Source: Wikipedia Commons
Gardening and landscaping can transform your life—by adding green space and becoming immersed in the natural world, you can alleviate stress, increase relaxation, and be rewarded by lush greenery and food that will create a vibrant sensory experience. Being outdoors increases fitness and many gardeners feel a wonderful sense of accomplishment after spending hours cultivating a thriving garden. In short, gardening can make you feel fantastic!
Gardening and landscaping can be a tricky proposition—sustaining plant life is involved work that connects you to an entire ecosystem. However, with the right knowledge and aptitudes, you can turn a bland, boring outdoor space with a lively, colorful explosion of flowers, fruit, vegetables, and foliage. Adding green space is an invaluable way to improve your life, health, and property value too!
If you are looking to learn how to effectively grow and care for a garden, taking one of these online courses can help your garden thrive! From beginning courses to advance-level Master Gardening courses, these interactive tutorials will help you transform any space into an vivid, ornate experience. Whether you are looking to grow your own vegetable or fruit garden, transform a dull space with some handy landscaping, or are trying to simply maintain a few succulents or flowers indoors, we have found some great courses for you!
Gardening can also become a lucrative career for those willing to gain the right credentials or experience. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, gardeners, farmers, and landscapers can make anywhere from around $34,000 to over $60,000. If you are committed to getting your hands dirty, making an impact on people’s lives, or want to provide valuable access to the natural world, you should consider a career or degree in gardening, horticulture, sustainability, or landscaping!
Accredited Online Gardening, Landscaping & Horticulture Degrees & Certificates
Oregon State University (B.S. in Horticulture): Are you looking to gain a comprehensive education in horticulture? Oregon State University has an incredible online program that covers almost any plant-related topic you may think up and will prepare you to enter numerous horticultural, conservational, and agricultural career paths! OSU’s program has heavy biological emphasis toward mastering the understanding of ecosystems. You will get to take great courses like Forage Production; Plagues, Pests, and Politics; Honeybee Biology & Beekeeping; as well as, bigger picture courses in environmental policy, business management, and sustainability. If you are looking for a serious program invested in making sure its students succeed and become equipped with exemplary skills, look no further than Oregon State!
University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Graduate Certificate in Horticulture): If you have a bachelor’s degree and want to learn more about horticulture and best gardening practices, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln offers an incredible online certificate program with three specialization areas: Advanced Horticulture, Floriculture & Nursery Production Management, and Ornamentals, Landscape, and Turf. These three certificates will equip you with the skills and knowledge to tackle large-scale, professional horticulture projects. If you are intent on mastering advanced-level horticulture, landscaping, and gardening techniques, this certificate program is perfect for you!
Washington State University Global Campus (Organic Agriculture Undergraduate Certificate): Washington State University offers an 18-credit, 6-course organic agriculture certificate program that will prepare you to take on many small and large scale gardening and farming operations. You will be trained in agriculture science, which includes courses in organic gardening and farming, soil systems, agroecology, a professional internship, and electives in soil sciences, horticulture, business, nutrition, and analysis. A truly unique program, WSU’s certificate will make sure that you are thoroughly prepared to begin working in organic farming, gardening, and horticulture. If you are interested in organic food, sustainability, and horticulture, be sure to check out this fantastic program today!
Academy of Art University (AA, BFA, and MFA in Landscape Architecture): Landscaping can transform a mundane plot of land, a crowded back yard, or even a gigantic maze of a garden into a magical experience, or even simply be able to help you relax within a space. The Academy of Art in San Francisco offers an incredible experience where you will be able to learn how to design spaces into practical, engaging green spaces. If you are interested in using plants to shape an experience, as well as be able to turn urban spaces into enjoyable, interactive escapes, you should consider becoming a landscape architect. Course work includes classes in: Plants as Design, Grading and Drainage, Computer Aided Design, Site Planning, Garden Design, Water Features for Outdoor Environments, Landscape Social Factors, and many more! Join top landscaping professors and begin to shape the world around you with aesthetically pleasing landscapes!
