Yard & Garden Classes & Activities
Oakland County, MichiganMSU ExtensionYard & Garden Classes & Activities

Yard & Garden Classes & Activities

Many of our summer classes are held in Novi at the Tollgate Education Center gardens.

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Programs are scheduled periodically throughout the year. To be notified of changes and additions, please subscribe to our electronic mailing list above.

January 22 - April 30, 2015 :  Master Gardener Program
This class series will be held on Thursday evenings, 6:00-10:00 pm at the Oakland County Executive Office Building in Waterford.  Cost of the 13-week program is $300, which includes the 1,000 page training manual.  Master Gardener volunteers start by completing a 13-session practical curriculum ground in university research. This training consists of approximately 45 hours of training with classes on plant science, soil science, integrated pest management, diagnostics, annuals and perennials, woody ornamentals, lawns, vegetables, small fruits, tree fruits, household and nuisance pests and gardening practices to protect water quality.  After completing the training, Master Gardener trainees must complete 40 hours of horticulture-related service within one year to earn their Master Gardener certification. Click for further information and to register   Contact:  Cathy Morris at 248-858-0887.

March 16 and April 13, 2015:  Michigan Pesticide Applicator Exams
Michigan Department of Agriculture pesticide applicator examinations will be held in Oakland County at 8:30 a.m. on March 16 and April 13, 2015.  Exam sessions generally run 9am-12pm.  The location is the Oakland County Service Center Executive Office Building Conference Center in Waterford.  Go to https://secure1.state.mi.us/opes/  for more information and to register.  Advance registration is required.
1) Only money orders or checks made payable to the State of Michigan are accepted.
2) Applicants must bring a picture ID, pen, pencil, and if renewing, their certification card and renewal paperwork.
3) We do not take walk-ins; all applicants must schedule an appointment.
4) We generally begin processing applicant paperwork at 8:30 am.  Please  arrive at that time and no later.  If you have a unique work situation and cannot arrive at the required time, please contact Molly Mott at 248-521-0501 (for this situation only).

March 21, 2015:  Garden Tools Workshop
Join us for a hands-on workshop on cleaning and sharpening basic garden hand tools (not chainsaw or lawn mower blades).  We gardeners invest a significant amount of our hard-earned dollars on buying garden tools and at most we may get the soil off them at the end of the season.  Come and learn how to properly maintain and clean your hand tools.  Sharpening makes all the difference in the amount of effort needed to cut and dig!  Bring 2 tools to class to get hands-on experience in cleaning and sharpening them.  Class will be held 9:00 am to 12:00 noon at the Oakland County Executive Office Building Conference Center in Waterford.  Contact Cathy Morris, 248-858-0887, if you have questions. Registration is closed - class is full.

March 21, 2015:  Urban Farmer Tune-Up
This class is good for anyone interested in growing produce.  You do a good job of producing fresh, quality, wholesome produce, but there's always that one crop that doesn't always grow like it should.  Or no matter what you change or how to you fertilize, one area of your field always grows poorly.  Those are the situations that the Urban Farmer Tune-Up will address.  You'll find practical information that can have a real difference on your bottom line.

April 11, 2015:  Seasonal Interest in Your Garden
Many of our gardens have a definite time of year when they are spectacular and then the rest of the growing season not much is happening.  In this workshop, we will showcase plants with multiple seasons of interests or are so glorious they deserve a spot in your garden even with a short period of interest.  Start planning now to make your garden beds interesting the whole growing season and beyond!


May 9, 2015:  Spice Up Your Garden with Herbs 
Join us for an educational and enjoyable morning workshop on growing herbs in your garden.  In addition to the culture and use of many of the herbs commonly grown here,  we will delve into the interesting folklore surrounding them.  Your herbal appetite will be whet, just as the growing season starts!  

Online Learning

January 7, 2015- March 25, 2015: 2015 Great Lakes School of Turfgrass Science Online – This 12 week certificate program aims to provide participants with thorough and practical continuing education in turfgrass management.

January 26 - April 29, 2015: Beginning Farmer Webinar Series

Attention beginning farmers!  The MSU Extension 2015 Beginning Farmer Webinar Series is available for you to gain knowledge needed to plan your start-up farming operation, or add a new enterprise to an existing farm.  A series of twenty, 2-hour evening webinars covering a wide variety of farm- related topics is available, including: 

“Getting started with….”
…Small Grain Production, Jan. 26 
...Cover Crops in Organic Vegetable Crop Rotations, Feb. 2
…Integrated Pest Management, Feb. 4
…Manure Storage, Handling and Mortality Management on Small Farms, Feb. 11
…Beekeeping for Pollination and Honey, Feb 13
…Value-Added Agriculture, Feb. 18
…Farm Food Safety, Feb 23
…Sheep and Goat Management, March 2
…USDA Organic Certification, March 9
…Hop Production, March 11
…Season Extension, March 16
…Marketing, March 18
…Small Fruit Production, March 23
…Beef Cow-Calf Production, March 25
…Direct Marketing, March 30
…Managing Soil, Irrigation and Fertilization Interactions, April 1
…Cover Crops in Field Crop Rotations, April 6
…Poultry Production, April 20
…Small Farm Equipment, April 27
…Beef Feedlot Management, April 29
A fee of $10 per webinar is required, or you can register for the entire series for $100.  Webinar recordings will be provided to all registered participants.  Participate from the comfort and convenience of your own home or office.  Registration, a brochure containing details on each individual program, and on-line or mailed payment options can be found at http://events.anr.msu.edu/beginningfarmerwebinars/.
Each program begins at 7pm Eastern time and will last about 2 hours.  A  high-speed internet connection is required.  You will receive webinar connection information after you register.
Contact the Alger County MSU Extension office at 906-387-2530 or isleibj@anr.msu.edu for more information.
For introductory and beginning vegetable gardeners. Six one hour online classes will take place on Mondays beginning February 23 through March 30. All aspects of vegetable gardening will be covered: getting started, planning and preparing, plant selection, types of gardening, garden maintenance, soil preparation, starting with and maintaining healthy plants, and various gardening activities. Questions and discussion will take place through the webinar ‘chat’ function. Supporting written materials will be available for download during and after the webinar.  Fee: $30 until February 20, $40 after February 20.  Click here to register.
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Academy Online
Looking to learn more about integrated pest management (IPM)?  Then check out the Integrated Pest Management Academy Online.  These series of on-demand webinars, created by Michigan State University Extension, are designed to help Michigan growers identify pest management resources and understand IPM basics.  Registration is not required and they are available for free.  Simply visit http://bit.ly/ipmwebinars at your convenience and view one or all of the prerecorded webinars.  Viewers can earn up to four pesticide recertification credits.  A computer with Internet connectivity, a web browser and speakers are required.
For further information about gardening classes and activities, please contact MSU Extension-Oakland County, 248-858-0887.