Gardening is an activity with many rewards, said David Trinklein, state horticulture specialist for University of Missouri Extension.

“One of them is the satisfaction of sharing your plant knowledge with others. The Master Gardener program was initiated to do just that,” Trinklein said. Its motto, “helping others learn to grow,” emphasizes service to others as the program’s main objective, he said.

A new session of online Missouri Master Gardener core training begins Jan. 19, 2022.

Trinklein and MU Extension horticulture specialist Sarah Denkler teach the 14 online sessions. “These classes represent a viable option for people who can’t take the weekly classes in person,” Trinklein said.

Classes are delivered through the Canvas learning management system as a series of scripted and narrated presentations. Students work at their own pace. A composite score of 70% on chapter quizzes is needed to pass the course.

Topics 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.

Registration for the spring online session closes Jan.14, 2022. To register, go to muext.us/4.

Learn more about the Missouri Master Gardener program at mg.missouri.edu.