Contact your local county Extension office through our County Office List.

Close Icon
Master Gardeners enhance Colorado communities through outreach, education and environmental stewardship.

Certified Colorado Gardener Program   arrow

Gardening here is different. Learn more, grow more.

Colorado gardening and landscaping takes grit…. and knowledge of our unique soils, climates, and plants. CSU Extension has been helping people grow in our great state for 150 years. Join us to learn the basics from our Colorado horticulture experts through our flexible ‘Green School’ program.


We have a certifying FULL COURSE option and multiple SHORT COURSE options to meet anyone’s needs. Regardless of the course, you’ll receive in-depth horticulture training provided by CSU faculty, staff, and specialists.


REGISTER BY COURSE | Enroll Anytime! Price: $195/short course

Short courses are bundles of 5 self-paced, online courses. Click on each short course above to see the complete schedule. There are no live weekly class reviews for short courses but you do have direct email access to course instructors. A certificate of completion will be provided to participants upon completion of all courses. No refunds.


$545 | Registration opens August 2024 | Join our interested list

  • ’23-’24 Training Schedule pdf | ’23-’24 Course Syllabus pdf
  • Early Bird Registration (Save $50) available in August & September
  • Classes will run early November 2024 – March 2025
  • This course is offered only once a year
  • Access to 14 self-paced online classes
  • Live weekly class reviews with CSU subject matter experts
  • To obtain certification, trainees must complete 8 online classes and pass the comprehensive final (open-book, research encouraged) with a 70% or better
  • You’ll have access to the online courses for one year
  • Sorry, no refunds


Our full course training is “hybrid” – classes will be a mix of online, webinar and live, web-based Q&As with specialists. You won’t just be reading and completing courses online, you’ll have access to CSU subject matter experts for live weekly reviews hosted online. Short course participants do not attend weekly reviews, but will have access to subject matter experts by email for Q&A.

The online class content is up-to-date, engaging, self-paced and includes integrated readings, videos, activities and quizzes. Courses are science-based and specific to Colorado’s unique (and challenging!) climate, soil, environment, insects, wildlife, and plants. 

Classes include:


80% of plant problems can be attributed to soil issues, and good soil is the foundation to a great garden. Learn about soil structure, texture, tilth, fertilizers, soil amendments, and everything you need to know to create a great garden from the ground up.


Understanding basic plant physiology is foundational to growing and caring for your landscape. This course covers the basics of how plants grow and applying this as a Colorado gardener.


This class will cover how to deal with the many challenges to the Colorado gardener – everything from temperature whiplashes, low humidity, drying winds, critters, fires, water rights, and more. Native plants will be discussed as a solution to many gardening challenges, including benefits, misconceptions, and using them in the landscape.


Insects are the most abundant and diverse form of life found on earth. Being able to identify them and understand the role they play in landscapes (beneficial vs. detrimental), is one key to successful gardening. This class covers the basics of insect identification, insect anatomy and growth, and goes over the more common orders of insects that gardeners might encounter.


Learn to use the plant diagnostic pyramid and process to troubleshoot, identify and appropriately manage common plant diseases – both biotic and abiotic. This class is taught by a CSU plant pathologist so you’ll have the latest and greatest information.


There are many pests and diseases that can affect plants and being familiar with the plant diagnostic process is an important skill for anyone working with landscape plants. Integrated pest management (IPM) is an multi-prong approach to pest management and an important part of the diagnostic and treatment process.


Learn the best, science-based practices for having the best lawn on the block. This class covers various grass species, general care (mowing, watering, fertilizing, aeration), irrigation, turf health and common issues/diseases, and managing weeds in the lawn.


Weeds tend to be a gardener’s biggest headache. This class covers the principles of weed management, weed life cycles, ID of some common weeds, how weeds can indicate cultural issues in the garden, and noxious vs landscape weeds.


Trees play an incredibly valuable role in our landscapes, but are often improperly planted leading to premature health issues and even death. This class will cover appropriate species selection for your site, proper planting techniques and post-planting care to help ensure their survival.


Vegetable gardening can be a fun and rewarding endeavor, and this class covers all of the basics of how to do it successfully. In this class, learn about garden layout, planting times, soil preparation, pests and disease of vegetables, routine garden care and season extension.


Fruit trees are a great addition to a landscape and grow well in Colorado, but have different care and maintenance requirements than other landscape plants. Here you will learn about planting considerations along with training and annual pruning techniques specific to fruit trees.


There are many delicious small fruits that grow well in Colorado including raspberries, blackberries, strawberries and grapes. In this class you will learn about soil preparation, training and pruning techniques and appropriate varieties that grow well here.


Proper pruning is an important part of tree care and routine maintenance. It reduces pest and disease issues and helps keep trees from becoming hazards. In this class you will learn proper pruning techniques and the various reasons why pruning is a critical part of tree care.


Water is a big issue in Colorado landscapes- this class will cover water rights to how water moves through home landscapes, irrigation equipment, watering frequency and amount, evapotranspiration, watering efficiently and how to conduct home lawn check ups (and more).


To obtain certification, trainees in the full course must complete 8 online classes and pass the comprehensive final (open-book, research encouraged) with a 70% or better.

Upon completion of the course, you’ll receive a Colorado Gardener Certificate.  However, because there is no subsequent volunteer commitment, participants do not become Colorado Master Gardeners. The title of ‘Master Gardener’ is a registered service mark and only to be used for CSU Extension events and purposes.

The Colorado Gardener Certificate may be displayed in a place of business and used in business marketing. 

Short Course participants will receive a Certificate of Completion for the specified short course. All courses must be completed to earn this certificate.


Full Course Registration:

Short Course Registration:


  • Full Course (14 classes + weekly live reviews) $545 Regular Price | $495 Early Bird Price
  • Short Course (5 classes each; no weekly reviews) $195
  • We offer over 30 scholarships each semester; applications open in August
  • Payment is required at the time of registration
  • Discounts may be available to CSU and county employees in Colorado, email us to learn more
  • Sorry, we CANNOT offer refunds

Contact for details.

The full course is comparable to a 4-credit class. In comparison, tuition for a four-credit class at CSU is $1,932.

Considering the Colorado Master Gardener Volunteer program?

This option requires a completed application, interview, and background check in addition to training fees and a 50-hour volunteer commitment to your local county in the first year. Learn more.