Are dedicated gardening enthusiasts from Baltimore County who, because of their love of gardening and environmental stewardship, have expanded their horticultural education and skills in order to help others. Since 1978 Maryland Master Gardeners have used their knowledge, abilities, and enthusiasm to teach, advise, and assist the general public on a wide range of gardening topics.
Becoming A Master Gardener
First and foremost, the Baltimore County Master Gardener (BCMG) Program is a volunteer program with the primary purpose of sharing safe, effective, and sustainable gardening practices with the community. If you have an interest in gardening, a strong desire to share your time and your gardening knowledge with others, and a love of lifelong learning, you may be a good candidate for the Master Gardener Program.
Master Gardener Application Process
Before being accepted into the Master Gardener Training Class, interested candidates must complete the application process outlined below:
1. Call the University of Maryland Extension Baltimore County Office (410-887-8090) and have your name and contact information added to the interested applicants list. This can be done any time during the year.
2. Wait until the Master Gardener Coordinator contacts you to send you the application. Applications are sent out once a year, about 4-5 months prior to the start of the next Training Class.
3. Complete the application and send back to the Master Gardener Coordinator. The application involves answering questions about your gardening and volunteer background as well as your special skills and interest areas. Please note, you must also include the names of 3 references on your applications and all 3 must be notified upon submission of your application.
4. Wait until the Master Gardener Coordinator, or someone from the Training and Development Committee, contacts you for a phone interview.
5. After the Master Gardener Coordinator has completed phone interviews with all applicants and references, 25-30 Master Gardener Interns will then be selected and invited to complete the 50 hour training course.
Master Gardener Training
After submitting an application, the prospective Master Gardeners who are selected for the program attend approximately 50 hours of formal training in core classes. The classes meet one day a week for 10 weeks. On completion of the class work, all participants are required to pass an open-book, summary exam.
Once they have successfully completed the training program, the students become Master Gardener Interns and can begin to fulfill the 40 hours of volunteer service that is required for certification as a Baltimore County Master Gardener. To retain certification, Master Gardeners must give 20 hours of volunteer service to the community and complete 10 hours of approved continuing education every year.
Master Gardener Training Topics
Class topics include Botany, Plant Propagation, Herbaceous Perennials, Woody Ornamentals, Weed Identification, Soils & Fertilizers, Bay-Wise Landscaping, IPM, Plant Diseases, Vegetable Gardening, Native Plants, Composting, Small Fruits & Trees, Pruning, Turf Management, Introduction to Insects, and Ecology.
Master Gardener Training Fees
The BCMG non-refundable registration fee is $275.00. The fee includes supplies, the MG Training Manual, and other supplemental reference materials.
To add your name to the list of interested applicants or if you have additional questions, please contact our office at 410-887-8090.