University of Vermont

UVM Extension Master Gardener Course - 2018

Please email master.gardener@uvm.edu to be put on the mailing list for the 2018 course.

Course runs from January 17-April 25

Live Q&A Session with Instructors, Wednesdays, 6:00-7:00pm

Before registering for this course, please read the course details below to be sure this is the right course for you!

Registration deadline: January 16th, 2018

Course fees:

Vermont Master Gardener Certification (Track 1) - $425.00 (i.e. $30.00 per module) includes fourteen modules, and thirteen live online Q&A sessions with instructors, an online course guide, and additional course materials. This track is for those who will complete the volunteer service to receive Master Gardener Certification (scroll down for description of Track 1 requirements). All volunteering must be on approved projects within the State of Vermont. Register here for Track 1

Vermont Certificate of Home Horticulture (Track 2) - $475.00(i.e. $33.00 per module) includes fourteen modules, and thirteen live online Q&A sessions with instructors, an online course guide, and additional course materials. Track 2 is for those who will not complete the volunteer process to pursue Master Gardener Certification (scroll down for description of Track 2 requirements). Register here for Track 2

Is this Online Course Right for You?

Although it may seem counter intuitive to have a Master Gardener class online, the mission of UVM Extension is to make University resources available to individuals across the State of Vermont. The online platform provides us with a cost-effective way to reach people in many different locations, (rural and urban) that would not otherwise have access to one physical location.

The online Master Gardener course is a way for individuals, without formal training in gardening, to learn the theories and principals of soil science, and horticulture. In other words, this will not be a hands-on class, but rather a course that provides the background information you need to know in order to feel confident in your practical and theoretical knowledge. We suggest this course be taken as a first step toward learning more about sustainable gardening practices, including reducing your use of pesticides and other harmful garden products, and enhancing your landscape to be both a human and wildlife friendly environment. Students enrolled in this course must be self-motivated and able to spend at least 3 hours each week to complete reading assignments, watch lectures and participate in Q&A sessions using a video conferencing system.

After this course, you may choose to take a local, hands-on course, or volunteer in your community. As a local volunteer, you are often asked to teach others which is a great way to solidify your learning. In Vermont, Master Gardener projects and educational opportunities are organized at the local level by regional EMG Chapters. The state office at UVM Extension approves projects, but does not manage their daily operations.

We do not recommend taking this course if you do not have access to an up-to-date computer, if you are not comfortable using a computer, navigating the internet, using email, or using an online video conferencing application and web cam. You will be required to manage all of these components on your own in order to participate in this course. Unfortunately, we have a very small staff and we do not provide tech support. If you have any questions about this prior to signing up, do not hesitate to call our office @ 802-656-9562.

We take pride in providing a high quality, interactive and engaging online course. You might be surprised that you like the convenience of an online course, as it allows you flexibility to schedule your time around work, vacations and other family activities.

Course Details

This non-credit course covers a wide range of subject matter including backyard vegetable gardening, perennials and annuals, soil fertility and tree care. You also will learn about landscape and botany basics, pest and plant disease control, rain gardens, sustainable landscape practices and other topics geared to help you become a more informed gardener. The online course will be offered statewide through Zoom video conferencing, and is an in-depth study of backyard gardening taught by UVM Extension and the horticulture industry experts within Vermont’s green industry. The live interactive Q&A sessions held from 6-7pm on fourteen Wednesday evenings will allow students to interact with on-screen faculty to ask questions, while archived recordings of course lectures will be available for students to watch at their convenience prior to the Q&A sessions. The Q&A sessions will also be archived whenever possible, but not guaranteed if the Zoom platform has a glitch. Busy students can choose to take the course live by following along with the deadline or complete it at their own pace. The materials remain available to students for two months after the live sessions have concluded (until June 25th).

Course Content

Course topics include: Basic Botany, Soil Science and Composting, Plant Pathology, Entomology, Vegetable Gardening, Growing Berries in Vermont, Fruit Trees & Pruning, Annuals and Perennials, Healthy Lawn Care, Weed Biology and Management, Sustainable Landscape Design, Landscaping for Pollinators, Native & Invasive Plants in Vermont, Raingardens: Design & Installation, and Woody Trees and Shrubs.

