With spring under way, many Nevadans are gearing up to tool in their yards and getting that itch to get outside and garden. University of Nevada, Reno Extension will be offering two programs online for those interested in learning more about gardening in Nevada’s unique climates.
The first program is the Home Horticulture Certificate Program, offered online Aug. 4 – Sept. 29. It will cover topics such as soils and plant nutrients, composting, native plants, small fruits, and integrated pest management. The cost is $275, and includes recorded lectures, readings, homework and Zoom question-and-answer sessions with specialists and local gardening professionals. The live sessions will take place via Zoom every Thursday, noon – 1 p.m. The program will conclude with a final exam.
“We developed these programs to be accessible in every county in Nevada by moving them online.” Katelyn Brinkerhoff, statewide Master Gardener coordinator, said. “The training now includes materials, lectures and live sessions that will be available virtually, and will be applicable to anyone wanting to start or learn more about gardening in the state.”
Formerly, the certificate program was offered in person. Due to health restrictions during the pandemic, the training transitioned to an online format in 2020. Because of the positive response and wide reach that the online training garnered, it has now become a cohesive online program that covers gardening and horticulture statewide. The program is now also a prerequisite for the second program being offered, the training to become a certified Master Gardener of Nevada.
Master Gardeners receive more in-depth training, and volunteer their time to provide horticulture and gardening information to others and enrich the horticultural life of their communities. After completing their first year, Master Gardeners have a yearly commitment of 10 hours of continuing education and 20 volunteer hours wherever their knowledge and skills best fit community needs, including answering telephone and email inquiries, staffing booths at fairs and home shows, conducting educational presentations, and consulting at school and community gardens.
Application for the Master Gardener Training Program will open after participants pass the Home Horticulture Certification Program final exam. The application process can be completed online and will require contact information, three references and an interview. If accepted, participants will attend the training, which will cost $25, Oct. 27 – Dec. 8, ending with a final exam. The readings, lectures and live question-and-answer sessions will take place online, while county-specific in-person activities may also be added to the schedule.
Additionally, if individuals are interested in continuing their education but are unable to commit hours to become a Master Gardener, they can register for the Advanced Home Horticulture Certificate Program at a higher cost.
For more information on classes, email Brinkerhoff. Persons in need of special accommodations or assistance should call or notify Paul Lessick, civil rights and compliance coordinator, at Lessick's email or 702-257-5577 at least three days prior to the scheduled event.