I hate to break it to anyone here, but gardening is NOT rocket science.
Anyone who enjoys it can learn the basics in one summer of working in
his/her garden, and having access to one or two garden reference books -
like sunset garden guide, or reader's digest gardening guide, or rodale's
encyclopedia of organic gardening. By basics, I'm talking about when the
best time is to plant seeds of various flowers and crops, when is the best
time to set out tender plants, how to work the soil, how to plant a shrub or
tree and how to irrigate it, how to improve the soil if your basic soil is
crappy, how to compost. Many other aspects of gardening are opinion, and
opinion on them changes with the decade......things like, should insect
infestations all be treated, should fruit trees all be pruned yearly, do
flowers and perennials need to be deadheaded religiously, stuff like that.
Landscaping is another issue entirely - and there are schools of thought
about that that also change with the decade or the century.
Some aspects of garden maintenance are more difficult - correct pruning,
propagation by means other than seeds, grafting, plant disease recognition.
In my opinion, mastergardeners are a good resource for beginning gardeners
because they are nearly all experienced home gardeners. However, they have
little of value to convey to experienced gardeners who can do the research
themselves if they have a difficult gardening issue to work out. I think
pursuing a mastergardener title is a fine idea for a retiree who loves to
garden and has the free time to attend the classes, etc. I wouldn't
recommend it to anyone who has an active life with lots of responsibilities.