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How Do I Choose the Best Gardening Courses?

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  • Written By: Gregory Hanson
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 30 October 2016
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A gardener looking to choose the best gardening courses should consider both the overall quality of the courses offered and their own specific needs and ambitions as a gardener. Free online classes may be ideal for some gardeners, especially those with some knowledge of the fundamentals. Many schools, communities, and universities offer hands-on gardening courses that can be helpful for both beginning and advanced students. In all cases, a gardener should make sure to choose courses aimed at the climate zone and region where they will be planting.

Before signing up for any kind of gardening courses, a student should consider what he or she is hoping to learn and identify classes that will provide that information. Some classes, for example, may focus on the ornamental side of gardening and include information on decorative structures and landscape architecture. Other gardening classes are aimed at men and women who are interested in growing plants for consumption or sale and may not be concerned about aesthetic matters.

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The Internet offers access to a great many gardening courses. Some of these are offered by or through universities or government agencies, while others are simply the work of motivated amateurs. When selecting an online gardening course, it can be helpful to consult any reviews posted by people who have already used the course. These may indicate how accurate and effective a given course is. Users of online courses should also make sure that any course they select offers advice that is appropriate for their particular region and climate zone.

Courses offered by communities and universities are very common. These courses can be free but often involve a modest fee. Any class offered in a particular region will feature plants and techniques appropriate for that region, which serves to minimize planting mistakes and the accidental introduction of non-native species.

Many local gardening courses include an element of hands-on learning. This type of classroom experience can be very helpful for people who learn best by doing. Gardening techniques can be practiced under the eye of a skilled expert, who can ensure that the techniques are learned correctly. Some local and university gardening classes also include access to shared garden space, which can allow for even more guided hands-on experience.

Some gardeners may need help with a single specific problem, and ordinary gardening courses may seem a waste of time in such cases. The Internet offers a wide variety of specific classes on issues ranging from the control of specific pests to the care of particular varieties of plants. Local colleges will also often offer classes addressing pressing current issues in horticulture. Local government agencies and university extension services can be very helpful in directing gardeners to just the right classes to answer their questions.

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