Please see the drop downs below for more information.
Become a Better Gardener!
The Master Gardener Course instructors are UVM faculty and staff and Vermont horticulture professionals.The course curriculum covers the fundamentals of home gardening focused on plant and soil sciences. Topics include soil fertility, plant pests and diseases, fruit and vegetable production and planning, entomology, garden pollinator habitat, native plants, annuals and perennials, shrubs and trees, landscape design, and dealing with garden wildlife. Content is specific to the Vermont environment.
The course is offered online with a flexible schedule option!
Track 1: Master Gardener Volunteer Certification
Track 1 (master gardener volunteer certification)
Track 1 may be right for you if you are:
- Eager to improve your community and share your knowledge as a community educator
- Interested in environmental stewardship
- Willing to promote and educate the public about research-based home horticulture practices
- Willing to serve as a Master Gardener volunteer year to year, and maintain your certification and annual membership fee, ($25).
- Able to complete the 40 hours of volunteer service within 2 years of taking the course
- Not interested in a professional qualification or title.
Track 1 Requirements:
- Complete the online course
- 3-5 hours each week to complete assignments, quizzes, watching lectures and participating in Q&A sessions using a video conferencing system
- Complete a 40-hour volunteer internship during the 2 years after the course
Track 1 Benefits:
- Course completion letter and intern badge
- Certified Vermont Master Gardener badge and certificate (upon completion of 40 volunteer hours)
- Access to UVM faculty and staff expertise
- Learn from other Master Gardeners
- Give back to your community
- A membership network that includes thousands of Vermonters, and give you access to a number of special offers, discounts and educational opportunities
Track 2: Home Horticulture Certificate of Completion
Track 2 (home horticulture certificate of completion)
Track 2 may be right for you if you are:
- Not a Vermont resident
- Working full time or don't have time to volunteer
- Working in a field related to gardening and want to learn more about the science of gardening.
- Interested in gardening for your own knowledge
- You are interested in a professional qualification. The Home Horticulture Certificate of Completion can be used as a professional qualification on a resume.
Track 2 Requirements:
- Complete the online course
- Students enrolled in this course must be self-motivated
- 3-5 hours each week to complete assignments, quizzes, watching lectures and participating in Q&A sessions using a video conferencing system.
Track 2 Benefits:
- Receive the Home Horticulture Certificate of Completion
- The Home Horticulture Certificate of Completion does not imply that the holder is representing the University of Vermont Extension system as a Master Gardener volunteer, however it may be used for marketing purposes and on your resume.
Track 3: Self-Paced Course Only
Track 3 (self paced course only)
Track 3 may be right for you if you are:
- Not a Vermont resident
- Don't have time to turn in assignments or follow a schedule
- Are interested in gardening for your own knowledge
Track 3 Requirements:
- No requirements, no assignments or due dates
Track 3 Benefits:
- No schedule, no assignments, no hassle!
- Access the materials for your own learning whenever you want
Course Content, Materials & Syllabus
Please download and read the course syllabus carefully prior to enrolling and for more detailed information and for the full course schedule. Please note the syllabus is subject to change before the beginning of the course.
Each of the online course modules will require students to:
- read assigned chapters from the course manual
- watch a pre-recorded 1-3 hour lecture
- post 1 discussion question
- take a 5-10 question quiz
Other Info & Materials
- Attendance in the live online Q&A sessions is optional. The sessions are Thursdays from 6-pm
- You may choose to watch the recorded sessions, but for full engagement in the course being present on Thursdays is recommended.
- Q&A sessions are held using online video conferencing. These sessions will allow students to interact with on-screen faculty to ask questions
- The online courses are offered statewide through the eXtenion campus website.
- The text for this course is the Penn State Master Gardener Manual from the University of Pennsylvania. This text costs $75, and must be purchased directly through Penn State Extension prior to beginning the course. This training manual is currently used throughout Northeastern Extension programs to train Master Gardener students. It reflects the national goals of the Master Gardener program.
- Volunteering, (Track 1 Students Only) Beret Halverson, and Cindy Heath, UVM Extension Master Gardener Program and Volunteer Coordinators
- Course Introduction, Beret Halverson, UVM Extension
- Basic Botany, Amy Ivy, Cornell University
- Soil Health, Dr.Wendy Sue Harper, Consultant and former UVM Lecturer
- Herbaceous Plants, Amy Ivy, Cornell University
- Basic Entomology, Victor Izzo, UVM Instructor
- Entomology IPM, Victor Izzo, UVM Instructor
- Small Fruits, Vern Grubinger, UVM Extension - Vegetable & Berry Specialist
- Vegetable Gardening, Rebecca (Becky) Madden - UVM Extension - Vegetable Nutrient Management
- Vegetable Garden Planning, Dr. Wendy Sue Harper, Consultant and former UVM Lecturer
- Plant Pathology, Ann Hazelrigg, UVM Lecturer & Extension Instructor
- Fruit Trees and Pruning, Terry Bradshaw, UVM Research Associate
- Garden Pollinator Habitat, Jane Sorensen, UVM Adjunct Faculty Lecturer
- Sustainable Landscape Design & Garden Wildlife, Judith Irven, Private Landscape Designer, Outdoor Spaces
- Trees and Shrubs, Joanne Garton,UVM Extension-VT Urban & Community Forestry – Technical Assistance Coordinator
- Final Assignments, Beret Halverson UVM Extension
Is An Online Course Right for You?
Learn what taking an online course entails.
Learn more about scholarship opportunities.
Refunds & Accommodations
Dropping the course/Refund Policy
Full refund up until the course starts. The last drop date is March 1. Unfortunately, we cannot provide refunds for the course modules that you have already been given access to on the website. Refer to the Course Syllabus-Dropping the course/Refunds section for more information.
Anyone requiring a disability-related accommodation to participate should contact Beret Halverson @ firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-656-1777 prior to December 20, 2020.
- Lisa Chouinard (802) 656-9562 or email@example.com
Course Information & Scholarships:
- Beret Halverson (802) 656-1777 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Cindy Heath, 603-543-1307 or email@example.com