UMass Amherst (Certificate in Sustainable Food and Farming): The University of Massachusetts-Amherst has developed a unique and important online certificate program that those seriously committed to sustainability and food production should pay close attention to. This 15-credit, 5 course certificate program will teach you about Sustainable Farming Systems, including “sustainable and organic plant and animal production systems for managing regionally focused (local) farms, organic farms, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farms, and personal homesteads;” Education and Outreach, which will prepare you for promoting, educating, and learning about sustainability and farming; and Public Policy and Advocacy, which will help you navigate the political and organizational waters of sustainability and food-rights campaigns.
This is a tremendous program design to equip you with the skills and knowledge to partake in sustainable farming, gardening, and policy issues. Credit for this program may be used for credit for UMass Amherst’s Bachelor of Science degree in Sustainable Food and Farming and the University Without Walls Sustainability Studies degree completion program.
Cornell University (Distance Learning Courses): Cornell University’s extension offers some amazing horticulture and gardening courses that will challenge you to truly green your thumb. Offering courses in Permaculture, Botanical Illustration, and general Gardening, these courses will equip you with the skills needed to dig in and get to know the plants you are growing in your garden. You will learn best techniques for growing a flourishing gardening, as well as the ideas you should be thinking about while planning and designing your garden. Cornell’s program is an incredibly unique program that makes gardening an art. Not a program to be missed!
|Cornell University||Distance learning|
|Cornell University||Permaculture Design: Fundamentals of Ecological Design|
|Cornell University||Permaculture Design: Ecosystem Mimicry|
|Cornell University||Botanical Illustration I: Basic Drawing Techniques|
|Cornell University||Botanical Illustration II: Working with watercolor|
|Cornell University||Organic gardening|
|Cornell University||Introduction to Garden Design|
Self-Guided Online Gardening, Horticulture & Landscaping Courses
MyGardenSchool: Offering over 26 advanced-level and beginner courses, MyGardenSchool is a phenomenal and affordable option for those looking to gain some serious skills and experience in the garden. These courses will prepare you to think critically about how to approach the sustainability and viability of a long term and short term planting. If you want to grow your own food, strategically plant to attract butterflies or hummingbirds, or even learn the basics of apiary studies, these courses will blow you away! Be sure to check these courses out immediately!
|MyGardenSchool||Gardening Courses Online|
|MyGardenSchool||Online Garden Design Course with John Brookes|
|MyGardenSchool||Online Grow Your Own Vegetables Course|
|MyGardenSchool||What to plant for bees and to attract butterflies|
|MyGardenSchool||Planting Shrubs Course|
|MyGardenSchool||How to Grow Roses Course: Learn How to Design, Grow & Care for Your Rose Garden with David Austin|
|MyGardenSchool||How to Grow Your Own Vegetables Course|
|MyGardenSchool||Garden History Course: Online Garden History Classes|
|MyGardenSchool||Garden Design Course|
Academy for Distance Learning: Providing a compendium of over 120 gardening and horticulture courses, the Academy for Distance Learning provides expert education in topic specific areas such as African Violets or Carnivorous Plants. These thorough, fully-developed courses will challenge you to learn and engage your learning with hands-on, interactive assignments. ADL offers almost every gardening course you could think up and will be a boon to your learning, especially if you want to learn unique and diverse gardening techniques for esoteric or rare horticulture areas. Do not miss this amazing courses!
Universal Class: Universal Class offers some great short courses where you can even earn professional development for an affordable price. Whether you are looking to learn about the basics of gardening, landscaping, floral arrangement, or even vegetable gardening, these courses present incredible, useful skills and knowledge and engaging, informational tutorials. Building upon previous lessons, these courses will also make sure you actually learn and retain applicable experience so that you can create a magnificent garden! For the price alone, these courses are a great investment if you want to green your life!
Udemy: Udemy is an excellent resource for those looking to learn about gardening, but not pay too much. Offering courses in organic gardening, growing a permaculture-style food garden, aquaponics, and the mountain plants of southwest China, these diverse courses will train you about unique aspects of gardening, soil maintenance, and plant diversity. You will learn how to scale your projects to maximize your garden’s output, which can benefit any gardener! Perfect for those who want to wet their interest in gardening!
