MU Extension’s online Master Gardener core training sign-up Jan. 25

Missouri University Extension is offering a new session of online core training to become a certified Master Gardener that begins Jan. 22.

“The motto of the Master Gardener program is ‘Helping others learn to grow,’” said David Trinklein, state horticulture specialist.

The popularity of the online classes has grown steadily since MU Extension began offering them in 2013. In the past, some people had to travel many miles to attend Master Gardener classes.

The online classes “represent a viable option for people who can’t take the weekly classes in person,” Trinklein said. He and MU Extension regional horticulture specialist Sarah Denkler teach the 14 online sessions. Classes are delivered as a series of scripted and narrated PowerPoint presentations. To pass the course, participants need a composite score of 70 percent on chapter quizzes.

Subjects include basic botany, soils and plant nutrition, vegetable gardening, fruit production, insects and diseases, landscaping and landscape plants, turf management and pesticide safety.

Core training is the first step toward Master Gardener certification. Trainees must also complete a minimum of 30 hours of volunteer service, Trinklein said. Local Master Gardener chapters help online trainees find volunteer opportunities to meet the service-hour requirements.

“There are Master Gardener programs in every state of the union and in most provinces of Canada,” Trinklein said.

The registration deadline for the online spring session is Jan. 15. For more information, including registration instructions, visit

The course also may be taken for personal enrichment only (no volunteer requirement) for a higher registration fee. For details, visit


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