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How do I Choose the Best Master Gardener Program?

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  • Written By: Angela Crout-Mitchell
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 18 November 2016
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When choosing the best master gardener program there are several factors to consider, such as whether the classes are offered online or on a physical campus, the type of classes offered, and the available certification options. People who want an education and career in horticulture and gardening are prepared for work as flower designers, organic farmers, landscapers, and a number of other careers related to growing and caring for plants. Most programs do not require specific education backgrounds beyond a high school diploma or general equivalent, but many students enter their preferred master gardener program with either a background and interest in gardening or a bachelor's degree in a related field.

Some horticultural students prefer to study gardening on a physical campus, complete with classrooms, greenhouses, and other equipment and resources available at hand. Those students will have to find a suitable program locally or relocate to an area near the chosen program location. Many people choose to study long distance through online programs specializing in current trends and practices for a wide variety of plants and trees. Most gardening experts feel the educational training quality is more important than whether the program is offered online or on campus.

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In order to receive a well-rounded education, there are specific types of classes the master gardener program should offer. Many suggest choosing a program that offers lessons pertaining to pesticides and parasites, organic farming practices, and herbs, as well as botany and forestry. A lot of students also choose gardening programs with an emphasis on lawn care, plant propagation, and plant disease. These classes are typically taught through a mixture of classroom work and practical experience to ensure the students' gardening education is complete. Before choosing a master gardening program, students should also examine the teaching faculty and review their teaching credentials and experience.

While not necessary, many people choose to enroll in a master gardener program that offers certification or some kind of degree or diploma upon completion. Receiving credentials of this type may help the successful student in their career goals, whether he is starting his own company or choosing to work for an established business. Potential students can learn more about their program's certification options through the admission office, program website, or promotional material of the school or institution. After acquiring a master gardener certificate, many gardeners choose to continue their education with specialized courses in their chosen horticulture field.

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