundation.

"I learned 5,000 percent more than what I thought I knew," Patterson said. "The online course was a godsend, as I travel a lot and was able to keep up every place I went."

In Option One, participants earn a Certificate of Home Horticulture. Cost is $490 and does not require volunteer work. Option One will be offered also in the winter session, along with Option Two.

Option Two offers training to become a certified Master Gardener and to earn the Master Gardener badge through volunteering. In addition to the basic course, participants are required to put in 40–70 hours of volunteer work at their local OSU Extension office. Registration for Option Two opens in October. The cost is $390.

"One of the fantastic aspects of the online course is that it allows for extended discussion among course participants," said Gail Langellotto, statewide coordinator of the OSU Master Gardener Program. "Students come to the course from a variety of backgrounds, experiences and locations. By sharing our unique perspectives on gardening, it adds another layer of complexity and fun to the class, from which we all benefit."

Jeffrey Bernards, owner of a landscaping business, found another dimension to the course as he removed grass and ornamentals at his home to convert to an edible landscape. "Several of the homework assignments came along at the same time I was doing the exact project in my yard," he said. He plans to apply his new knowledge and open his new garden space as a learning center.

Sherry Chan has applied her new knowledge to her work as gardener in a plant biofuel research facility in California. "The instructor not only answered my basic home gardening questions, but also questions I encounter in my workplace. All my questions were answered in great detail and in a timely manner."

Topics included in the Master Gardener basic training course include botany and entomology; integrated pest management and pesticide safety; soils, fertilizers and composting; ornamental, herbaceous plants and woody plants; vegetable, indoor and container gardening; sustainable landscaping; and plant pathology.

Registration for either Option One or Option Two can be made online at: Master Gardener online".

The Master Gardener online course is offered by the OSU Extended Campus (Ecampus) and Extension Service.

Author: Judy Scott
Source: Gail Langellotto-Rhodaback