Learn gardening in 6-week online course

MARQUETTE — Those yearning to get their hands dirty while reaping the benefits of growing fresh vegetables are in luck.

Beginning mid-January, Michigan State University Extension will offer a six-week online introductory course on smart gardening and vegetables. The course will cover gardening from start to finish, including what’s needed to get started, different types of gardening, planning and preparation, soil preparation, plants to select, starting and maintaining healthy plants, garden maintenance, harvest and storage, pollinators and various gardening activities.

“We literally start the class from the ground up. We go over soil, garden designs, planning, everything. I teach a segment on soil. A lot of people don’t realize how important it is to know about the soil you’re working with,” said Sarah Rautio, an educator with MSU Extension. “It’s a fun class to take and it’s very convenient. Anyone with a good internet connection can take the class, so they could be at home in pajamas or in the middle of making dinner if they wanted.”

Rautio and fellow MSU Extension educator Rebecca Krans will simultaneously teach the course.

Rautio said that even though the gardening course is online, there’s also “an interactive component” if attendees chose to participate.

“We’ll do polls and ask the audience questions and then they can respond on their computers,” she said. “They’ll be able to see us, but we won’t see them, just their answers.”

The live-session classes go from 6 to 7 p.m. EST on Jan. 16, 23, 30 and Feb. 13, 20 and 27.

Participants will be emailed a “Zoom session link” the Monday before the first class.

“We provide a lot of learning materials that go along with the class, too,” Rautio said. “We also provide a CD if anyone’s not comfortable downloading the materials onto their computers.”

The supplemental CD may be purchased for $37. It will contain all class materials, except recordings of the live sessions.

Those interested can register by Friday for an “early bird” rate of $30. After that to Jan. 12, the price will be $40.

Pre-registration is required to attend classes. If participants are unable to attend any of the live sessions, they will receive a class recording. There is also a group rate for organizations that would like to host this webinar series. The cost is $70 before Friday and $80 afterward. Group coordinators will be required to complete additional group information.

The last day to register is Jan. 12.

For more information or to register online, visit https://events.anr.msu.edu/SGVEG101.

Jaymie Depew can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206. Her email address is jdepew@miningjournal.net.