University of Maryland Extension

Grow It Eat It

Master Gardeners educating the public to improve their health by growing their own food using sustainable gardening practices.  

SPECIAL: Food Gardening and COVID-19

Grow It Eat It Logo

picture of leafy green garden

How to start a vegetable garden

Lawn (turfgrass) removal methods

If you plan to create your garden where grass is growing, be sure to take a look at these resources.

When to plant vegetables in Maryland

Container gardens are fun and versatile

Soil or growing media?

Leafy greens are tasty, healthy, and easy to grow

Plants for beneficial insects

Prevent and manage pests without chemicals

How to preserve your garden's harvest

Support Maryland farmers and green businesses

Top 10 tips from UME Master Gardeners

  • Be resourceful!
  • Use lawn clippings (no herbicides) and last fall’s tree leaves to mulch plants. Share seeds, plants, and tools with neighbors
  • 5-gallon buckets make excellent container gardens (one tomato or pepper per bucket)
  • Re-use building materials on hand - old boards, bricks, and wire fencing - to build raised beds and trellises
  • Start small so you can manage and succeed with your first garden. Then expand!
  • Test your soil even if you’ve already started your garden
  • Fencing is a must to keep out deer, groundhogs, and rabbits
  • Before planting, spread an inch of compost and rake it into the top of your soil (ok not to incorporate if you don’t have a rake!)
  • Keep your eye on weather forecasts. Don’t plant tomato, basil, pepper, and other frost-sensitive crops before the last expected frost
  • Don’t crowd plants; follow the spacing instructions on seed packets and the HGIC website
  • Cover seeds, seedlings, and transplants with floating row covers to speed growth and exclude pests
  • Check on plants each day (top and bottom of leaves) and pick-off pests by hand
  • Pick tomatoes when they first change color and ripen them indoors

HGIC Resources

To locate a Grow It Eat It class, workshop, or an event near you hosted by the Master Gardener Program, please visit our Local Programs website.  

What is the Grow It Eat It Program?

The mission of the University of Maryland Extension (UME) Grow It Eat It (GIEI) Program is to promote backyard and community food production. Since 2009, Master Gardeners have taught classes/workshops, developed demonstration gardens, and have educated Marylanders how to produce their own affordable and healthy food while using sustainable gardening practices in their home, community, and school gardens.

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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. If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in any event or activity, please contact your local University of Maryland Extension Office.