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, while 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 in care facilities; 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: The next Master Gardener training session in Frederick County will be scheduled in winter 2024. Some of the classes are offered state-wide online, while additional labs and lessons are taught at the UME building in Frederick. The current cost is $250. Applications may be submitted from September through December 2023. To sign up, e-mail strice@umd.edu

You don’t need to be an experienced gardener to become a Master Gardener educator . Classes are taught by University of Maryland faculty and other experts. Find more information on the Extension Master Gardener webpage

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 strice@umd.edu

Resources

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
 strice@umd.edu
•    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.

Seminars

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 2023 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.

Programs

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.

Our Demonstration Garden showcases educational display gardens surrounding the Frederick County Extension building at 330 Montevue Lane, Frederick. Behind the building you will see  techniques for growing edible plants – such as square-foot gardens, traditional row crops, raised bed gardens, container gardens, and more. In addition, there are a Children’s Garden,  native plant areas and a storm water demonstration project. Take a look at the Native Hedgerow along Montevue Lane, which showcases how native plants can make an attractive and functional border. Beds around the side and front of the building are filled with plantings for all seasons.

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 2023 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 Vegetable 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 strice@umd.edu with 'Bay-Wise Certification Application' in the subject line.  

Once we review your application, 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 Earth Appreciation Day—planned for June 17, 2023, and held at the FNP Pollinator Garden.

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 also are planned, this year focusing on 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.

Community Outreach

  • Find Great Plants at Great Prices

    Planned for April 22, 2023, the Annual Master Gardener Plant Sale offers a wide array of plants –including vegetables and herbs, native perennials and shrubs, annuals and hanging baskets. There also are informational displays, activities for children and a flea market. This popular event will be held at the Frederick Fairgrounds in conjunction with FiberFest.

  • Visit Us at Special Events

    Along with providing displays, demonstrations and informational materials, Master Gardeners are available to answer questions at several annual events:

    • Ag Week at the Mall, tentatively scheduled for February at the Francis Scott Key Mall, is a week-long celebration of agriculture in Frederick County.
    • Earth Appreciation Day , an all-day event at the Frederick News-Post Pollinator Gardens, will feature seminars, children’s activities and more. It is planned for June 17, 2023. . Check the FCMG Facebook page for updates.
    • Master Gardeners will participate in events celebrating Earth Day including:
    -Greenfest at Thurmont, April 15, 2023
    -Middletown Green Expo, April 22, 2023
    -Worman’s Mill Earth Day, April 22,2023

News Updates, Publications, Videos

Get FCMG News Updates

Sign up to receive What Can We Do For You? 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 fgardenernews@gmail.com. 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 & 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. 

Enjoy 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

Bay-Wise Certification

Bay-Wise Short Guide-It's Easy To Be Bay-Wise
Bay-Wise MD Yardstick-Application for Bay-Wise Sign and Certificate
Bay-Wise MD Yardstick-How Does Your Landscape Measure Up?
 

Children's Garden Activities

Garden In A Glove
Microgreens Terrarium In A Cup
Seed Balls, How To Make
Seed Tapes, Make Your Own
Flower Pressing To Make A Bookmark
 

Herbs

Herb Spirals - Ten Simple Steps
Indoor Herb Gardening
 

Integrated Pest Management

How to Identify, Prevent and Manage Plant Problems


Managing Stormwater

Stormwater Management
Stormwater Management and Demonstration Garden-Extension Office
 

Pollinator Friendly Garden Certification

Pollinator Friendly Garden Certification Program
Pollinator Friendly Garden Certification Application
 

Pollinator Information

Bee A Pollinator Partner
Bees - Bumble Bee Conservation Fact Sheet
Bees - Nests for Native Bees Fact Sheet
Bees - Tunnel Nests for Native Bees Fact Sheet
Butterfly Gardening
Pollinator Conservation - 3 Easy Steps To Help Bees And Butterflies Fact Sheet
Pollinator Conservation - 4 Principles To Help Bees And Butterflies Fact Sheet
Pollinator Plants - Mid-Atlantic Region
Pollinator Resource List
 

Rain Barrels

Rain Barrel Resource List
Rain Barrels
Rain Barrels & Cisterns
 

Rain Gardens

Rain Gardens Rainscaping
Rain Gardens Sizing Rainscaping
Rainwater Harvesting Rainscaping
 

Vegetable Gardening

Aquaponics
Row Covers And Cold Frames:  Extend The Growing Season
Planting A Garden In A Straw Bale
 

Other Publications

Garden And Lawn Guide, What To Do And When

 

MG News Articles

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

Bay-Wise Gardening

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

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

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
 

Pollinators

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

Recycling

Merry, Bright and Green, 12-18
 

Reflections On Gardening

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

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

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