Never grown your own food or want to learn how to tackle a new landscaping project? These courses will have you up to speed in no time!

While staying home and social distancing to avoid spreading COVID-19, you may be finding yourself with more time to spend in your garden. And now that it's spring, it's the perfect time to get planting! To help you learn exactly how to get started, a number of organizations are offering free online gardening classes, and right now a few are even making some of their paid classes free for a limited time. These courses can be especially handy if you're a beginner who needs to figure out the basics for growing a successful first-time garden, but there are also plenty of options for more experienced gardeners looking to learn something new.

outdoor garden
Credit: Brie Williams

Intro to Vegetable Gardening

Always wanted to become a Master Gardener? These programs train volunteers to help their communities by teaching them about the science and techniques of gardening, and thanks to Oregon State University, you can get a taste of their 12-course program online for free. The vegetable gardening section of its Master Gardener series is now open to anyone interested in learning the basics, and is free through the end of April (just the veggie gardening section is usually $45). The four- to six-hour class includes information on choosing a site for your vegetable garden, planting tips, and how to identify and solve common disease and pest problems. The course is available on-demand, so you can start at any time and work at your own pace.

rows of vegetables planted in a circle
Credit: Andre Baranowski

How to Start an Organic Vegetable Garden

Alison is an online learning website with about 1,500 free courses, including photography, makeup artistry, and intros to learning a new language. We spotted its course on organic vegetable gardening that's 2 to 3 hours long, and takes you through the basics of growing food without synthetic pesticides or fertilizers. There are modules about growing specific vegetables, including carrots, cabbage, and spinach, so if you're interested in just a few veggies, you can skip ahead to watch the videos about growing them.

How to Start a First-Time Garden

For beginners who are looking to create new gardens for the first time ever, check out Garden Tutor’s free online class. The course covers the basics of gardening, including how to choose a garden site, choosing plants, creating a garden plan, and planting and maintaining your new landscape. The entire class takes about 2 or 3 hours to complete, and by the end, you’ll have all the knowledge you need to plant your first-ever garden.

General Gardening Topics

Until April 9, Bluprint is offering unlimited access to its hundreds of online classes for free (usually, you'd need a $7.99/month subscription). For gardeners, there are hundreds of options. Some of the courses are over an hour long, including creating an edible garden, and hosted by experts (such as garden writer Ellen Ogden, Master Gardener Jenny Peterson, and garden expert and author Doug Green), while some sections are just 15 minutes, such as how to plant a container garden. Guides to growing flowers, pruning, and garden design, are just a few of the topics you can explore.


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