The Beginning Gardener-Getting Started with Vegetables-2020

  • Date: May 15, 2020 - July 15, 2020
  • Format: online
This self-paced course perfect for learning how to grow vegetables in your own backyard. Based on information from the Master Gardeners Core Training series, this pilot course provides learners with just enough information to get started with a first garden. Learn how to plan out the garden space, what nutrients are needed for healthy plant growth, and general information on the most common vegetable garden plants grown in Missouri. No previous gardening experience required. We provide the basics, you bring the curiosity of raising your own food.

University of Missouri Extension Logo The Beginning Gardener-Getting Started with Vegetables-2020


University of Missouri-Extension is proud to offer this pilot program, titled The Beginning Gardener-Getting Started with Vegetables. It is the common hope of everyone who assisted in putting this course together that your learning experience will be meaningful and enlightening. Please review the following introduction to the course before beginning chapter one.

Course Purpose and Objectives

Purpose of this Program

The University of Missouri believes in education for anyone.  For this reason the The Beginning Gardener series was created for you to pick and choose what areas you would like to focus on related to plants and plant growth.  This course is 100% online and self-paced in nature, meaning you can work on the activities when they fit into your schedule.

The intent of this program is to provide very basic vegetable gardening information to individuals with no previous gardening experience.

The course is offered by the Extension Division of the University of Missouri and does not carry official University course credit.  Sections of this program, or course, have been taken from the Missouri Master Gardener Core Training Course but are not a replacement for those sections, should a learner choose to continue into the Master Gardener series.


Course Objectives:

Learners, or students, who successfully complete all of the readings, video viewings, knowledge checks, and activities or discussions will be able to plan, design, plant, and maintain their own vegetable garden.


Dr. David Trinklein photo of dave trinklein

David Trinklein is an Associate Professor of Plant Sciences and State Floriculture Specialist in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources at the University of Missouri. His appointment includes both teaching and extension responsibilities. He teaches courses in greenhouse management, herbaceous ornamental plants, high tunnel vegetable production, and undergraduate seminar. His extension responsibilities include greenhouse management and the Missouri Master Gardener Program. His research interests include high tunnel technology and sustainable production. Additionally he serves as adviser for the CAFNR Student Council and the Horticulture Club.

Please email Dr. Trinklein for any course related questions.


Ms. Sarah Denkler

Sarah is a Regional Faculty Director for University of Missouri Extension, responsible for 18 counties in southeast Missouri.  She has worked in the horticulture industry for over 25 years as an educator, landscaper or in commercial tree production.  Her responsibilities with extension have included working with commercial fruit and vegetable growers, general ornamental horticulture, integrated pest management, organic gardening, food safety training, soil fertility and conservation, and insect or disease identification.

Activities and Calendar

Course Calendar

In this course, you will explore vegetable gardening in Missouri.  Lesson materials and corresponding publications are provided here and can be downloaded and printed, if desired.  It is our hope you will learn the information presented and how to find out answers you may not know.  This pilot course is designed as a four week program, but you can take as little as a week or up to 30 days after the course closes to finish and reference the course materials. Information gathered from this pilot program will be incorporated into the next course offering, scheduled for later in the year.

  In this course you will be able to review:     

      • Online presentations
      • Web resources
      • A check of your knowledge after each lesson
      • Activities or Case Studies to help apply knowledge learned
      • An open and continuing discussion forum

Reading Materials

Each lesson in this course has content listed before the videos that may be used for reference for that lesson. Feel free to download these materials for keeping. Each section, or lesson, was designed by, and the videos presented by, a specialist in that field of study. 

Latest News

This is a special instructor-led Forum that functions like an Announcements section. Only the instructor can post here and everyone is subscribed by default. Watch your email inbox for announcements about course activities or other horticultural related events of interest.

Knowledge Check

After each lesson you will have the opportunity to check your knowledge on the material covered.  You get our of these lessons what you put into them.  If you choose to try  the knowledge checks from memory, you will be given an opportunity repeat them one time.  The correct answers will be revealed after your second attempt.

Case Study

In each lesson, you will be given a case student that will present a scenario that you may be confronted with.  This provides each student the chance to 'talk through' a garden issue and a venue to ask questions related to the topic or to class materials.  

Online Discussion

There is an open ended discussion forum that allows each student to pose questions to the instructor. 


Progress in this course is demonstrated by your satisfactory completion of the material. 

Technology and Support

For the best user experience, we recommend using  Google Chrome (63/64) as your browser.

Canvas works well with many mobile devices. See Getting Started with Canvas for short tutorial videos and app download instructions.

You can find more information on technical requirements on the Canvas website.

For technical questions or issues, please contact  Customer Support.


If you need special accommodations because of a disability, or if you need materials in an alternative format, please contact Customer Support.


Use Tab key to loop through the section bellow. Press Enter or Space to enter content for each tab button. Press Esc key to exit and to go to the next section at any time.

Extension resources