Foundations in Horticulture- Growing and Caring for Plants in Wisconsin

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Foundations in Horticulture
Growing and Caring for Plants in Wisconsin

Foundations in Horticulture is an online course which teaches you researched based methods to grow your plants and manage pests. We introduce a decision making framework that focuses on understanding how plants best grow, why pests and problems happen, and how to do our best to keep plant problems from happening. We emphasize using your brain, common sense, and elbow grease rather than the spray bottle on the plants you grow inside and out. You really can have healthy plants and a healthy planet at the same time!

Whether you are a beginner or avid gardener, you and your plants will benefit from this.

Course Snapshot

Read details in  Frequently Asked Questions.

What: Online, move at your own pace through 12+ modules with online videos, readings, activities, plus scheduled live webinars. You’ll hear from our Extension experts through our videos and Q&A with the Experts to learn decision making strategies and gardening resources. The course includes an electronic (PDF) copy of the Foundations in Horticulture training manual.

How: This is an online course that uses Canvas and Zoom. You can check if your system is compatible:

When: Registration deadline is Friday, August 13 (11:59pm), 2021. The course begins on September 12 and the completion deadline is December 11. Enrolled students will be able to access course materials until August 31, 2022.

Who: This is open to the general public. It is approved curriculum by the Wisconsin Master Gardener Program as the way to get your gardening education that is required for program enrollment.

Learning Modules

The following topics include a video lecture, reading in the training manual, and an online quiz.

image of woman watering plants

Integrated Pest Management



General Gardening Practices

squash vine borer

Plant Diseases

Insect Pests



Young man and young woman planting marigolds

Herbaceous & Woody Ornamentals

Vegetables & Fruits

Houseplants & Containers


Q&A with the Experts

Q & A with the Experts are live Zoom webinars with our UW-Madison, Division of Extension specialists and experts. During the webinar, they will be answering your plant and gardening questions within their area of expertise. We know that bringing in specialists will enrich the learners’ educational experience. Participants are encouraged to complete the program module specific to the Q&A content area before attending (if possible) and will be able to submit questions ahead of time. Attendance is optional. Dates and times will be provided in the course syllabus. All will be recorded.

Soils with Doug Soldat

Turfgrass with Paul Koch

Plant Disease with Brian Hudelson

Weeds with Mark Renz

Wildlife with David Drake

Insects with PJ Liesch

Fruit with Leslie Holland, Christelle Guedot, and Amaya Atucha

Additional Features

Foundations in Horticulture- Optional Labs

Learn more through interactive online labs! FIH participants can elect to register for four additional online labs. All Labs will be held via Zoom.

$40 per person; your FIH registration confirmation email will include a link to register for these optional FIH Labs.

In the Lab, you will:

  • Learn more while engaging with Extension Educators and other participants.
  • Dig deeper into important FIH concepts by applying the knowledge gained from the FIH course materials to real-life situations. Examples include interpreting a soil test report, identifying and troubleshooting pest problems, and locating and using science-based resources.
  • Participate in both large and small group activities and discussions.
This is a separate registration process from the FIH course registration. Once you register for the FIH course, you will receive a confirmation email with the link to register for the FIH Labs. The link will take you to an external site where you can register for one of the Lab sections. There is a separate fee for the FIH Labs of $40 that you will pay during the FIH Lab registration process.  No refunds after registration.

Foundations in Horticulture Training Manual (hardcopy)

A printed, bound version of the Foundations in Horticulture Training Manual is available for a special course rate of $30, which includes shipping and handling. It must be purchased at the time of FIH registration. No refunds or returns after August 13, 2021.

If you wish to purchase the manual after course registration, you may do so from our LearningStore for the regular price of $50 plus shipping and handling.

Registration Open

Read details in  Frequently Asked Questions.


  • Cost: $299 per person, credit card only (Visa, Discover, MasterCard, or American Express)
  • Includes: 12+ online learning modules, webinars, PDF version of Foundations in Horticulture manual, and certificate of course completion (with up to 4.0 continuing education units).
  • Registration deadline is Friday, August 13 (11:59pm), 2021. Online course opens September 12, 2021.
  • Limited to the first 500 people who register. A waiting list is available.
  • Refund and cancellation policy
    • Course cancellations prior to the course start deadline of September 12th will receive a refund less $30 for processing. No refunds will be issued after September 12th.
    • If purchasing the training manual, no refunds or returns after the course registration deadline of August 13th.
  • Please contact 608-262-2451 or email if you need help with the registration process.

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Master Gardener Program Volunteer Enrollment

symbol: master gardener programThe Wisconsin Extension Master Gardener Program supports Foundations in Horticulture as the primary source of horticultural knowledge required for our program.  Learn more about becoming a volunteer and the opportunities to enroll in the Master Gardener Program at our website.

Very important: To become an Extension Volunteer in the Master Gardener Program you must register and complete the “Master Gardener Program Volunteer Onboarding” course.  Please note, not all counties support volunteers in the Master Gardener Program and not all counties accept new volunteers annually. The current list of counties accepting new volunteers is listed on the Master Gardener Program website.


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