CSU Extension’s Certified Colorado Gardener program goes virtual in 2021

In response to ongoing concerns around COVID-19, CSU Extension has gone virtual for the 2021 Certified Colorado Gardener Program. Informally known as “Green School,” the Certified Colorado Gardener Program has been providing practical training for amateur and experienced gardeners for 45 years.

Extension is offering both Full Course and multiple Short Course options to meet everyone’s needs. With each course, regardless of length, participants will receive in-depth horticulture training from Colorado State University faculty, staff, and industry experts.

“These courses were developed by CSU faculty and Extension staff to help Coloradans understand and overcome the challenges of cultivating landscapes and gardens in the West. The program can help you take your landscape to the next level or give you the skills to start a career in the green industry,” said Eric Hammond, CSU Horticulture Agent in Adams County.

Short or full courses

Short Courses include 5 classes which are primarily self-paced online learning but may also include access to live interactive webinars. Participants can register for one or multiple short courses. Topics include Colorado Gardening Foundations, Landscape Management Basics, Plant Diagnostics, and Growing Food.

Plants growing in grenhouse

Extension’s Full Course “Green School” is the most comprehensive option. Participants who complete the Full Course will become CSU Certified Colorado Gardeners. The Full Course includes access to 14 classes (12 self-paced online and two live webinars), weekly class reviews, which are live webinars with CSU subject matter experts, and online course access for one year. In order to obtain the Colorado Gardener Certificate, participants must complete seven online classes and two live webinars, attend at least five weekly class review sessions, and pass the comprehensive final exam.

“For individuals in the green industry, or for those who have a passion for gardening, the CSU Green School curriculum is a great way to get the latest research-based information that can be immediately used on the job or in the garden,” said Alison O’Connor, Ph.D., CSU horticulture agent in Larimer County. “Gardening in Colorado is tough, but CSU’s Green School is a perfect way to address whatever curveballs the landscape may throw at you.”

Both Short and Full Course options are structured in a hybrid online format and include a mix of online courses, webinars, and live web-based Q&A sessions with CSU horticulture experts. Each course is science-based and specific to Colorado’s unique climate, soil, environment, wildlife, and plants.

Discounts for CSU employees

The registration fee for the Full Course is $530. Each Short Course is $195. For the first time, courses are available at a 50% discount for CSU and county employees and a 25% discount for companies enrolling four or more employees. Participants must register by Dec. 31, 2020, in order to begin courses in January 2021.

Learn more and register at the Certified Gardener website.