The Great Courses: Are you looking for an affordable, short course on learning how to garden or looking to learn a comprehensive approach to gardening through biology? The Great Courses offers a great learning opportunity for those wanting to green their thumbs and don’t have a lot of space to grow anything. These courses are perfect for those looking to add vivacity and pride to their green spaces, as well as those wanting to grow their own fruit, vegetables, herbs, and other colorful plants. If you want to learn how to grow anything, or haven’t had much success as a gardener, you should check out these amazing courses!
|The Great Courses||The Great Courses|
|The Great Courses||How to Grow Anything: Container Gardening Tips & Techniques|
|The Great Courses||How to Grow Anything: Your Best Garden and Landscape in 6 Lessons|
|The Great Courses||How to Grow Anything: Your Best Garden and Landscape in 6 Lessons & How to Grow Anything: Container Gardening Tips and Techniques (Set)|
|The Great Courses||Biology: The Science of Life|
Gardening, Landscaping & Horticulture MOOCs (Free Open Courses)
Tufts University: Tufts University’s Open Courseware has two important courses archived. If you are engaged in any small to large scale agriculture projects, Tufts offers a two section “Agricultural Science and Policy,” that will help you understand the science and politics of farming. You learn the major biological, chemical, and physical components of agriculture systems, as well as the scientific basis for their management and systems. This is important, because the second part of the course will engage you in the policy side of farming, which gets into the minutiae and practices of how agriculture interacts on an economic, sociologic, and politic scale. This is especially recommended for those wanting to learn more about sustainability practices and the policies that surround those issues. Be sure to not miss the latter half of this two-part course!
MIT OpenCourseWare: MIT OpenCourseWare is a tremendous resource for those looking to learn online for free. Their course offerings for gardening, horticulture, and landscaping do not disappoint. Offering advanced-level courses in soil science, environmental ecology, and plant biology, these courses will intrigue and astound even the most pedestrian horticulture hobbyist. If you are looking to seriously learn about the processes and sciences that go into gardening, MIT courses will prepare you with professional skills and knowledge to take your garden to the next level. Advanced Soil Mechanics is a must for those looking for studying agriculture, sustainability practices, and large gardening projects!
|MIT OpenCourseWare||Find Courses by Topic|
|MIT OpenCourseWare||Soil Behavior|
|MIT OpenCourseWare||Advanced Soil Mechanics|
|MIT OpenCourseWare||Environmental Microbiology|
|MIT OpenCourseWare||The Environment of the Earth’s Surface|
|MIT OpenCourseWare||Global Warming Science|
|MIT OpenCourseWare||Analytical Techniques for Studying Environmental and Geologic Samples|
|MIT OpenCourseWare||Surface Processes and Landscape Evolution|
Coursera: Starting October 26th, Coursera, partnering with Tel Aviv University, will be offering a fascinating course titled, “What a Plant Knows (and other things you didn’t know about plants).” This course will examine how plants interact with the world and how we can learn from their responses. This course will examine basic plant biology, explore memory and conscious, and mostly blow your mind with its amazing information! Sign up today!
Saylor.org: Saylor.org is a great source for free, open-source course materials drawn from professional and academic sources into one full course. Saylor’s course on Botany is one exemplary course drawing from diverse, challenging sources that will engage you to learn more about Botany and plant biology. If you want to take your gardening to the next level, Saylor’s courses will allow you to explore the scientific and research-based side of horticulture. Presented in four units (Plant Anatomy, Plant Physiology, Evolution and Taxonomy, and Plant Ecology), you will gain a cornucopia of knowledge and have lifetime access to resources, quizzes, and exams in case you ever want to refresh your knowledge. Additionally, this course is great for supplementary material if you are taking any other courses!
PlantVillage: Do you have a specific question about growing a plant or want to learn about what you grow? PlantVillage is a community forum dedicated to helping people grow their own food and an excellent resource for those looking to grow new kinds of foods, prevent plant infections, and ask questions to an engaged community. It’s a perfect resource for those looking for specific questions, just beginning to garden, and those who are having a tough time in the garden.
Iowa State University Horticulture Extension: Iowa State University has one of the best Agriculture programs in the world. Luckily for everyone, ISU offers an exemplary extension and outreach for pressing, hard to solve gardening questions. Offering a vast array of access, resources, and publications, ISU’s Horticulture Extension is a resource that you cannot miss! Tune in to Iowa Public Radio on Fridays at noon, CST for Horticultural Fridays, where Iowa State’s Richard Jauron and others answer horticultural questions from callers!