Answers are only a phone call away
Do you have questions about how to prepare your garden site for planting or want to know which perennials grow best in the shade in your plant hardiness zone? Maybe you need advice on organic pest control for your lawn. Help is only a phone call away.
Call the University of Vermont (UVM) Extension Master Gardener Helpline for answers to all your gardening questions. For Chittenden County callers the number is (802) 656-5421. The helpline is open Monday through Friday from 9 am to noon.
The trained volunteers who handle the calls are all experienced gardeners and graduates of a comprehensive 13-week horticultural course offered through the UVM Extension Master Gardener Program. They are prepared to respond to questions on garden planning; soil bed preparation; vegetable and fruit production; lawns; the selection and care of annuals, perennials, trees and shrubs; plant diseases, insect pests and other horticultural topics, If they cannot answer your question immediately, they will research the topic to find the most current, environmentally friendly solution and get back to you as soon as possible.
Home gardeners also may send in samples of insects and diseased plants for identification. Instructions on how to submit may be found at www.uvm.edu/mastergardener. Then click on Garden Help.
In addition to staffing the gardening helpline, graduates of the UVM Extension Master Gardener course, which has been offered since 1991, share their gardening knowledge by teaching workshops, writing informational articles for their local press and developing educational exhibits for fairs, field days, farmers markets, flower shows, and other events. They also speak to garden clubs and community groups as well as plant and maintain educational display gardens at schools, libraries, community gardens, and other public spaces to demonstrate sustainable gardening practices.