Frederick County Master Gardeners

About Us

Mission: Frederick County Master Gardeners (FCMGs) educate area residents about safe, effective practices that build healthy gardens, landscapes and communities. We are volunteers trained by the University of Maryland Extension, and we are required to complete at least 10 hours of continuing education each year as part of our requirements. 

Our educational services and programs are free, although some programs may require a fee. We offer seminars and workshops, answer gardening questions, and inform county residents through community outreach. 

We focus on the following program areas: providing assistance in starting and sustaining food gardens (including our large demonstration garden, open to the public); promoting awareness of garden practices that protect water quality and safeguard pollinators (including certification of yards as Bay-Wise and Pollinator-Friendly); engaging and educating young people through schools and youth groups; offering therapeutic gardening activities to promote the wellness and mindfulness qualities of plants and gardening; and supporting residents in growing and enjoying ornamental plants. We invite you to learn from our demonstration gardens located around the University of MD Extension building, 330 Montevue Lane, Frederick.

Coordinator: The FCMG Coordinator, Susan Trice, works with FCMG volunteers to answer questions from county residents about home gardening and household pest issues. She also serves as the Frederick County Extension Home Horticulture Educator. 

Become a Master Gardener: To become a Frederick County Master Gardener volunteer educator, you must complete in-person training classes, which generally extend over three months. Our 2024 training session is full.

If you are interested in applying for the Class of 2025, please email Susan Trice at You will be informed when enrollment opens and will be sent an application package. Class limit is 25. First come, first served.

Both experienced and inexperienced gardeners are welcome to apply. The unique Master Gardener training utilizes and includes state videos and modules. We also will have hands-on lessons, projects for you to do, and additional requirements to complete by the end of the calendar year. 

Contact Us: 
Susan Trice, Master Gardener Coordinator, Horticulture Educator
Frederick County Extension, Principal Agent Associate
330 Montevue Lane
Frederick, MD 21702
301-600-1596 or

University programs, activities, and facilities are available to all without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, marital status, age, national origin, political affiliation, physical or mental disability, religion, protected veteran status, genetic information, personal appearance, or any other legally protected class.


Get the latest information from one of these Frederick County Master Gardener resources.

FCMG Facebook  FCMG YouTube  FCMG News

Ask a Master Gardener

We provide research-based answers to questions about home and garden issues. Questions may be submitted through the Master Gardener Coordinator:

•    In person at the Extension Office on Mondays, 1 to 4 pm. Specimens may be dropped off Monday through Friday, 8:30 am - 4 pm.  
•    By e-mail to
•    By phone at 301-600-1596; please leave a message. 

We  are available to answer questions on Saturday mornings, during the growing season, at the Demonstration Garden behind the Extension building on Montevue Lane, as well as at events in the community. Anytime you see a Master Gardener working the gardens surrounding the Extension building, feel free to ask them questions.

Another resource, ASK EXTENSION, connects you with Certified Professional Horticulturists at the University of Maryland Home and Garden Information Center. These experts strive to respond to questions within 48 hours.


We offer dozens of  free seminars geared to both beginning and advanced gardeners. These cover a wide range of gardening topics, reflecting our program areas: food gardening, Bay-Wise gardening, pollinator-friendly gardening, youth gardening, therapeutic gardening, and landscape gardening.

Find a listing of seminars planned for 2024 here. Most sessions are scheduled for Saturday mornings, 10 a.m. to noon, at the University of MD Extension office, 330 Montevue Lane. Registration is requested and opens 3 weeks prior to each seminar; walk-ins are welcome if there is room. Look for updated information on the  Frederick County Master Gardener Facebook page.


Grow Your Own Food

The Grow It, Eat It  (GIEI) Committee supports both beginning and experienced gardeners who want to grow their own vegetables, herbs and fruits. Seminars, including hands-on learning in the Demonstration Garden, cover a range of topics, from seed starting to seed saving, composting, planning the family garden, and much more. In the list of current-year seminars, sessions focusing on growing food are marked GIEI.

 Many resources for those interested in growing food are available on the University of MD Extension’s HGIC website.

Visit Our Demonstration Gardens

The Master Gardener Demonstration Gardens showcase educational display areas surrounding the Frederick County Extension building at 330 Montevue Lane, Frederick. See best practices in gardening first hand!