2018 EMG Course Outline (course outline subject to change)

Prior to January 17th: Module 1: Course Introduction

  • Watch Student Orientation Video
  • Take the pre-course survey

Jan. 17th: Module 2: Basic Botany – Amy Ivy

  • Read Manual
  • Watch Lecture
  • Post 1 Discussion Question
  • Attend Live Q&A session
  • Module Feedback

Jan. 24th: Module 3: Soil Science and Composting - Wendy Sue Harper

  • Read Manual
  • Watch Lecture
  • Post 1 Discussion Question
  • Attend Live Q&A session
  • Module Feedback

Jan. 31st: Module 4: Introduction to Plant Pathology

  • Read Manual
  • Watch Lecture
  • Post 1 Discussion Question
  • Attend Live Q&A session
  • Module Feedback

Feb. 7th: Module 5: Entomology – Margaret Skinner

  • Read Manual
  • Watch Lecture
  • Post 1 Discussion Question
  • Attend Live Q&A session
  • Module Feedback

Feb. 14th - Module 6: Vegetable Gardening – Rebecca Maden

  • Read Manual
  • Watch Lecture
  • Module 6 Assignment: Volunteer Project
  • Module Feedback

Feb. 21st: Module 7: Growing Berries in Vermont - Module Feedback

  • Read Manual
  • Watch Lecture
  • Post 1 Discussion Question
  • Attend Live Q&A session
  • Module Feedback

Feb. 28th: Module 8: Fruit Trees & Pruning – Terry Bradshaw

  • Read Manual
  • Watch Lecture
  • Post 1 Discussion Question
  • Attend Live Q&A session
  • Module Feedback

Mar. 7th: Module 9: Annuals & Perennials – Amy Ivy

  • Read Manual
  • Watch Lecture
  • Post 1 Discussion Question
  • Attend Live Q&A session
  • Module Feedback

Mar. 14th: Module 10: Healthy Lawn Care, Weed Biology and Management – Sid Bosworth

  • Read Manual
  • Watch Lecture
  • Post 1 Discussion Question
  • Attend Live Q&A session
  • Module Feedback

Mar. 21st: Module 11: Sustainable Landscape Design – Judith Irven

  • Read Manual
  • Watch Lecture
  • Post 1 Discussion Question
  • Attend Live Q&A session
  • Module Feedback

Mar. 28th: Module 12: Landscaping for Pollinators – Jane Sorensen

  • Read Manual
  • Watch Lecture
  • Post 1 Discussion Question
  • Attend Live Q&A session
  • Module Feedback

April 4th: Module 13: Native & Invasive Plants in Vermont – Rose Paul

  • Read Manual
  • Watch Lecture
  • Post 1 Discussion Question
  • Attend Live Q&A session
  • Module Feedback

April 11th: Module 14: Raingardens: Design & Installation – Becky Tharp & Woody Trees & Shrubs – Elise Schadler

  • Read Manual
  • Watch Lecture
  • Post 1 Discussion Question
  • Attend Live Q&A session
  • Module Feedback

April 18th: Module 15: Reaching and Teaching Others (Self-paced) – Volunteer Track 1 Only

  • Read Manual
  • Watch Lecture
  • Module 15 Assignment: Volunteer Project
  • Module Feedback

April 25th: Module 16: Final Assignments Due

  • Post Course Survey
  • Final Exam

2018 Instructors (course instructors subject to change)

  • Basic Botany – Amy Ivy, Cornell University
  • Soil Science & Composting – Wendy Sue Harper, Consultant & former UVM Lecturer
  • Plant Pathology – Ann Hazelrigg, UVM Lecturer & Extension Instructor
  • Entomology – Margaret Skinner, UVM Research Professor
  • Vegetable Gardening – Rebecca Maden, UVM Extension - Vegetable Nutrient Management
  • Growing Berries in Vermont – Vern Grubinger, UVM Extension - Vegetable & Berry Specialist
  • Fruit Trees & Pruning – Terry Bradshaw, UVM Research Associate
  • Annuals & Perennials – Amy Ivy, Cornell University
  • Healthy Lawn Care. Weed Biology & Management – Sid Bosworth, UVM Extension Professor
  • Sustainable Landscape Design – Judith Irven – Private Landscape Designer, Outdoor Spaces
  • Landscaping for Pollinators – Jane Sorensen, UVM Adjunct Faculty Lecturer
  • Native & Invasive Plants in Vermont – Rose Paul, VT Dept. of Forests & Parks – Invasive Plants Coordinator
  • Raingardens: Design & Installation – Becky Tharp, UVM-Land Use Planning & Water Quality Educator
  • Woody Trees & Shrubs – Elise Schadler, UVM Extension-VT Urban & Community Forestry – Technical Assistance Coordinator

Computer Use

All of the content for this course is provided online. You will need basic computer skills, such as knowing how to download files and search the internet to access the materials successfully. If you have reliable, high-speed internet access and can hear sound through your computer, and have a webcam, you should be able to participate regardless of the type of computer or operating system you use. Please read carefully above, “Is this course right for you?” if you have any questions, or hesitations about taking an online course.

