CSU Extension Certified Gardener Program

Course Descriptions

AGBB 2050 – How Plants Grow (3 weeks)

This course teaches you how to use common horticulture terminology and the system of taxonomy and classification, as well as how plant structures and growth processes correlate with common plant disorders. You'll also have the opportunity to practice diagnostic skills for tree identification.

AGBB 2090 – Soils, Fertilizers and Soil Amendments (3 weeks)

This course covers characteristics of typical landscape soil; soil organisms and their benefits; and soil, fertilizer, and mulch selection, as well as the management of soil pH, iron chlorosis, and compaction. You'll also learn about the relationship between soil texture, structure, pore space, and tilth; the ins and outs of home composting; and how to take a soil test.

AGBB 2030 – Diagnostics and Pest Management (8 weeks)

  • AGBB 2031 – The Diagnostic Process (2 weeks)
    This course explores the concepts of Plant Health Care (PHC), including Integrated Pest Management as it applies to the landscape environment; the life cycle of trees; steps in the diagnostic process; and diagnostics of abiotic disorders.
  • AGBB 2032 – Insects (2 weeks)
    After this course, you will be able to identify common insects and their relatives according to taxonomic orders and apply appropriate management options.
  • AGBB 2033 – Plant Diseases (2 weeks)
    This course covers fungal, bacterial, viral diseases, and abiotic disorders, and teaches you how to identify and manage common landscape/garden diseases.
  • AGBB 2034 – Weeds (2 weeks)
    This course defines what a "weed" is from the perspective of the home landscape, including problems they cause and contributing factors; the difference between noxious, native, and invasive weeds; resources available for weed identification; lifecycles and control strategies; and herbicide use and selection.

AGBB 2040 – Trees and Shrubs (5 weeks)

  • AGBB 2041 – Identifying Trees and Shrubs (1 week)
    Upon completion, you will be able to successfully identify common trees and shrubs in the landscape.
  • AGBB 2042 – Tree Selection and Planting (2 weeks)
    This course applies Right Plant, Right Place considerations for tree selection and placement, as well as covers steps to tree planting for rapid root establishment and post-planting care.
  • AGBB 2043 – Pruning (2 weeks)
    Become an expert in all things tree pruning. Learn how trees grow and how that influences decay; find out the difference between removal cuts, reduction cuts, and heading cuts; discover pros and cons related to the time of year you prune and considerations to take in how much foliage to remove. In addition to pruning techniques and methods for young and mature trees, you'll also cover pruning options for flowering and evergreen shrubs.

AGBB 2010 – Herbaceous Plants (1 week)

This course provides an overview of selection criteria for various garden situations, teaching you how to interpret plant labels and all the information found there, including life cycle, exposure, irrigation and soil requirements, and drought tolerance. The course also describes methods to create and utilize microclimates.

AGBB 2060 – Lawn Care (1 week)

The course covers foundational, routine lawn care for cool season turf grass, including mowing; fertilization; irrigation; and thatch, soil, and weed management.

AGBB 2080 – Fruits and Vegetables (3 weeks)

  • AGBB 2081 – Small Fruits (1 week)
    This course offers an understanding of planting, pruning, and general care of raspberries, strawberries, and grapes.
  • AGBB 2082 – Tree Fruits (1 week)
    This course discusses considerations when planting fruit trees at home, including structural training and annual pruning of apple and peach trees.
  • AGBB 2083 – Vegetables (1 week)
    You will learn foundational principles for planning a vegetable garden in this course, including planting times, layout design, soil preparation and fertilization, routine care, and frost protection tips.

AGBB 2070 – Water Wise Landscape Design (2 weeks)

Discover six steps to landscape design, including why the process is important and water savings involved. This course will cover site analysis regarding how family values play into landscape design; what hydrozoning means for water savings and plant selection; and how to use rectilinear, curvilinear, and angular design styles. You'll finish the course with tips and tricks to mix lines, color, texture, and form with scale, balance, simplicity, variety, emphasis and sequence to create unity and pizzazz in your designs.

AGBB 2020 – Irrigation Management (2 weeks)

This course describes issues surrounding Colorado's water situation and Western water rights, covering the maintenance and management of efficient landscape irrigation, as well as how to perform a lawn irrigation check-up.

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