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Home Gardeners School @Home Presents

Dirty Little Secrets: Top 10 Tips to Great Garden Soil


Course Code: AH0220WA21

Soil on gardening spade with flowers in the background

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Date & Time

Last Held: November 11, 2020
5:00pm - 6:00pm EST
Please join the online course at 4:45pm EST (15 minutes before the start time).

View all upcoming Home Gardeners School @Home online workshops.


Whether you want cheerful sunflowers, juicy tomatoes, or a lush lawn, it all starts with healthy soil. A complex living ecosystem, there should be 600 million bacteria, three miles of fungal hyphae, 10,000 protozoa, and 20 to 30 beneficial nematodes in just one teaspoon of healthy soil.

In this Rutgers Home Gardeners School @Home one-hour Dirty Little Secrets: Top 10 Tips to Great Garden Soil online course, learn how to nurture soil so that it provides nutrients, water, and support for the plants, animals, and microbes that call it home. In this presentation, soil specialist Dr. Karen Plumley will cover ten tips for maintaining healthy soil. Topics include what soil is, cultural and environmental factors that enhance/degrade soil quality, the importance of soil testing, choosing appropriate fertilizers, composting, cover crops, crop rotation, and much more.

Every home gardener can master and put these expert tricks of the trade to use immediately. Register today!

Meet Your Instructor

Dr. Karen Plumley, online garden soils course instructorDr. Karen Plumley

Dr. Karen Plumley has over 25 years of experience in the turfgrass industry and specializes in turfgrass disease and soil. With a bachelor's degree in botany, a master's degree in forest pathology, and a doctorate in turfgrass pathology, you might say she knows more than a thing or two about plants and the soil that sustains them. Dr. Plumley currently serves as Director of Leadership and Organizational Development for Rutgers Cooperative Extension and we are lucky to have her share her expertise with us.

Registration Fee TBD  
Cancellation Fee TBD  

Substitutions are permitted. View cancellation policy.


No meals will be provided at this course.

Accessing this Online Course (It's Easier Than You Think)

Don't worry, taking an online course is more user-friendly than ever. Once you've registered, you will receive a link via email 24 hours before the start of the course. Simply click that link and follow the prompts to allow Webex on your computer, tablet, or smartphone. No microphones or webcams are necessary. If you do not have a microphone on your computer, you will have the option to dial in using a regular telephone to hear the course audio while viewing the course visuals on your device.

New to online learning? No problem! We will be sending out a document with helpful how-to tips for using WebEx to all registrants the day before the course. Plus, join the class a few minutes early at 4:45pm EDT to get comfortable with the platform and see how you can utilize the chat feature to ask questions throughout the course.

Program Coordinator Olga Welsh will be moderating the class and she will be able to assist participants, answer questions, and troubleshoot in case you experience any issues.


  • If this is your first time registering with us, please provide your own unique email address when registering; do not provide an email address that you share with anyone else who will be registering for this course.

  • If you have previously taken classes with us and have used an email address that you share with another person who will also be registering, you must update your account with a unique email address. Click the Register Online button below and sign into your account. On the left side toolbar, click My Account. On the drop-down menu, click Edit Profile/Password. Scroll down to the Email Address field (not the secondary email address field!) and enter your own, individual (not shared!) email address here. Click the Submit button at the bottom to save. If you need assistance updating your account, please email or call (848-932-9271, option 2) our Registration Department.

Note: Pre-registration with payment is required.

We're Here to Help!

Please feel free to reach out to Olga Welsh, program coordinator for this class, at any time with questions! We want to make this a fun, informative, and interactive experience for all participants and are eager to help you in any way we can.

Email: ow31@njaes.rutgers.edu
Phone: 732-735-3121


Sorry, registration is not currently available for this course.

Would you like to be notified when the next offering is scheduled? 
Here are 3 convenient ways to be added to our mailing list:
1. Click here to join our mailing list (please reference "Home Gardeners School @Home: Top 10 Tips to Great Garden Soil" or Course Code AH0220) 
2. Call us at 848-932-9271, select option 3
3. E-mail us at ocpe@njaes.rutgers.edu