Garfield County Master Gardeners
The Colorado State University Colorado Master Gardener Program volunteer network strives to enhance Coloradans’ quality of life by:
- Extending knowledge-based education throughout Colorado communities to foster successful gardeners;
- Helping individuals make informed decisions about plants to protect neighborhood environments.
We are committed to using horticulture to empower gardeners, develop partnerships and build stronger communities.
We have an incredible team of Master Gardeners in Garfield County. Their projects include community education and garden workshops, assisting homeowners with questions, Grow & Give to promote local food security, mentoring new gardeners in the community, and many more!
Garfield County Master Gardeners are volunteers, committed to spreading research-based knowledge and service throughout the community.
Become a GarCo MG
Registration for Colorado Master Gardener is will open October 2023.
Following training, we require a 50-hour volunteer commitment your first year. There is a two-year Apprentice option that allows 60-hours to be completed over 2 years. Please note: we understand the barriers COVID-19 has placed on in-person volunteering. While we are offering creative volunteer opportunities, we are very flexible and understand these unique circumstances.
Certified Gardener Program
If you’re interested in the Colorado Master Gardener program, but don’t have the time available during the day to attend the classes or do the volunteering component, you may be interested in the online Certified Gardener program.
We have a certifying FULL COURSE option and multiple SHORT COURSE options to meet anyone’s needs. Regardless of the course, you’ll receive in-depth horticulture training provided by CSU faculty, staff, and specialists.
Soils and Amendments
80% of plant problems can be attributed to soil issues, and good soil is the foundation to a great garden. Learn about soil structure, texture, tilth, fertilizers, soil amendments, and everything you need to know to create a great garden from the ground up.
Botany: How Plants Grow
Understanding basic plant physiology is foundational to growing and caring for your landscape. This course covers the basics of how plants grow and applying this as a Colorado gardener.
Colorado Gardening Challenges
This live class will cover how to deal with the many challenges to the Colorado gardener – everything from temperature whiplashes, low humidity, drying winds, critters, fires, water rights, and more. Native plants will be discussed as a solution to many gardening challenges, including benefits, misconceptions, and using them in the landscape.
Insects are the most abundant and diverse form of life found on earth. Being able to identify them and understand the role they play in landscapes (beneficial vs. detrimental), is one key to successful gardening. This class covers the basics of insect identification, insect anatomy and growth, and goes over the more common orders of insects that gardeners might encounter.
Integrated Pest Management
There are many pests and diseases that can affect plants and being familiar with the plant diagnostic process is an important skill for anyone working with landscape plants. Integrated pest management (IPM) is a multi-prong approach to pest management and an important part of the diagnostic and treatment process.
Learn to use the plant diagnostic pyramid and process to troubleshoot, identify and appropriately manage common plant diseases – both biotic and abiotic. This is a live class which means you’ll have access to the latest and greatest from a CSU plant pathologist.
Learn the best, science-based practices for having the best lawn on the block. This class covers various grass species, general care (mowing, watering, fertilizing, aeration), irrigation, turf health and common issues/diseases, and managing weeds in the lawn.
Weeds tend to be a gardener’s biggest headache. This class covers the principles of weed management, weed life cycles, ID of some common weeds, how weeds can indicate cultural issues in the garden, and noxious vs landscape weeds.
Planting/Caring for Trees
Trees play an incredibly valuable role in our landscapes, but are often improperly planted leading to premature health issues and even death. This class will cover appropriate species selection for your site, proper planting techniques and post-planting care to help ensure their survival.
Vegetable gardening can be a fun and rewarding endeavor, and this class covers all of the basics of how to do it successfully. In this class, learn about garden layout, planting times, soil preparation, pests and disease of vegetables, routine garden care and season extension.
Fruit trees are a great addition to a landscape and grow well in Colorado, but have different care and maintenance requirements than other landscape plants. Here you will learn about planting considerations along with training and annual pruning techniques specific to fruit trees.
There are many delicious small fruits that grow well in Colorado including raspberries, blackberries, strawberries and grapes. In this class you will learn about soil preparation, training and pruning techniques and appropriate varieties that grow well here.
Proper pruning is an important part of tree care and routine maintenance. It reduces pest and disease issues and helps keep trees from becoming hazards. In this class, you will learn proper pruning techniques and the various reasons why pruning is a critical part of tree care.
Water is a big issue in Colorado landscapes- this class will cover water rights to how water moves through home landscapes, irrigation equipment, watering frequency and amount, evapotranspiration, watering efficiency and how to conduct home lawn check-ups (and more).
To obtain certification, trainees in the full course must complete 7 online classes and attend (or watch the recording) of 2 live classes; attend at least 5 weekly class review sessions; and pass the comprehensive final (open-book, research encouraged) with a 70% or better.
Upon completion of the course, you’ll receive a Colorado Gardener Certificate. However, because there is no subsequent volunteer commitment, participants do not become Colorado Master Gardeners. The title of ‘Master Gardener’ is a registered service mark and only to be used for CSU Extension events and purposes.
The Colorado Gardener Certificate may be displayed in a place of business and used in business marketing.
Short Course participants will receive a Certificate of Completion for the specified short course. All courses must be completed to earn this certificate.