Master Gardeners to hold spring gardening workshops

February 28, 2011|Annette Ipsan
  • Annette Ipsan
Annette Ipsan

Are the snow and ice giving you the winter blues? Snap out of it with a spring gardening class taught by Master Gardeners.
Trained Master Gardener volunteers are offering their first series of gardening classes at the Washington County Agricultural Education Center from April to June. The workshops will be taught in and out of the classroom, including hands-on experience in the demonstration gardens.

Would you like to learn how to make compost? There’s a class for that. Do you want to beat bugs without chemicals? There’s a class for that, too. Grow your gardening know-how with other workshops focusing on cold frames, trellises and companion planting. Each class costs $10.  

The workshop series starts Saturday, April 2, with a class on cold frames from 10 a.m. to noon. Guests will learn how to build and use a cold frame to extend the growing season, harden off plants, protect plants during the winter, propagate cuttings and save money by growing more plants from seeds. Ready-to-assemble cold frame kits will be available for purchase.

A composting class follows on Saturday, April 9, from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Participants will learn how to improve their soil and the health of their plants by using kitchen and yard wastes to make compost. They will review common composting methods and equipment and get hands-on experience building a compost pile in the demonstration gardens.

On Tuesday, May 3, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., the companion planting workshop will teach guests how to combine vegetables, herbs and flowers to attract good bugs and repel bad bugs, boost plant health, improve harvests and minimize pesticide use. Guests will design a companion plant garden and receive free companion plants and seeds.
Trellises are the focus of the Saturday, May 14, class from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Participants will discover many different types of affordable trellises that support plants and beautify gardens. They will learn which flowers and vegetables grow well on trellises and help to build a trellis in the demonstration gardens.

On Thursday, June 9, from 9 to 11 a.m., Master Gardeners will teach a class on organic insect control. Guests will learn more than a dozen ways to attract good bugs and banish bad bugs without chemicals. They will become plant detectives, learning to spot and solve problems with hands-on experience in the demonstration garden.

You can register by downloading a registration form and brochure at under “horticulture” and “workshops.” You can also register by calling 301-791-1504 or by visiting the Extension offices in the Ag Center at 7303 Sharpsburg Pike in Boonsboro. Space is limited so registration and payment is required in advance. Checks should be made payable to “Wash. Co. EAC.”  The registration deadline is one week before the class date.

Come grow your gardening knowledge with us. Learn more and meet our Master Gardeners at our booth at the HCC Flower and Garden Show March 12 and 13 at Hagerstown Community College.

Annette Ipsan is the Extension educator for horticulture and the Master Gardener program in Washington County for the University of Maryland Extension. She can be reached weekdays by telephone at 301-791-1604 or by e-mail at

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