Learn to grow your own vegetables with the Smart Gardening with Vegetables 101 online course

MSU Extension offers a self-paced Smart Gardening with Vegetables 101 online course.

A vegetable garden with room for crops to grow vertically.
This garden features a vertical aspect, which is often overlooked when vegetable gardening. Photo by Rebecca Krans, MSU Extension.

Now is a great time to learn more about growing your own vegetables. Michigan State University Extension has a self-paced, online course called Smart Gardening with Vegetables 101. Crafted as an introductory course for those just getting started in growing vegetables, this course covers all the basics on how to be a successful vegetable gardener. Through this course, you will learn how to select the right site, establish healthy soil and grow vegetables in raised beds or containers. You will also learn about the wide variety of vegetables you can grow, the proper care and management of vegetables and more about beneficial insects, pollinators and pests.

According to 2023 participants, 85% of survey respondents noted that Smart Gardening with Vegetables 101 helped them learn how to grow their own food.

"Although my original garden started to deteriorate, I was able to move the location and use the practices I learned to make it more successful." - Smart Gardening with Vegetables 101 past participant

Smart Gardening with Vegetables 101 consists of over six hours of presentations, readings and additional resources you can download or print off for reference. Past participants appreciate the convenience of this self-paced course, and 79% rated their learning experience as successful to highly successful.

Key messages focus around smart practices, i.e. sustainable and more earth-friendly practices that gardeners can implement. Overall, the messages focus on improving water quality, and gardeners can help with this effort by creating healthy soils, using nutrients and fertilizers properly, and reducing the use of pesticides. The importance of pollinator protection is also stressed. Vegetable gardeners can assist pollinators by incorporating diversity or other flowering plants and herbs, among their vegetables. Discover different practices you can use in your yard or garden to help pollinators.

Another important consideration when deciding to vegetable garden is space. Many people may not have enough space for a large garden, so this course will give you some ideas for gardening in small spaces. You do not need a large area for a productive garden; there are other practices that will be covered, such as the importance of proper planning, growing vertically, intercropping and successive planting.

Sign up today and begin this year’s gardening journey to fresh vegetables. For more information and to register, go to: Smart Gardening for Vegetables 101 - Registration Instructions

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