Master Gardener Training Class Information and Materials

Please note: The following information was for attendees of the 2013 MG training class.
A new agenda for the 2015 class will be posted when it is available.

Week 1 - January 25, 2013

  • 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)

Solutions for Your Life


MG South Manuals

Readings: Florida Friendly Landscape Handbook (1-17)

Florida Yards and Neighborhoods

Florida Friendly Landscaping

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

Group activity - Select one from each group from FFL Plant Selection plants 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 buffering capacity, soil water)

MGs soils and fertilizers     

UF soil and water science               

Soil testing (EDIS)


Readings: Florida Friendly Landscape Handbook (17-21)

  • Jeopardy (PowerPoint) - FFL, Sense of Place, Plant & Soil Relations, Watering Efficiently
  • MG Mentors (3:30 pm) – Susan Matthews and Bill Warner

Week 2 - February 1, 2013

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

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


Websites: How Trees Grow in the Urban Environment

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

                                                                                                                        Plant 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

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

Week 3 - February 8, 2013

  • Palms


Palm Anatomy

Normal Abnormalities in Palms

Palm Nutrient Deficiencies

Physiological Disorders of Landscape Palms

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)

Readings:  Florida Gardener’s Resource (136-159)


Fort Lauderdale Research & Education Center Turf website:

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

What’s growing in your garden (ask the Interns)


Four Vegetable Garden presentations (Articulate)

Nematodes & Management: Ornamentals & Turf Grass

Week 4 - February 15, 2013

Websites: maintenance_and_care/lawn_fertilizer.html pesticides.html

Websites: garden/compost.html


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 5 - February 22, 2013

MG Kitty Somerville (9 am) talks about her MG projects

Websites: native_plants.html

Low Maintenance Plants – South Florida:

Natives for Your Neighborhood:

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

Flower Keys Wildflowers (Hammer)


Websites: africanized_honey_bees.html

MG Bernhard Rasch (11:30 pm- noon) talks about Solitary Bees & UF Native Buzz project


Big Pine Key Field Trip – 1 pm to 3 pm (Natives and Invasive Plants – meet with Kristie Killam, Florida Fish and Wildlife Service).

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

Week 6 - March 1, 2013


Activity: Rugose Spiraling Whitefly life stages and beneficial wasps 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 7 - March 8, 2013


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

Managing Insects

Ornamental Insects

Turf Insects

Solving Insect and Abiotic Disorders

Solving Landscape Problems

Website and_management_of_plant_disease_problems

Horticulture Scavenger Hunt

Week 8 - March 15, 2013

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


Plant Pathology, Aaron Palmateer, Ph.D.
(9:30 to 11:30 am) PowerPoint & plant clinic tour


Review before attending Plant Pathology class:

Tropical Fruit, Jonathan Crane, Ph.D.
(12:00 to 3:00 pm) PowerPoint & tour

Readings:  Avocado, Bananas, Mango IFAS fact sheets

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


Handout - Take home exam: You have one week to complete exam; bring to class completed on March 22nd.

Week 9 - March 22, 2013

Customer Service (PowerPoint)

Web Resources for Master Gardeners (PowerPoint)

MG Volunteer Management System

Potluck Lunch - sign up for exit interviews.


green thumb

Kim Gabel 
Environmental Horticulture Agent