COLUMBIA, MO – A new session of online core training for Missouri Master Gardener certification begins Aug. 18.

“The motto of the Master Gardener program is ‘Helping others learn to grow,’” said David Trinklein, state horticulture specialist for University of Missouri Extension.

The online classes have grown steadily in popularity since MU Extension began offering them in 2013.

“These classes represent a viable option for people who can’t take the weekly classes in person,” Trinklein said. In the past, some people had to travel many miles to attend Master Gardener classes.

Trinklein and MU Extension horticulture specialist Sarah Denkler deliver the series of 15 narrated PowerPoint presentations. To pass the course, participants need a composite score of 70 percent on chapter quizzes.

Subjects include basic botany, soils and plant nutrition, vegetable gardening, fruit production, insects and diseases, landscaping and landscape plants, turf management, and pesticide safety.

Core training is the first step toward Master Gardener certification. Trainees must also complete at least 30 hours of volunteer service, Trinklein said. Local Master Gardener chapters help online trainees find volunteer opportunities to meet the service hour requirements.

“There are Master Gardener programs in every state of the union and in most provinces of Canada,” Trinklein said.

The registration deadline is Aug. 12. Register at mg.missouri.edu(opens in new window).

The course also may be taken for personal enrichment only (no volunteer requirement) for a higher fee.