Behind the building you will see a variety of planting practices and techniques for growing vegetables and other edible plants. There is a square-foot garden bed, an herb spiral, a keyhole garden, and numerous raised beds made of various materials. Check out the small fruits including strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries. We also have figs, grapes, and espaliered apple and pear trees. A patio is filled with edible and decorative plantings displayed in a variety of containers. A container-based monarch butterfly habitat area is a new addition to the garden this year.

Our charming Children’s Garden features ornamental plantings that are fun for youngsters to see, smell and touch. Children, accompanied by an adult, are welcome to explore and enjoy this welcoming space. You also will find a woodland walkway with native plantings, leading to our pawpaw patch. Take a look at the Native Hedgerow along Montevue Lane, highlighting how native plants can make an attractive and functional border. The Gardens incorporate several stormwater management features with potential residential applications. Foundation flower beds around the building are filled with plantings for all seasons as well as several varieties of shade-loving plants. The Gardens are open to the public daily from dawn to dusk.

Be Bay-Wise

What we do to maintain our own landscapes can affect the health of our local waterways (drainage ditches, streams and rivers), the Chesapeake Bay and our environment. The goal of Bay-Wise gardening is to ensure better water quality through smart gardening practices. Members of the Bay-Wise Committee educate the public about how to create a sustainable landscape that supports all types of wildlife including birds and pollinators – using native plants, reducing/eliminating use of chemicals, mowing and fertilizing wisely, controlling stormwater runoff, and composting yard waste.  Learn more at our seminars which focus on replacing invasive plants with natives, the benefits of reducing your lawn, dealing with wet areas in your yard, and how to determine water quality using macroinvertebrates.  

We encourage you to apply for Bay-Wise certification, offered between April 1 and October 30, for Frederick County residents whose landscapes meet the criteria of the state Bay-Wise program.  To apply, download the appropriate Bay-Wise Yardstick (a checklist of best practices) - the Bay-Wise Yardstick for Food Gardens or the Bay-Wise Yardstick for Landscapes as well as the ApplicationThe Yardstick for Landscapes and the Application forms are fillable, so once they are downloaded you can complete them on your computer. Email the completed Yardstick and Application  to with 'Bay-Wise Certification Application' in the subject line. You also may print the forms and fill them out by hand, or pick up a paper copy of the forms during regular business hours at the Frederick County Extension Office, 330 Montevue Lane, Frederick, MD 21702.  Completed forms may be mailed to Susan Trice at the Extension Office address, or dropped off at the Office during regular business hours. 

Once we review your application, we will schedule a site visit with you. A team of specially trained Master Gardeners will visit your yard to look at  the Bay-Wise features and answer any questions. Once you are certified, you will receive an attractive yard sign that recognizes your commitment to environmentally sound gardening practices that enhance the health of the Chesapeake Bay and our environment.

Create a Pollinator-Friendly Garden

Bees and other pollinators play an essential role in the reproduction of over 85% of the world’s flowering plants, including more than two-thirds of crop species, according to the Xerces Society. In addition, pollinators are a keystone species in most terrestrial ecosystems; they are essential to the survival of many birds and mammals.

The Pollinator Committee raises awareness of the importance of pollinators to the plants that feed them and to the overall environment – not just in Frederick County but also worldwide. We offer seminars and engage in community outreach, including EarthFest—planned for Saturday, June 22, 2024, 9:30 a.m. - 3 p.m. at the Extension Office. This family-friendly event will feature activities and displays offered by Master Gardeners and other groups. Check our Facebook page close to the date of the event for location and details.

We encourage you to review the application for Pollinator Friendly Garden certification to learn more about creating a pollinator friendly-garden of any size. The fillable application includes a selection of plants native to Frederick County that support pollinators, and provides other guidance to enhance the pollinator habitat, such as providing shelter and water. Gardens that are certified may purchase ($20) a distinctive sign that identifies it as a “Pollinator Friendly Garden.” Frederick County Master Gardeners are the first in Maryland to offer this certification.

Engage Young People

The Youth Gardening Committee’s goal is to educate young people – from tots to teens – about gardening. Youngsters are encouraged to enjoy vegetables and fruits fresh from their gardens. While a primary focus is on growing food, we also offer resources and support for pollinator gardening and education about conservation and ecology.  Seminars for young gardeners focus on make-and-take projects.

