The Beginning Gardener-Getting Started with Vegetables 2021

  • Date: Feb. 27, 2021 - April 17, 2021
  • Format: online

Thank you for enrolling in the The Beginning Gardener Series. This course is designed to give you just enough information to plant your first vegetable garden, without overwhelming you with too much detail.

This is a self-paced course designed for you to select your topic of interest to explore. Some learners already understand how plants work and just want the information on how to plan a garden. Others are very new to plants and need to understand how soil and water provide nutrients to grow healthy, robust vegetables.

University of Missouri Extension Logo The Beginning Gardener-Getting Started with Vegetables-2021


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.


Kate Kammler

Ms. Kate Kammler

Katie Kammler is a Field Specialist in Horticulture for University of Missouri Extension in the East Central Region.  She has worked in the horticulture industry for over 20 years, including commercial nut, fruit, and vegetable production, turf, landscaping, and as an educator. Her favorite thing about working in horticulture for Extension is always learning new things to help the public learn answers to their horticulture questions.


Please email Kate Kammler 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 course is designed as a five week program, one chapter per week.  The course will be open for 2 weeks after the last unit to finish and reference the course materials. Information gathered from this 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.

Diversity statement:

We value the voice of every student in this course. Our diversity as a group—in race, gender, sex, religion, language, ability, veteran status, place of origin—is an asset to our learning experience.  As a result, we design inclusive lessons and assignments that provide you with the opportunity to speak and be heard, explore your own understanding, and encounter each other.

(Adapted  with permission from MU Teaching for Learning Center’s Teaching and Learning in the Diverse Classroom)

Netiquette Statement:

For a successful online course experience, clear, thoughtful communication is essential. Discussion forums and course communications are important venues for exchanging ideas and promoting learning. Your instructor and fellow participants wish to foster a safe and inclusive online learning environment. Constructive criticism and questions are encouraged; however, you will be expected to remain professional and courteous in all of your posts. You are encouraged to comment, question or critique an idea, but you are not to attack an individual.

Our differences, some of which are outlined in the University of Missouri's nondiscrimination statement, will add richness to this learning experience. Please consider that sarcasm and humor can be misconstrued in online interactions and generate unintended disruptions. Working as a community of learners, we can build a polite and respectful course atmosphere. As your instructor, I  reserve the right to delete any forum posts or blog entries I deem to be inappropriate for the course.

(Adapted  with permission from MU Course Design & Technologies' Online Teaching Foundations)


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.