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What is a Master Gardener?

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What do Master Gardeners do?

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What do I need to become a Master Gardener?

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The CCEFM master gardeners plan and create a large exhibit annually in the Cooperative Extension building at Fonda Fair.

A CCE master gardener is a teacher. Sometimes it is one-on-one and ...

Sometimes it is a group of youth in a school or at Fonda Fair...

And sometimes it is in classroom before a large group of people.

CCEFM master gardeners hold a plant sale annually and dispense information about selection, planting and care of plants they sell.

Consumer Horticulture
Straw Bale Gardening #1
Posted 6/21/2016 by MG

Volunteer Master Gardener Jay Ephraim and his wife Mary are experimenting with straw bale gardening this season.  The concept is simple.  Grow whatever you would normally grow in the ground, but with no soil.  Some benefits are early start, no digging/preparing beds, raised bed, put the bales where you have the best sunlight conditions.  This spring we started potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, and squash in four bales.  We also added some nasturtiums in the front to dress up the front of the bales.  So far so good, see the photos.  The only minor problem is that the bales need watering during this hot dry time more often than if they were in the ground.


Here is a good link that really explains what you need to do...





Not much to see, just the bales back in May.

Managing Insect Pests in Vegetable Gardens
Posted 5/5/2016

Most insects found in gardens are not pests. Many are beneficial, preying on pests or performing other useful tasks.

One of the most important strategies for dealing with insects is to learn about insect life cycles, behaviors, habitats, and diets, and to recognize which are pests and which are actually lending you a helping hand.

A combination of the following mechanical and cultural strategies usually works well to reduce damage caused by insect pests without harming beneficial insects:


2015 Master Gardener Plant Sale on May 30th
Posted 5/18/2015

Vegetable and flower growers alike will find quality-stock plants at the upcoming Master Gardener Plant Sale sponsored by Cornell Cooperative Extension in Fulton and Montgomery Counties. The sale will be held in the parking lot of the Montgomery County Annex Building in Fonda on Saturday, May 30, 8:00 – 11:00 a.m.  There will be all kinds of annuals, more vegetable plants than previous sales and perennial flower plants grown by volunteer Extension Master Gardeners at discounted prices. 

Volunteer Extension Master Gardeners will be on site to answer questions about preparing space and containers as well as growing plants to help individuals be successful with the plants that are purchased at the sale.

Questions about the sale may be directed to Cornell Cooperative Extension in Fulton and Montgomery Counties at 518-853-2135. Proceeds from the sale will support learning opportunities for the Fulton/Montgomery Master Gardener Program.

Master Gardener Balsam and Pinecone Wreath Workshop
Posted 10/30/2014

Come join Cornell Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners Mary Ann Charon, Joan Eckler and Bob Farrell on  November 20th or December 4th to learn how to create your very own wreaths during this hands-on workshop. This workhsop will be held at the Shirley Luck Senior Citizen Center, (109 East Main St.), Johnstown.

Instructors will demonstrate the techniques and participants will each make two wreaths—one pinecone and one balsam. All materials will be supplied.

This class is limited to 15 participants—Register on or before November 13th. Must have at least 5 to hold workshop. Cost is $20 per person and is required to guarantee a spot. To register call Cornell Cooperative Extension, 518-673-5525 ext 113.


Vegetable Container Gardening Workshop
Posted 4/8/2014

Cornell Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Mary Ann Charon will be teaching a workshop about vegetable container gardening on Wednesday, April 30, 2014 from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. at the Shirley J. Luck Senior Citizen Center at 109 East Main Street in Johnstown, New York.  The cost is $10.00 per person.  To register, interested individuals must call Cornell Cooperative Extension at 518-673-5525 by Thursday, April 24.  Class space is limited.

Are you interested in gardening but have limited space? Join Master Gardener Mary Ann Charon as she shares how to grow vegetables for your table through container gardening. Participants will learn how to select containers and plants, design containers and maintain a mini-garden throughout the season. Each workshop participant will plant a container garden of his/her own to take home. All materials will be supplied.


Using Local Organic Amendments for Soil Health
Posted 3/14/2014

Using Local Organic Amendments for Soil Health

 Tuesday, March 25, 10 am to 3 pm

  Spiritual Life Center, 575 Burton Rd., Greenwich

 (in the Great Room, Chapel building, follow the signs)


  •   Understanding Soils and Soil Health
  • Interpreting a soil test analysis
  • Compost and paper fiber by-products used for soil amendments
  • How to read an analysis of organic soil amendments
  • Properly using organic soil amendments to build soil health
Hands-On Fruit Tree and Shrub Pruning Workshop
Posted 3/4/2014

Hands-On Fruit Tree and Shrub Pruning Workshop

 Cornell Cooperative Extension Schoharie and Otsego Counties will host a fruit tree and shrub (apple, blueberry, raspberry) pruning workshop on Saturday, March 22, from 10 a.m. to noon.  This hands-on workshop will be held at Middlefield Orchards, 2274 State Highway 166 in the Town of Middlefield, Otsego County.  For directions visit http://middlefieldorchard.com/directions/. The fee is $5 per person, payable at the door.  Pre-registration is appreciated by Thursday, March 20.  Participants are encouraged to dress appropriately and to bring their own pruning tools.  Extra tools will be on hand.

