Learn

The Master Gardener Program opens the door for many types of learning opportunities.

Level One Training: Foundations in Horticulture

Level 1 training is a minimum of 36 hours of in-depth classroom training on a variety of topics including botany basics, soils, pest management, insects, diseases, weeds, and much more. This is intended to provide a basic understanding of horticultural concepts necessary to complete the volunteer service required for certification, as well as learning where to acquire additional information and resources in order to answer questions.

Level 1 Training is only offered through the local county UW-Extension offices, so PLEASE contact your local county UW-Extension office to find out the schedule and specific details of the training class where you live! The Level 1 training site is open to the general public but you can only earn your Master Gardener certification by enrolling and completing training through a local program.

List of Counties Tentatively Offering Training

Level Two and Three Training

Level 3 training is a fully online continuing education program on specific topics provided through the MG Program Office.  It typically begins in January and ends before the busy growing season. This interactive program incorporates aspects of horticulture, volunteerism, and scholarship to provide MGVs with the tools to grow as volunteers.  Certified MGVs may register for a fee and take the training online from home. Topics change from year to year and are announced months prior in the Volunteer Vibe newsletter. You will need to register for this course. There is a small course fee.

Level 2: Plants Plus training is a series of online educational modules MGVs can access year-round to earn continuing education hours. You don’t need to register or sign up for these classes. Just click and start learning! These modules focus on horticultural topics at a more in-depth level than in Level 1 training.  Topics rotate every other month.  You don’t need to do them in order and you can pick and choose which ones you do based on interest.

Level 1 training is a prerequisite for all of these courses. Registration information for Level 3 training is provided ONLY in the monthly Volunteer Vibe newsletter emailed to certified and intern MGVs (you must be eligible to volunteer and have reported hours for the year or requested an exemption — see “Couldn’t Complete All Your Hours? on the About Hours page — to get the Volunteer Vibe).

Some counties may offer advanced training as a group activity or offer their own independent programs with different topics. (These are sometimes called “Level 2 Training” but are different opportunities than Level 2: Plants Plus- but both count for continuing education hours!) Check with your local county UW-Extension office to see if they will be hosting advanced training this year.

Continuing Education Opportunities

Continuing education (CE or professional development) is a way for MGVs to learn more after Level 1 training and keep up with the latest horticultural information. Policies on what counts as CE vary by area. Check with your County Coordinator (usually the county UW-Extension agent) to be sure of what is acceptable in your county.

CE may include:

  • Horticulture programs at your local meetings
  • Twilight meetings or field days
  • Horticultural seminars at local colleges
  • Lectures at botanical gardens, or presentations by MGVs
  • MG conferences
  • Level 2 training
  • Online advanced training
  • Approved TV programs
  • Wisconsin Horticulture Updates
  • Responding to Horticulture Inquiries
  • Reading articles on this website (if approved by your facilitator)

Horticulture Articles

Most of the horticulture information articles posted on this site also can be read for CE credit (0.5 hours each) if approved by the local County Coordinator. Articles that cannot be used for CE include articles about botanic gardens and All-America Selections winners.

Horticulture Information Articles

Educational Travel Study Programs

The MG Program Office offers selected garden or horticultural educational tours to various destinations.

Educational Travel Study Programs