The Master Gardener and Home Horticulture Basic Training course is designed for anyone who is interested in learning more about the effective and sustainable management of their home horticultural landscape. There are no course prerequisites, although a basic understanding of plants is helpful.
In this course you will learn about the art and the science of caring for plants. We examine plant types (e.g. woody, herbaceous), garden types (e.g. container, vegetable), and elements that influence the growth and vigor of plants in the home garden (e.g. pathogens, soils, insects, management decisions).
We will also focus on the prevention and diagnosis of plant problems, as well as a least toxic approach to tolerating and/or managing plant problems in the home horticultural landscape.
What You'll Cover in this Course
Option 1 is specifically for Oregon residents. Non-Oregon residents, please see Option 2.
Would you like to become a Master Gardener Volunteer? In addition to the in-person trainings that are offered in local Extension Offices across Oregon, OSU offers an online option for completing the Master Gardener course material.
If you prefer to learn in-person, please contact your local Extension Office to find out what live training they offer.
If you prefer to learn online, or if the timing does not work to attend in-person, this instructor-led online training is an excellent alternative.
MASTER GARDENER CURRICULUM
The online Master Gardener curriculum includes:
To become a certified Master Gardener and receive a badge, you will need to complete the course material (online, or in-person), pass the final exam, and complete 40 to 70 hours (varies by county) of an on-site volunteer practicum under the guidance of your local Extension Office.
The volunteer practicum provides an opportunity to apply the concepts you learn in the classroom training, so that you can help others learn how to meet their sustainable gardening goals.
After the first year of certification, Master Gardener volunteers must complete volunteer and continuing education requirements to maintain certification.
You will receive the same training from Option 1 (above). This is ideal if you live outside of Oregon or you're not able to complete the volunteer hours.
Upon successful completion of the online course, you will receive a Certificate of Home Horticulture.
Master Gardener Short Course Option
If you do not need or desire the full certificate, you might be interested in the on-demand Master Gardener Short Course Series, which pulls from sections of the Master Gardener Online program.
If you'd like to learn more about being a Master Gardener volunteer and what it entails, you can read more in this free 24-page eBook "An Introduction to Being a Master Gardener Volunteer."
I wanted to become a Certified Master Gardener in OR. I loved the flexibility as I was on the East Coast at the time. The instructor provided wonderful feedback and tried hard to engage us, which can be hard in an online format. After completing the online course, I was able to get my volunteer hours in so that I am now a certified OR MG!
I learned a lot about the PNW flora, conifers and how to better amend my soil. The instructor was great, very responsive. I enjoyed the practical requirements. If you’re interested in learning about the diversity of this region, and how to better take care of plants, then absolutely I would recommend the program.
I now have a new network and I've helped people learn how to garden without chemicals. After the course, I've helped grade school kids to like worms by teaching a class in 5th and 6th grade. I loved it all.
The convenience of taking the class online was priceless. I was concerned I'd have enough time to put into the course given my busy schedule, but I was able to successfully complete the course working two jobs, plus the support of my full-time employer who let me change my lunch schedule to allow time to study. It was a great accomplishment for me and proved to me I can do whatever I put my mind to doing. I learned new skills and concepts and have a ton of resource material to refer back to as needed. I can't speak highly enough about the experience overall.
I enjoyed the opportunity to learn about gardening from professionals but in online fashion. Completing this online master gardener program and earning a certificate in horticulture inspired me to further pursue the UCONN Master Gardener program this year and earn my formal certification. UCONN Master Gardener class of 2018!
I love gardening and wanted to meet more people that share my passion. Through this program, I met some wonderful people - actually, I met more of my neighbors through this program! The people I worked with were so interesting! Learning online was wonderful for someone working full time. The volunteer opportunities were also flexible, making it easy to complete 60 hours. I hope to see more young people and will encourage others to try this program.
I learned a ton and yields are up. I now have a scientific approach to organic food production. I enjoyed learning botany, soils, entomology and herbicides & pesticides. It was rigorous, but fun.
I like wearing my Master Gardener fleece vest and being approached by people with gardening questions. I also like having my gardening knowledge legitimized! This program enhances gardening knowledge, which is important because so many people have gardens/yards and feel frustrated about how to take care of it. My favorite part were the discussions and learning how to approach specific problems and hearing from others on what NOT to do, or from others’ bad experiences.
I incorporated what I learned in teaching the general public about gardening and it greatly enhanced my classes. I enjoyed the online flexibility, quality instructors, and the ability to revisit lectures via weblink. I would recommend this program due to the benefits mentioned above, plus the quality, research-based information. OSU made online learning easy and I highly value the quality content and instructors.
This was something I always wanted to do. The daytime class didn’t work for me because of work. After taking the class, I was able to step into the Plant Clinic and stay with it. I loved the diagnostic section and the online flexibility for a working person. I had a great experience and would do it again.
I wanted to be a better gardener. The course was a great education on all aspects of gardening. This summer I helped a work-colleague turn her front yard into a meadow of wildflowers with knowledge I learned. I visited it recently and it's beautiful!
I learned a lot and met great people and got involved in the community. The time involved compared to the amount I learned was well worth it. A lot of what I learned involved practices that everyone should know, IPM, when and how to use a pesticide if necessary, safe practices that help Mother Earth, etc. It was a great and thorough program.
"I would like to thank the Horticulture department for the wonderful experience i had doing your Master gardeners course. I am still having a great time reviewing all the lectures as this is all new to me and a great challenge to learn. I especially want to thank Signe Dangler for her lectures that I loved. They are so easy to listen to. Her comments to all of us on our assignments are so informative. I am amazed that she is so good and that she is so thorough to read through all the assignments and provide specific feedback. All the knowledge that she has repeated to her in the small assignment efforts that we present to her could be so boring and frustrating. The way she corrects them in such a friendly personalized way makes us feel as if a dear friend guided and corrected us in a positive discussion."
Signe Danler is a veteran Master Gardener and landscape designer with a Masters of Ag degree in Horticulture. In the Master Gardener Online program, she uses her experience and training in gardening, urban forestry and ecological landscaping to communicate about and promote sustainable gardening and landscaping practices.
Gail Langellotto is a Professor of Horticulture at Oregon State University, where she also serves as the Principle Investigator of the Garden Ecology Lab and leads the statewide Oregon State University Master Gardener program. She has a M.S. and Ph.D. in entomology, and has published research on topics as diverse as the costs of starting and maintaining a vegetable garden, pollinator-friendly gardens, and the benefits of gardening to healthy eating. Her OSU Extension Service and outreach efforts are focused on communicating research-backed management practices to home gardeners. For the online Master Gardener and urban agriculture PACE courses, she supervises overall course development, and reviews and contributes to course content.