To pre-register or for more information call Cornell Cooperative Extension Schoharie and Otsego Counties, 518-234-4303 / 296-8310.  Cornell Cooperative Extension provides equal program and employment opportunities.  Accommodations for persons with special needs may be requested by contacting Cornell Cooperative Extension Schoharie and Otsego Counties prior to the workshop.

Managing Native Seed Sources as a Critical Natural Resource
Posted 1/8/2014

New York Forest Owners Association, Southeastern Adirondack Chapter




Cornell Cooperative Extension


~ present a program that is free and open to the public ~



“Managing Native Seed Sources as a Critical Natural Resource”



Speaker: Edward Toth, Director Greenbelt Native Plant Center and Director of Mid-Atlantic Regional Seed Bank



                                                      February 1, 2014 at 2:00 p.m.



            Crandall Public Library, Community Room


                                                      251 Glen Street


                                                      Glens Falls, New York 12801





Seed collection isn’t a new science. It has been going on since ancient times. So why is it so important today? Native seeds provide many benefits to wildlife and the native ecosystem for diversity. Native plants offer many positive aspects to the local flora and fauna for food and cover - seeds, nuts, fruits, nectar, and as a host plant for many species. For example, ash trees alone offer a habitat for about 150 native Lepidoptera (butterfly and moth species) and around 44 arthropod (insects and spiders) that solely need ash trees for survival.


 Information about conservation and use of ecotypic seed as well as a bit of history and science behind the benefits of using local /native genotypes will be shared.


 This program is being sponsored by a Friend of NYFOA - SAC



Cornell Cooperative Extension Holiday Office Hours
Posted 12/19/2013

Cornell Cooperative Extension Holiday Office Hours

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Fulton and Montgomery Counties will be CLOSED to the public December20, 2013-January 3, 2014.

We wish you a Happy Holiday Season and look forward to serving you in the New Year!!

Rosemary Shrubs Make Their Debut as Tiny Christmas Trees
Posted 12/12/2013

Rosemary plants are popping up in nurseries at the holidays among the mini-Christmas tree alternatives. Image credit: Sharon Dowdy.

Rosemary plants are gaining popularity as a holiday gift and miniature, living Christmas tree. After the holidays, you can use it as an indoor houseplant. With a little care, holiday rosemary plants can be added to the landscape in the spring.

Botanically speaking, Rosmarinus officinalis is an aromatic, woody shrub that originated in the Mediterranean. The word “rosemary” is derived from the Latin rosmarinus, meaning, “dew of the sea.” This refers to where it grows natively, among the misty hills of the Mediterranean coast, in France, Italy, Spain and the Dalmatian Islands.

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The Cornell Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Program provides direct support for home gardeners by answering questions on the phone, email, and at events, teaching classes, and identifying insects. These volunteers stay current on horticultural topics.

Tip #1:
Consider planting flowers which may be dried for winter arrangements. Some of the best are strawflower, statice, celosia, and globe amaranth.

Tip #2:
Do not restrict yourself to buying plants in bloom. Petunias that bloom in the pack are often rootbound or overgrown and, after planting, will actually be set back and cease to bloom for about a month. Plants without blossoms will actually bloom sooner and will grow better as well.

Tip #3:
To extend the blooming period of gladiolus, plant early, middle and late season selections each week until the middle of June. Choose a sunny location and plant the corms four to six inches deep and six to eight inches apart.

Tip #4:
When chrysanthemums show signs of life, dig up and divide large plants. Discard woody portions and replant divisions 12 to 15 inches apart.

Tip #5:
Cut flower stalks back to the ground on daffodils, hyacinths, and other spring flowering bulbs as the flowers fade. Do not cut the foliage until it dies naturally. The leaves are necessary to produce strong bulbs capable of reflowering.

Tip #6:
The last Friday in April is National Arbor Day. Plant a tree, or support an organization which does.

Tip #7:
Prune spring blooming shrubs such as forsythia and spirea after they have completed flowering.


Have a gardening question?

Do you have a gardening question for the Master Gardener in Fulton or Montgomery Counties?

Send an email! A trained volunteer master gardener will get back to you as soon as possible.


You may also leave a message on their voicemail:

518-673-5525 ext. 107

Japanese Beatles

It's time to scout for Japanese beetles. Evidence suggests that adult beetles are attracted to previously damaged leaves. Therefore reducing feeding damage now can result in less feeding damage in the future. 

Japanese beetle adults are one quarter to one half inch long with copper colored wing covers and a shiny metallic green head. Kind of attractive in a buggy sort of way. A key characteristic is prominent white tufts of hair along their sides.

They also have the munchies for your favorite rose, linden, grape, raspberry and some 350 different plants. They generally do not feed on dogwood, forsythia, holly, lilac, evergreens and hosta. To view more information on identifying Japanese beatles and how to control/get rid of them view the article below.

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How to Take a Soil Sample

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