Portage Co. seeking new Master Gardener Volunteers

Metro Wire Staff

Portage County is accepting new UW-Madison Extension Master Volunteers for 2022.

For those who are interested in being a part of the statewide Master Gardener Volunteer program, the first step is to enroll in the online course “Foundations in Horticulture-Growing and Caring for Plants in Wisconsin.”

The 12-part course includes online videos, readings, interactive quizzes, and scheduled live Q&A webinars with UW-Madison horticulture experts to give participants the best information on improving their gardening skills. The virtual class is designed to be self-paced so participants can fit it into their schedules.

The course opens on Sept. 13 and runs through Dec. 11. The class is open to all residents of Wisconsin but is limited to 500 people. Registration closes on Aug. 13.

Foundations in Horticulture (FIH) teaches participants university research-based methods to successfully grow their plants and manage common pests. The course introduces a decision-making framework used by gardeners that focuses on understanding how plants best grow, why pests and problems happen, and how to keep plant problems from happening.

The FIH course is divided into three units. The first set of topics are the basics: general gardening, botany, soils, and decision-making strategies for pest management. The next set of topics helps participants understand how to identify and manage pests they might encounter. The last group focuses on specific types of gardening such as vegetables, fruits, lawns, and houseplants.

As part of the learning experience, FIH participants will have the opportunity to ask questions of UW-Madison horticulture experts at live Q&A webinars. The webinars are scheduled so that each expert will be taking questions about the material currently being covered. The Q&A sessions will be recorded for future viewing in case the live broadcasts are inconvenient with participants’ schedules.

Participants also receive a complete electronic (PDF) copy of the Foundations in Horticulture training manual.

Participants will receive a certificate of completion and earn up to four continuing education credits (CEU) for certain professional organizations.

For more information and to register for the course, visit https://hort.extension.wisc.edu/foundations-in-horticulture/.