This past fall and winter were dry and Johnson County K-State Research and Extension is advising residents to be on the lookout for potential plant issues.
“If you didn’t get out and water over the winter, especially your young trees and shrubs, you might find some stressed plants in your yard this spring,” said Dennis Patton, horticulture agent.
The Johnson County Extension Master Gardener (EMG) Hotline can assist you with assessing any plant concerns you may have. Extension Master Gardener volunteers receive training from university experts to help prepare them for this project. The garden hotline service is free.
Residents can call, email or walk in and bring plant materials for the EMGs to diagnose and provide solutions. The Hotline is open from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. weekdays, excluding holidays.

Prepare first before you call
When calling the hotline for assistance be prepared to answer questions to supply as much information as possible. The more data you can provide, the easier it is for the trained volunteer to assist. In addition to telephoning the hotline, visits to the Extension office with plant samples are encouraged. In many cases, seeing the problem makes diagnosing the horticulture concern easier.

Email the Hotline and Attach Photos
E-mailing your question is very helpful in identifying a plant or plant growth problem. When e-mailing, it is also a good idea to attached low resolution photos in order to see the problem. A picture is worth a thousand words.

Walk-ins Welcome — But Bring Large Samples
If bringing a sample to the Johnson County Extension Office, located at 11811 South Sunset Drive, Suite 1500, in Olathe, be sure to bring a large enough sample. This means a branch 1 to 2 feet in length, a piece of sod the size of a dinner plate or several leaves. Samples that are completely dead are not as useful as portions of plants that are just beginning to show symptoms or withering.
Not all questions or problems have an easy answer or solution but the volunteer Extension Master Gardeners will make every effort to help. In addition to their personal knowledge, the volunteers also utilize Extension’s extensive horticultural reference library and network of Kansas State University resources. Extension Master Gardeners also access land grant universities from across the county to find practical solutions.
Call or e-mail the Extension Master Gardener Hotline, (913) 715-7050 or [email protected] The Master Gardeners are ready to assist you with research-based, non-biased solutions to your growing concerns. Don’t trust just anyone with your horticulture problems. Go directly to the experts for the best research-based answer to your questions.