Maine Gardener Training

2022-2023 Maine Gardener Training Program

image of ornamental plants around a paved walkway beside a houseThe Maine Gardener Training is designed to supply learners with a foundation in horticulture education and skills for use in their personal garden. Recommended for those who would like to access the educational content of the Master Gardener Volunteer training program but are not interested or able to volunteer. Based on the Master Gardener Volunteer Training, this online course provides valuable horticulture education for use in a private garden. With approval from the county coordinator, this option may be credited toward Master Gardener Volunteer certification at a later date by completing additional requirements including a 40 hour volunteer internship.

How to enroll: We have a limited number of training slots available and enrollment will be on a first come, first serve basis.

Enrollment for the 2022-2023 training program will open on September 28, 2022. Please visit this page to enroll! 

Course Format: The Maine Gardener Training will be completed virtually through Brightspace, our online learning platform. Participants can anticipate 4-5 hours of self-paced content a week including readings, videos and activities. Participants will also get access to weekly live Q&A sessions with a panel of experts scheduled to take place on Tuesday evenings. To receive credit, participants must score at least 80% on all module quizzes.  

The training program will be divided into two parts, which will take place:

  • Part 1: November 7 to December 11, 2022
  • Part 2: January 9 to March 19, 2023

Technology Requirements: This course content will be entirely online on Brightspace. An email address, access to a reliable internet connection, the newest version of your web browser and an electronic device (i.e. laptop, desktop, iPad, or tablet) with video/audio capabilities are required to complete this course. 

Digital Connectivity Options: If you have limited access to reliable internet or an internet connected device:

  • To complete coursework: you may contact your local Extension office to schedule a time to use their WiFi during office hours (in the building) or use WiFi anytime from the parking lot.
  • Contact the National Digital Equity Center for no cost or low cost tablets for Maine Residents who are of low to moderate income.
  • Many public libraries have computers available for public use. Contact your local library for more information.
  • If you are still unable to find access, please contact your local Extension office.

Is online learning right for you?
Online learning is an accessible, affordable, and flexible learning environment that allows students to work around their personal schedules to obtain quality education.

If you are wondering if online learning is right for you, please visit Online Learning: What You Need to Succeed.  

Accommodations: If you need reasonable accommodation to participate in this course, please contact us at or 207-781-6099 by September 15, 2022. Requests received after this date may not allow sufficient time for the necessary accommodations. 

Course Fee: Sliding scale (self-selected)* (see below)

We strive to make the training accessible and affordable for all Maine residents. The course fee covers expenses including books, supplies, and other direct course-related expenses. 

  • $150 (75% discount): Suggested fee for participants for whom the full course fee would prove a barrier to participation.
  • $300 (50% discount): Suggested fee for those who can afford 50% of the full course fee.
  • $600 (Full Price): Suggested for those who can afford the full course fee. 
  • $700 (Pay it Forward Price): Suggested for those with the ability to pay the full course fee and help support those who cannot afford to pay the full course fee. 

Please note: Books and supplies will need to be picked up by the participant at their county Extension office. If you are not able to pick up these items, please contact course organizers at

Refund Policy: 50% refunds will be available until October 15, 2022. 

Course Schedule (tentative)

Module 1: Food Systems and Food Security in Maine

  • Course Orientation and Horticulture Resources

Module 2: Foundations of Horticulture

  • Ecology
  • Botany
  • Propagation
  • Soils and Composting

Module 3: Food Production

  • Vegetables 
  • Vegetables Maintenance
  • Small Fruits
  • Tree Fruits
  • Garden Food Safety

Module 4: Garden Pests and Diseases

  • Entomology
  • Plant Diseases
  • Pesticide Safety

Module 5: Maine Landscapes and Design

  • Plants for the Maine Landscape
  • Landscape Design and Maintenance

Which horticulture program is right for you? 

We currently offer three horticulture programs to meet your needs. 

Maine Gardener Training: Designed for gardeners who desire a foundation in basic horticulture education and skills for use in their personal garden. Recommended for those who would like to access the educational content of the Master Gardener Volunteer training program but are not interested or able to volunteer. 
Maine Horticulture Apprentice Training: Designed for learners interested in exploring a career in horticulture, whether an entry level employee, a high school student, or those interested in changing their career path.  It is designed to supply learners with a foundational horticulture education suitable for skilled entry-level positions in the horticulture industry. Developed with input from horticulture industry leaders, this program will prepare learners with the practical horticulture knowledge and skills desired by employers, and earn a University of Maine micro-credential. 
Master Gardener Volunteer Training: Designed to educate gardeners with research-based horticulture knowledge and train them as volunteers to share their knowledge in their local communities. This program will earn a University of Maine micro-credential. Any Maine resident interested in studying horticulture and volunteering in community gardening projects is encouraged to apply. There is an application process for this program.

Still wondering which horticulture training program is right for you? 

 image of which horticulture training is right for you chart

Or view the PDF version: 


For more information about our other horticulture training programs, please visit the Master Gardener Volunteer website, for those who would like to give back to their communities while receiving a discount on the training, and the Maine Horticulture Apprentice Training website, for those interested in preparing for an entry level horticulture career.