Gardening has many rewards, says David Trinklein, state horticulture specialist for University of Missouri Extension. “One of them is the satisfaction of sharing your plant knowledge with others.”

The MU Extension Master Gardener program is designed to do just that, Trinklein said. “Its motto, ‘helping others learn to grow,’ emphasizes service to others as the program’s main objective.”

A new session of online Master Gardener training begins Aug. 23.

“While not meant to replace in-person training, which still is conducted in many Missouri counties, online classes represent another way to go through the core training required of all MU Extension Master Gardeners,” he said.

The course is taught by Trinklein and MU Extension horticulture specialist Sarah Denkler. Classes are delivered through the Canvas learning management system as a series of scripted and narrated video presentations. Students work through 14 learning modules at their own pace. A composite score of 70% on chapter quizzes is needed to pass the course.

Topics covered include basic botany, soils and plant nutrition, vegetable gardening, fruit production, landscape design, woody ornamental plants, herbaceous ornamental plants, turf management, insect and disease management, and pesticide safety.

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

The deadline to register for the fall session is Aug. 13. For more information, visit

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