Online Master Gardener Certification

miss_huff(7)February 27, 2008

Hello -

I live in Ga., but would be willing to earn my MG certification through any source.

I have just had spine surgery, and am not doing very well. Physically attending class (driving there, sitting there) is out of the question for now. Of course, I understand that I will have to do duties later on -- my service work. That is one of my goals in physical therapy!

But for now...I am extremely hurt and unable to attend ANY class.

So......Are there not any online MG certification programs?

If I am shunned for not having one in my particular county...I don't care! I will take anything!!

Does anyone know of any online MG certification programs???

Thank you so much!!

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One reason MG certification doesn't usually transfer from place to place is the fact that gardening is so local. Local climate, soil conditions, pests, all these play a large part in the knowledge base a MG needs. That said, the basic horticultural knowledge is the same most everywhere and there may be some online courses available.

You should check with your local extension office and those in the surrounding counties to see if anybody can accomodate you in some way now. If nothing works out, you could set up some self-directed study on the internet on various gardening topics. Be sure of the sources you use, staying with the university information for the most part. Google search a topic this way "pruning" (that's a space between the search word and site colon dot edu) without the quotes will take you to only education sites. If you want a specific university, find out what their domain is and put it before the dot, such as for VA Tech research. That eliminates those trying to sell a product and those who are just spouting off with unfounded information.

Hang in there and don't give up on the program. Anybody that's willing to work through what you've been through and still want to do this would be an asset to the MG community.

Good luck and speedy recovery!

    Bookmark   March 1, 2008 at 9:18AM
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echoes_or(Zone 3)

I will be taking their online class this fall. Cost is $40.00. Check with your local extension office to see if they offer it in your area.
Mine says oregon but type your own state in and see if it doesn't come up with your info... Alaska site is the same except says Alaska.... So must be the way to do it. Good luck. I can't wait to do mine this September and you can't beat the cost.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2008 at 6:58PM
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Aloha All,

I found this site on Google for Master Gardener:

It is appears to be the MG national home page with each state's MG information. Miss Huff, Good luck and hope you get better fast.


    Bookmark   August 13, 2008 at 5:23PM
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honeybunny442(z6 TN)

Hope you get better fast! When I looked at that website, the prices were $300 and $400, not $40!

    Bookmark   September 3, 2008 at 12:51PM
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MrsJustice(Hampton Va.)

Hello all, Gardener, Sandy, Member's.
Can someone tell me Why Oat woodchips will change the PH balance of soil?
I have learned so much from you and all the Tomato Forum members over the years. You and others have giving me especial knowledge, that keeping my Small Heirloom Farm Growing, even in wake of problems, especially this year. My husband and I decided to work with a neighbor that wanted to cut down a tree in my big garden, which over hanged in his back yard, along with 1/3 of this Oat tree growing on his property mainly the large roots too, leaving the wood chips. The company he hired gave me a good deal to cut a tree on my property. This tree was not Oat, and not as big as that Oat tree, but half rotten. I gave his company use of my Tomato Farm in January to cut down the tree, leaving the woodchips, and 250.00 to cut down that tree on my property with-out chipping because of its rotten conditions to avoid fungus or insect problems.
This was the biggest mistake yet with my tomatoes, because the wood chips changed the Ph balance of my soil which I worked so hard over the years to obtain.
I donÂt understand how that happen, because every month starting the end of January when the "Wood Chips Mountain" would reach about 164 F with steam coming from top I would remove the top layer an till into the soil February, March, April, First tomatoes in late May 2008 Died. The heirlooms died in only the area of wood chips, in that area of my big grader. I planted a thick crop cover, with over six thousand tomatoes plants growing in the shade area close to the house.
The crop cover did its job of removing any sap from wood chips, but I have to replace phosphorous and potassium to the soil using Rosa Bush Organic fertilizer because of it large Phosphorous levels and Organic plant food drops during transplanting. Than transplant large tomato plants back to their location making sure I do not disturb dirt from root ball because they was around five to six feet.
The last transplants was very successful, with plants green and growing about a month know, and I can facially relax a little, Amen!!!
However, I will have very late season tomatoes coming soon.
Any advice will save other farmers from making the same mistake.
I am thankful and blessed that the lord gave me the ideal to plants all of the six thousand seeds I used to get my certification as a Professional seed saver last year. They saved my heirloom farm this year.
Can someone tell me, why oat woodchips killed my Heirlooms Tomatoes? Because the apple tree woodchips did good for my tomatoes three years ago.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2008 at 1:20PM
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blueheron(z6 PA)

Do you mean OAK tree?

    Bookmark   March 17, 2009 at 9:58PM
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uncron1(z6 OH)

Oak wood is full of tannic acid a natural wood preservative. Wood chips will also tie up your available nitrogen unless thouroghly composted.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2009 at 6:58PM
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Oak or any wood chips will not change the pH of the soil. But they will tie up nitrogen as uncron1 has stated. Not a big concern with woody plants but can be a huge growth limiter for annual or seasonal crops like tomatoes. Suuplement with a nitrogen source to offset the effects until the chips break down.

And please, post new topics or questions under a separate thread. You will get more responses this way and it's considered impolite to tag onto a previous, unrelated post. Especially one that requests follow-up emails.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2009 at 10:15AM
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Hi, I am in Ontario. We have 2 options for online courses. One is thru the U of Guelph, the other is thru Nova Scotia Agricultural College. I am just finishing the final class thru NSAC, and the program has been enjoyable as well as educational. There are usually 4 segments with tests, and 4 assignments for each of the 4 courses. It is naturally focused on northern plants, soils, weather etc. but I am sure there are similar programs in the states. Good luck, and get well soon. I broke my right wrist on the first day of spring. It doesn't seem fair after a Canadian winter.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2009 at 11:19PM
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Arizona has their master gardener training manual online at
It is specific to Arizona but it's free and it will get you started with the basics of plant growth. It would be nice if one of the national organizations started a "Basics" class and then we could attend local classes to learn about the local plants and topics and be certified locally.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2011 at 12:26PM
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