CLEMSON, S.C. — Clemson Extension’s Master Gardener program will begin offering online classes April 11 so home gardeners can complete the course from the comfort of their own homes.
“We expect the online training will be especially useful for people who are employed full time so they can’t attend in-person training,” said Karen Hall, statewide Master Gardener coordinator. “We hope to reach more people this way so they can manage their home landscape in an effective and environmentally sound way.”
The online training will not replace in-person workshops but will make the popular program available to more people. Currently, 32 of South Carolina’s 46 counties offer the 12-week in-person workshops led by Clemson Extension horticulture agents.
The online training will cover the same material as the in-person classes and will be taught by Clemson horticulture experts. The difference is that participants can complete the 12 workshop modules at home, working through them on a week-by-week basis. Many participants enjoy the discussion boards where they can engage in rich conversation about gardening.
“Each module is expected to take about six hours per week to complete. The modules consist of presentations by Clemson horticulture agents, videos, active learning in the home landscape and self-assessments to reinforce learning,” Hall said.
Online participants are not required to earn Master Gardener certification. However, if they wish to be certified, they will need to take the final exam and serve as community gardening volunteers through contact with the county Extension agent.
The 12-week classes are offered April 11 through June 4. The cost is $300. For more information or to register, go towww.clemson.edu/mastergardener.