Spring is just around the corner and one sure sign of its arrival is the opening of the Johnson County K-State Research and Extension Master Gardener Hotline.
Phone and Walk-ins Hotline
• Now through Oct.31
• 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., excluding holidays.
The Extension Master Gardener program is sponsored by Johnson County K-State Research and Extension. Extension Master Gardener volunteers receive a base training of horticulture information and continued training to help prepare them for this project, as well as many others sponsored by the organization.
Extension Master Gardener volunteers come from all walks of life, but all have in common their love of gardening and sharing information. The Johnson County program has more than 370 volunteers. During 2013 more than 5,800 people used the services of the gardening hotline.
Prepare First Before You Call
When calling the hotline for assistance be prepared 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, personal visits with plant samples are encouraged. Seeing the problem in many cases 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 to help see the problem. Remember the old saying, “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 attempt to help. In addition to their personal knowledge, the volunteers also utilize Extension’s extensive horticultural reference library.
As part of Kansas State University, Research and Extension has a network of resources available. Numerous informational fact sheets, an extensive library and electronic technology assist in helping to find practical solutions.
Call or e-mail the Extension Master Gardener Hotline, (913)715-7050 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The Master Gardeners are ready to assist you with research-based, non-biased solutions to your growing concerns. In addition to the gardening season hours, the hotline is open all year round.