Certified Colorado Gardener Program registration open


By Robin Young  | PREVIEW Columnist

Gardening here is different. Colorado gardening and landscaping takes grit — and knowledge of our unique soils, climates and plants. 

Colorado State University (CSU) Extension has been helping people grow in our great state for 150 years. Join us to learn the basics from our Colorado horticulture experts through our flexible “Green School” program.

CSU Extension has 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. 

The full course is $475 for early bird registration open now until Sept. 15. Regular registration is Sept. 16 through Oct. 25 and costs $530. The full course is comparable to a four-credit class. In comparison, tuition for a four-credit class at CSU is $1,932.

Classes will run late October through March 2024. This course is offered only once a year. You will have full access to 14 self-paced online classes with live weekly class reviews with CSU subject matter experts for one full year. To obtain certification, trainees must complete eight online classes and pass the comprehensive final (open-book, research encouraged) with a 70 percent or better.

Our full-course training is “hybrid” — classes will be a mix of online, webinar and live, Web-based Q-and-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-and-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 for the full course include soils and amendments, botany: how plants grow, Colorado gardening challenges, entomology, integrated pest management and plant diagnosis, plant pathology, lawn care/turfgrass management, weed management, science of planting trees and tree care, vegetables, fruit trees, small fruits, pruning and irrigation.

Short courses are bundles of self-paced online courses: Colorado gardening foundations, landscape management basics, plant diagnostics and growing food. There are no live weekly class reviews for short courses, but you do have direct email access to course instructors. A certificate of completion will be provided to participants upon completion of all courses.

To obtain certification, trainees in the full course must complete eight online classes and pass the comprehensive final (open-book, research encouraged) with a 70 percent 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. Short-course participants will receive a certificate of completion for the specified short course. All courses must be completed to earn this certificate.

Contact your local Extension office or visit GreenSchool@colostate.edu for details.

Preserving the
harvest classes

Sept. 9: Canning, drying and freezing.

Sept. 16: Fermentation.

Each class is $25. Visit https://archuleta.extension.colostate.edu/ to register.

Seed saving class

Sept. 23: Seed saving can be fun, profitable and can create community and pass down stories from generation to generation, 10 a.m. to noon at the Extension office. The cost is $10. Visit https://archuleta.extension.colostate.edu/ to register.