CORVALLIS, Ore. - A limited number of places are open for the Oregon State University Master Gardener online course (Option One) that runs 12 weeks, from Sept. 7 to Dec. 14. Participants can earn a Certificate of Home Horticulture in the online course and are not required to volunteer.

"Participants become actively engaged in the course," said Gail Langellotto, OSU Extension urban and community horticulture specialist and statewide coordinator of the Master Gardener Program. Cost is $490, and space is limited to 75 individuals.

"By completing assignments and interacting with instructors and peers in an online environment, students learn about proper gardening techniques and sustainable gardening practices at a time and in a format that suits their schedule."

Option Two offers training to become a certified Master Gardener and to earn the Master Gardener badge. In addition to the basic training course, participants are required to put in 40-70 hours of volunteer work at their local OSU Extension office. The course begins January 2010 and costs $390. Registration for Option Two will open in late fall for the course that begins in January 2010.

"Certified OSU Master Gardeners are highly trained volunteers who share the art and science of sustainable gardening and OSU resources in home horticulture with the citizens of Oregon," Langellotto said. More than 3,500 people across the state have become Master Gardeners through the OSU program.

Topics included in the Master Gardener basic training course include botany and entomology; integrated pest management and pesticide safety; soils, fertilizers and composting; ornamental, herbaceous plants and woody plants; vegetable, indoor and container gardening; sustainable landscaping; and plant pathology.

Registration for either Option One or Option Two can be made online at:

The Master Gardener online course is offered by the OSU Extended Campus (Ecampus) and Extension Service.

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Gail Langellotto, 541-737-5175