Course Manual

The text for this course is “Sustainable Gardening Manual” (Identified as “UVM Extension Master Gardener”) from University of Rhode Island. This training manual is currently used throughout New England Extension programs to train Master Gardener students. It reflects our northeast growing conditions and the national goals of the Master Gardener program. The Master Gardener Course manual is provided to students in an online pdf format only. Students are welcome to download the document and print it at a local printing company.

Scholarships

You can find information on available scholarship/grant/funding opportunities here.

Refund Policy

The full amount may be refunded until January 31st, 2018. After that date, we cannot offer a refund. Also, we cannot offer refunds if you log into the website and access the course materials. To request a refund, email: beret.halverson@uvm.edu

Accommodations

Anyone requiring a disability-related accommodation to participate should contact the Master Gardener Program office by December 18, 2017 - 802-656-9562 - master.gardener@uvm.edu

Course Requirements

Upon successful completion of the course, students may choose, but are not required to become certified Vermont Master Gardener volunteers (See Track 1 below) by completing a volunteer internship of forty hours of approved community outreach. You might share your new horticulture knowledge with others through talks and displays at fairs, farmers’ markets and other outlets, or assist with UVM Extension Master Gardener approved projects. Find out more about becoming a certified Vermont Master Gardener.

Track 1: Vermont Master Gardener Certification

Upon completion of all Online Master Gardener course requirements, you choose to participate in a 40 hour hands-on volunteer internship in your local area to earn certification as a Vermont Master Gardener volunteer. This could involve giving home gardening talks/demonstrations to local groups, writing newspaper columns on home gardening topics, staffing exhibits at fairs or farmers’ markets or participating in any number of Vermont Master Gardener service projects in your community. Find out more about the benefits of becoming a Certified Master Gardener volunteer.

Course requirements for Track 1 students include the following:

  • Watch Student orientation
  • Take the pre-course survey
  • Read the manual prior to each Q&A session
  • Watch pre-recorded lectures prior to module
  • 1 Discussion Question per module
  • 1 Feedback survey per module
  • Volunteer Track 1 Only: Volunteer Project Assignment
  • Final Exam (70% or better, you can re-take it up to 3 times, and we’ll accept the highest grade)
  • Take the post-course survey
  • Complete a 40-hour hands-on volunteer internship by December 31, 2019 by volunteering on approved Master Gardener projects and volunteer opportunities in your local area to earn certification as a Vermont Master Gardener.

Track 1 Benefits:

  • Receive a course completion letter and intern badge upon completing all course requirements
  • Receive a Certified Vermont Master Gardener badge and certificate upon completion and reporting of 40 volunteer internship hours by end of the annual term
  • Receive the benefits of learning from other Master Gardeners and giving back to your community
  • Receive the benefit of joining our Master Gardener membership network that includes almost 600 volunteers, and give you access to a number of special offers and educational opportunities.

Track 2: Vermont Certificate of Home Horticulture

Complete this track if you are interested in the course content and if you do not intend to become a Certified Master Gardener volunteer. For Track 2, no Master Gardener Volunteer Certification is awarded, there is no hands-on volunteer service required, and you are not able to use the title, “Certified Master Gardener Volunteer”.

Course requirements for Track 2 students include the following:

  • Register for the MG course and choose Track 2: Certificate of Home Horticulture
  • Watch Student orientation
  • Take the pre-course survey
  • Read the Manual
  • Watch pre-recorded lectures prior to module
  • 1 Discussion Question per module
  • 1 Feedback survey per module
  • Volunteer Track 1 Only: Volunteer Project Assignment
  • Final Exam (70% or better, you can re-take it up to 3 times, and we’ll accept the highest grade).
  • Take the post-course survey

Track 2 Benefits:

Receive a Vermont Certificate of Home Horticulture, which implies participation in the training only. You will not become a “UVM Extension Master Gardener.” Since the Certificate of Home Horticulture does not imply that the holder is representing the University of Vermont Extension system as a volunteer, it may be used for marketing purposes and on your resume.

Still have questions?

Phone 802-656-9562 or email master.gardener@uvm.edu .


Comments from 2017 students

I thought the program was great and very accommodating to people with a hectic schedule.

I thought the course was terrific and very comprehensive.

Presentations that I didn't think would be interesting turned out to be classes I learned the most from. It was an incredible overview of everything gardening and more. The class inspired me to want to continue learning in more detail and to 'get my hands dirty'! It is time to get outside!

Excellent content. I wouldn't change anything. Provides a broad introduction for many topics. As Master Gardeners we can continue to learn topics that interest us in more depth.

 

Last modified November 15 2017 12:05 PM