Master Gardener Training Class Information and Materials

Week 1 - Sept. 25

  • Pre-Test
  • Master Gardener Introductions (Name, Island; have you attended a Master Gardener training [when and where]; what do you want to learn from this class). Explain your sample – plant ID, insect, environmental or disease

Solutions for Your Life
MG South Manuals


Florida Friendly Landscape Handbook (1-16)

Plant Selection and Landscape Guide (5-28)

Florida Yards and Neighborhoods

Florida Friendly Landscaping

FYI - Books: Monroe County Environmental Story (1991) or The Florida Keys Environmental Story (1997)

Small Group activity - Select one from each group from FFL Plant Selection plants (online) grown in zone 10b or 11: large tree, medium tree, small tree, large shrub, small shrub, vine, ground cover, grass, palm and palm-like plant, perennial, annual

Hands-on activities - (soil texture-jar, soil pH, soil water)

MGs soils and fertilizers     

UF Soil and Water Science

Soil testing (EDIS)

Readings: Florida Friendly Landscape Handbook (17-21)

Week 2 - October 2

Managing Diseases and Tropical Fruit

TREC Driving Directions
18905 S.W. 280 Street, Homestead, FL 33031 Ph: 305-246-7000

  • Upon entering Florida City, take the first turn Left onto Route 997. (This is before the first red light.)
  • Proceed to Palm Avenue, turn Left.
  • Take Palm Avenue, turn Right onto Redlands (SW 187th Avenue).  Note: Post Office is on the corner.
  • Proceed to SW 280th Street, turn Left.
  • Make first Right onto TREC property, cross over speed bumps and park in front of building.  Look for the white Monroe County Dodge Caravan and Master Gardener training signs.

Please carpool. I will be leaving BPK Winn-Dixie parking lot (closest to Key Deer Blvd) at 6:30 am. I can take 5 passengers; let me know if you will ride with me. If you have any problems call Kim Gabel’s cell number: 305-587-9491.

Tropical Fruit, Jonathan Crane, Ph.D. (9:30 am to 12 pm) PowerPoint & tour
Common problems with tropical fruit trees
Ten most popular fruit trees
Tropical fruit tree culture


Readings: Avocado, Bananas, Mango IFAS fact sheets

Readings: Florida Gardener’s Resource (76-107)

Plant Pathology, Aaron Palmateer, Ph.D. (12:30 pm to 3:00 pm) PowerPoint & plant clinic tour


Review before attending Plant Pathology class:

Week 3 - October 9

MG I.E. Schilling – Organizing your Master Gardener materials

  • Rain Barrel (Video)
    Rain Barrel (How to make one)
  • Hands-on activity water test (EC testing, water infiltration exercise)

Readings: Florida Yards & Neighborhoods Handbook (43-48)


How Trees Grow in an Urban Environment

DDIS Plant Identification (Exercise)
Interns: bring a plant for identification

Plant Identification and Information Service

          DDIS website:

          U: MCMG     P: agentkim

Site visit: (trees, palms, shrubs & ground covers) Tranquility Bay & Government Center Parking Lots

How to Use Florida-Friendly Landscaping Plant List (Articulate – home viewing)

Readings: FFL Guide to Plant Selection & Landscape Design

Basic Principles of Landscape Design Florida Pattern Book
Adopting Florida Friendly Landscape
Florida Tree Selector

Week 4 - October 16

Meet at Marathon Mosquito Control
503 107th Street, Gulfside, Marathon


Readings – Trees and Palms: Florida Gardener’s Resource (252-285)

Fort Lauderdale Research & Education Center Palms website:

FYI: Books – Great references

Betrock’s Guide to Landscape Palms (Meerow)

Ornamental Palm Horticulture (Broschat & Meerow)

Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms (Riffle, Craft and Zona)

Readings: Lawn Handbook

St. Augustine (35-45)

Zoysia (45-53)

Watering your Florida Lawn (90-93)

Mowing your Lawn (87-90)

Thatch & Its Control in Florida Lawns (98-102)

Florida Gardener’s Resource (136-159)


Fort Lauderdale Research & Education Center Turf website:

Site Visit (palms & turf) – Marathon location - TBD

Ask the Interns - What’s growing in your garden


Four Vegetable Garden presentations (Articulate) veggie_gardening.html

Nematodes & Management: Ornamentals & Turf Grass

Week 5 - October 23

Plant Nutrition & Fertilization




Readings:  Helpful, Harmful, and Harmless photo deck

Pests in the Home and Landscape (132-136, 187-189, 205-232, 235-270)


Microscope Activity – Interns: bring in two insect samples (one landscape pest & one indoors pest)

Week 6 - October 30


Low Maintenance Plants – South Florida:

Natives for Your Neighborhood:

FYI – Books: Native Trees and Shrubs of the Florida Keys (Scurlock)

Flower Keys Wildflowers (Hammer)




BPK Field Trips:

Grimal Grove - MG Bernhard Rasch (12:30 to 1 pm) talks about Solitary Bees & UF Native Buzz project.

No Name Key Field Trip – 1:30 to 3:30 pm (Natives and Invasive Plants – meet with Kristie Killam, Florida Fish and Wildlife Service).

Drive to No Name Key at Watson Blvd. & No Name Road, then park along side of road. There is a good trail through the pine rocklands, followed by hammock area.

Week 7 - November 6

MG Kitty Somerville talks about her MG projects (9:00 a.m.)


  • Rugose Spiraling Whitefly (PowerPoint - too large for website)

Activity: Rugose spiraling Whitefly life stages and beneficial wasp and beetles

Readings: Pests in and Around the Florida Home (1-25)


Assignment: Interns - bring in insect samples found in turf and on ornamental plants


Assignment: Interns - bring in weed samples

Week 8 - November 13


Assignment: Interns - bring in samples or digital photos of ornamental plant or turf problems.

IPM Presentation (PowerPoint)

Solving Insect and Abiotic Disorders

Solving Landscape Problems

Website and_management_of_plant_disease_problems

Horticulture Scavenger Hunt

Handout - Take home exam: You have one week to complete exam; bring to class completed on November 20th.

Week 9 - November 20

Potluck Lunch – sign up for exit interviews.

Post graduation presentation:
Michele Williams PhD, Southeast Region at FAU Florida Public Archaeology Network



master gardener logo

Kim Gabel 
Environmental Horticulture Agent