Committee members work with schools and youth groups to provide a variety of hands-on activities such as planning and planting a food and/or pollinator garden at school or at home, container gardening, and creating seed tapes and seed balls. The Committee also provides support for STEM/STEAM events in the schools. 

A Children’s Garden, adjacent to the Demonstration Garden provides a charming setting for ‘Story Time in the Garden’ sessions. See Facebook for information on Story Time sessions, generally offered in the summer months The garden is designed so that children, accompanied by an adult, can explore nature and enjoy the fragrant plants and fairy houses or play tic tac toe and hopscotch. 

Enjoy the Therapeutic Benefits of Gardening

The mission  of the Therapeutic Horticulture Committee is to promote the wellness and mindfulness qualities of plants and gardening. To achieve this, we create and support activities that focus on aspects of therapy, wellness and mindfulness through horticulture. We provide education to the public through planned activities and we provide outreach to care facilities that includes teaching and assisting residents with hands-on activities.

We coordinate with and encourage other Master Gardener committees to incorporate therapeutic horticulture ideas and concepts into their regular activities; provide quotes, images and reference material for publications and social media; and reach out to care facilities to promote wellness activities around gardening and houseplants.

Seminars for gardeners focus on such topics as mindfulness in the garden and health benefits of houseplants.

Create an Ornamental Garden

The Landscape Gardening Committee teaches about safe and sustainable horticultural practices, problem-solving techniques, and plant selection in garden design. The focus is on ornamental plants – from annuals, perennials and bulbs; to houseplants; to trees, shrubs and vines – as well as decorating with plants and flowers. Seminars and hands-on workshops include sessions on garden design basics, creating a flower cutting garden and flower arranging.

Special Events and Community Outreach

  • Story Time in the Garden

    Wednesdays, 10-11 am
    July 3, Aug 7, Sept 4, Oct 2
    (Rain dates one week later)

    Young children accompanied by a parent or caregiver are invited to our Children’s Garden, at the far end of the Demo Garden. A Master Gardeners will read a short story and lead fun garden-themed activities. Pack a snack and join us! The garden is behind the UM Extension building at 330 Montevue Lane, Frederick, MD. It's free, no reservations required and parking is free.

  • Annual EarthFest


    Due to the expected extreme temperatures on Saturday, the EARTHFEST event has been postponed. Please watch for updates on this fantastic event.

    Saturday, June 22, 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
    Extension Office

    This all-day event features demonstrations, mini-seminars, family-friendly activities, and more - offered by Master Gardeners and other groups and organizations. Displays inside the building offer information and advice on Bay-Wise landscaping and pollinator gardening. Check the FCMG Facebook page for more details prior to the event.

  • Great Frederick Fair

    Saturday, September 14 through Saturday, September 21 Frederick Fairgrounds

    Find us in Building 44/ City Streets, Country Roads (across from the Animal Birthing Center). See FCMG Facebook page for more details and updates prior to this event.

    Be sure to stop by our newly created demonstration perennial garden featuring pollinator plants that are native to our area. It is located beside Building 44.

News Updates, Publications, Videos

Get FCMG News Updates

Sign up to receive Frederick County Garden Smart. This free publication, issued 4 to 6 times a year, describes upcoming Master Gardener seminars and events, and gives you links to gardening tips and resources. To subscribe, send an email to To read the latest issue, go to the FCMG News button towards the top of this website.

Watch Our Videos

Take a look at the videos available on our YouTube channel. Once you subscribe, you will be alerted when a new video is added.

Be Our Facebook Friend

You’ll find Master Gardener news, a wealth of gardening advice, beautiful photos, and informative videos on the Frederick County Master Gardener Facebook page

Find 'How-To' Information

Our Publications and Resources list (below) includes fact sheets on pollinators, garden activities for children, instructions on building an herb spiral and a rain garden, and much more.

Read About MG Advice and Insights

A collection of newspaper columns, (below) are written by Master Gardeners and touch on topics ranging from indoor gardening, to personal reflections on gardening, to seasonal gardening activities. 

