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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 in 2021 to learn the basics from our Colorado horticulture experts through our flexible ‘Green School’ program.

TRAINING COURSES & OPTIONS

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.

2021 FULL COURSE ‘GREEN SCHOOL’:

$530; Classes begin January 2021

  • See Full Course Green School Schedule.
  • Access to 14 classes; 12 are self-paced online, 2 are live webinars.
  • Weekly Class Reviews (live webinars) with CSU subject matter experts.
  • To obtain certification, trainees must complete 7 online classes and attend (or watch the recording) of 2 live classes; attend at least 5 weekly class review sessions; 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.
2021 SHORT COURSES:

$195/course (5 classes in each short course); Classes begin January 2021

Short courses are self-paced, online courses with the exception of Colorado Gardening Challenges and Plant Pathology which occur as live (also recorded) classes on a set date/time. Click on each short course above to see the complete schedule. There are no weekly class reviews as offered with the Full Course registration.

ONLINE & LIVE {VIRTUAL} CLASS LEARNING

Our program’s 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:

SOILS & AMENDMENTS

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.

BOTANY: HOW PLANTS GROW

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.

COLORADO GARDENING CHALLENGES

This live 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.

ENTOMOLOGY

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.

INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT & PLANT DIAGNOSIS

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.

PLANT PATHOLOGY

Learn to use the plant diagnostic pyramid and process to troubleshoot, identify and appropriately manage common plant diseases – both biotic and abiotic. This is a live class which means you’ll have access to the latest and greatest from a CSU plant pathologist.

LAWN CARE / TURFGRASS MANAGEMENT

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.

WEED MANAGEMENT

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.

SCIENCE OF PLANTING TREES & TREE CARE

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.  

VEGETABLES

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

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.

SMALL FRUITS

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.   

PRUNING

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.

IRRIGATION

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).

EARNING YOUR CERTIFICATE

To obtain certification, trainees in the full course must complete 7 online classes and attend (or watch the recording) of 2 live classes; attend at least 5 weekly class review sessions; 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. 

ENROLLMENT

REGISTER ONLINE through 12/31/20. Payment is not needed at the time of registration.

FEES

  • Full Course (14 classes + weekly live reviews) = $530
  • Short Course (5 classes each; no weekly reviews) = $195
  • See our “2021 TRAINING FEES & COURSE MATERIALS” document for details.
  • Payment is required by 12/31/20 to confirm registration.
  • Scholarship are not available.
  • Discounts are available to CSU and county employees in Colorado.
  • Group discounts are also available for companies paying for 4+ employees. Contact Katie.Dunker@colostate.edu for details.
  • Sorry, no refunds after January 4, 2021.

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.