Frederick County Master Gardeners

About Us

Mission:  Frederick County Master Gardeners (FCMG) 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. 

Most of our services and programs are free. 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 maintaining a large demonstration garden); 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 to grow and enjoy ornamental plants.

Coordinator: The FCMG Coordinator, Susan Trice, works with FCMG volunteers to answer questions from county residents about home gardening and household pest issues. [Link to Services/Ask a Master Gardener]  She also serves as the Frederick County Extension Home Horticulture Educator. 

Become a Master Gardener: Master Gardener training is offered annually. The next session in Frederick County will be scheduled in winter 2022, at a cost of $250. You don’t need to be an experienced gardener to participate. 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

The Office is currently closed to the public due to COVID restrictions.

Resources

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

FCMG Facebook  FCMG YouTube  FCMG News

Services

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.  The Office is currently closed to the public due to COVID restrictions.
•    By e-mail to strice@umd.edu
•    By phone at 301-600-1596; please leave a message. 

When COVID restrictions are lifted, we will once again be available to answer questions on Saturday mornings at the Demonstration Garden behind the Extension Building on Montevue Lane, as well as at events in the community.

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

Attend a Seminar:  When COVID restrictions are lifted, we will resume free seminars on topics ranging from growing herbs and vegetables, to storm water management, to decorating for the holidays with natural materials. In the meantime, please subscribe to our YouTube channel for videos and recorded seminars and check out the Frederick County Master Gardener Facebook page.

Programs

Grow Your Own Food

The Grow It, Eat It 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, will be resumed when COVID restrictions are lifted.  Many resources for those interested in growing food are available on the University of MD Extension’s HGIC website.

The Demonstration Garden, located behind the Extension Office, showcases a wide range of techniques for growing edible plants – such as square-foot gardens, traditional row crops, raised bed gardens, container gardens, and more. In addition, there is a Children’s Garden and native plant areas and a storm water demonstration project.

Be Bay-Wise

What you do in your yard can help restore the health of local waterways and the Chesapeake Bay! 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 birds, pollinators and other wildlife – using native plants, reducing or eliminating use of chemicals, mowing and fertilizing wisely, creating rain gardens and other features that slow storm water runoff, and composting yard waste.  Learn more at our seminars, some of which will be available on our YouTube channel.  Hands-on learning takes place in the native plant section of the Demonstration Garden; a storm water management system and rain garden, and the Native Hedgerow along Montevue Lane, which showcases how native plants can make an attractive and functional border.

We encourage you to apply for Bay-Wise certification, offered between April 1 and October 30, to county residents whose landscapes meet the criteria of the state Bay-Wise program.  To apply for certification, download the appropriate Bay-Wise Yardstick (a checklist of best practices) – the Bay-Wise Yardstick for Landscapes or the Bay-Wise Yardstick for Vegetable Gardens –as well as the Application.  The Yardstick and Application forms are fillable, so once they are downloaded you can complete them on your computer. Then attach them, along with 4 to 6 high-definition photos showing your garden, to an email addressed to strice@umd.edu put 'Bay-Wise Certification Application' in the subject line.   A team of specially trained Master Gardeners will meet with you virtually, in compliance with COVID restrictions to review key features of your landscape. Once you are certified, you can receive an attractive yard sign that recognizes your commitment to environmentally sound gardening practices.

Create a Pollinator-Friendly Garden

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 (to be resumed once COVID restrictions are lifted). 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.

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 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 receive 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. Once COVID restrictions are lifted, committee members will resume working with schools and youth groups to provide a variety of hands-on activities such as planning and planting a food garden at school or at home, container gardening, and creating seed tapes and seed balls. The Committee continues to provide program support for virtual STEM/STEAM events. 

A Children’s Garden, adjacent to the Demonstration Garden, which will reopen when COVID restrictions are lifted, provides a charming setting for ‘Story Time in the Garden’ sessions. 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 goal of the Therapeutic Horticulture Committee is to provide a respite to caregivers and add a little brightness to the days of those needing care. Members will, once COVID restrictions are lifted, resume visits to care facilities where they assist residents with gardening projects such as planting a flower in a pot, making a small terrarium, making pine cone bird feeders, and more.

Create an Ornamental Garden

The Landscape Gardening Committee teaches about safe and sustainable horticultural practices, problem-solving techniques, and plant selection in garden design. Their 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 will resume once COVID restrictions are lifted.

Community Outreach

  • Find Great Plants at Great Prices

    The Annual Master Gardener Plant Sale offers a wide array of plants –including vegetables and herbs, native perennials and shrubs, annuals and hanging baskets. Traditionally held in the spring, this event is on hold due to COVID restrictions. Check the FCMG Facebook page for updates.

  • Visit Us at Special Events

    All in-person events are on hold due to COVID restrictions; look for updates on Facebook.

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

    • At the Great Frederick Fair, held in September, Master Gardeners offer special make-and-take activities for children, along with gardening displays, tips and advice.
    • Ag Week at the Mall, held in February at the Francis Scott Key Mall, is a week-long celebration of agriculture in Frederick County.

    The Insect Fair, an all-day event at the Extension Office and Demonstration Garden, will feature seminars, children’s activities and more. It is planned for late summer or fall. Check the FCMG Facebook page for updates

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 the page.

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 (further down on this page) 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, (further down on this page) are written by Master Gardeners 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

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

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

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

They're Coming! Cicadas That Is, 05-21
IPM:  A Best Practice For Gardeners, 06-20
 

Planning Your Garden

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

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

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

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

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