Publications & Resources

MG News Articles

Garden Articles written for the Horticultural Column of the Frederick News-Post.  They also may be found at  Please check back as new articles are submitted.

Bay-Wise Gardening

Your Gardening Practices Affect the Water Quality of the Chesapeake Bay, 06-23

Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall (Stormwater Management), 10-22

Get Bay-Wise Certified And Help Save The Bay, Part 2, 04-21

Why The Chesapeake Bay Needs YOUR Help, Part 1, 03-21

Schley Park Receives Bay-Wise Certification, 11-18

Children & Gardening

A Good Day For A Cry, 10-19
Redbud Festival, Redbud Feast, 05-18
Gardening With Children, An Oxymoron, 04-18
We're Never Too Old Or Too Young To Learn--And It's Free From Master Gardeners!, 09-19

Fall Gardening

Fall Traditions For The Garden, 10-23
Optimizing Garden Tasks In The Fall, 09-22
Fall Crop Vegetables, 07-22
Fall Tasks-October Is A Good Time To, 10-21
Giving Thanks, 11-20
Welcome Fall!, 10-20
Autumn Tasks:  A Labor of Love, 09-20
Planning For The Fall Harvest, 07-20

Indoor Gardening

Uh-Oh What's Wrong With My Houseplant, 01-22
Caring For Indoor Plants, 12-21
Are Your Houseplants Safe For Your Pets, 02-21
Popular Houseplants for 2021, 01-21
The Perfect Gift?  Try A Houseplant, 12-20
Adventure Awaits, 02-18

Pest Management

Safety Tips During Tick Season, 06-22
They're Coming! Cicadas That Is, 05-21
IPM:  A Best Practice For Gardeners, 06-20

Planning Your Garden

Heirlooms and Natives, Real Hand-Me-Downs, 03-24
New Year's Resolutions For the Garden!, 01-24
Have Questions, We Have Answers, 09-23
Take Only Memories; Leave Only Footprints, 07-23
Beyond Our Garden Gates, 05-23
Seeing The Light Of Day, 05-22
The Better Choice-Native Plants, 03-22
Answer These Seven Questions Before You Start Your New Garden, 09-21

Climate Change Tips For Gardeners, 01-20
Permaculture And The Home Garden:  Finding A Balance, 08-19
Big Decisions:  Change Your Garden To Fit Your Needs, 07-19
Garden Chores--Have Your Cake And...Er Enjoy The Garden, 05-19
Planned And Unplanned, 06-18
Favorite Child, 03-18
For Those Who Are Looking...., 01-18


Where Did All The Flowers-Er-Insects Go, 11-21
Why Plant A Pollinator Garden Part I, 07-21
Why Plant A Pollinator Garden Part II, 08-21
Pollinator Friendly Gardens Boost Environmental Health, 06-19
Bees And Wasps And Why They Sting, 07-18


Merry, Bright and Green, 12-18

Reflections On Gardening

Twelve Days Of Nature, 12-23
The Story Of The Scarecrows, 11-23
Gardening & Treasured Landscapes-Growing Opportunities, 03-23
Floral Fancies, 02-23
Conversation Starters-Plants That Honor Loved Ones, 01-23
Backyard Plants Used In Medical Research, 12-22
All Work And No Play?  Stop And Smell The Roses, Er, Honeysuckle, 08-20
Glad I'm Not A Starving Colonist, 04-19
Johnny Appleseed, 10-18
Confessions Of A Sidewalk Weed Whipper, 09-18

Spring Gardening

MG to Host Plant Sale @ April 27th Fiber Fest, 04-24

MG Plant Sale - Get Ready for This Year's Gardening Adventures, 04-23
Frederick County Master Gardeners Resume Annual Plant Sale, 04-22
Yes You Can Divide Perennials Now, 04-20
The Ides Of March:  A Vegetable Gardener's View of March, 03-20

Summer Gardening

Summer Garden Prime Time, 06-21


Winter Gardening

Some Dos and Don'ts of Pruning, 02-24

Holiday Horticulture, 11-22
Chores For The Bleak Mid-Winter, 02-22
Finding Those Winter Garden Pests, 02-20
Bring Nature Inside, 12-19

A Gardener's Work Is Never Done, 11-19
Finding Joy And Making The Most Of March, 02-19
The Dead Of Winter, 01-19