As we begin a new year, many Vermonters may have lingering questions about their garden’s performance this past year or new questions as they plan to start or improve a garden in 2024.
The University of Vermont Extension master gardener volunteer helpline can help. The helpline serves Vermonters by providing science-based information on home horticulture, integrated pest management and backyard composting.
Although the program’s Thursday morning phone-in service is closed until April 2024, the online Garden Helpline is open 24/7/365. More than 30 specially trained extension master garden volunteers from across Vermont staff the helpline to answer gardening and composting questions from the public at no charge. Volunteers also are available to provide management recommendations based on the results from soil tests conducted by the University of Vermont agricultural and environmental testing lab.
Pose a question to the Helpline. There, you can submit your question (providing as much detail as possible), can upload photos and enter your contact information. Volunteers will research your question and provide answers and additional resources via email.
Anyone in Vermont can benefit from the Garden Helpline, whether a novice or an expert gardener.
Note that extension master gardener volunteers do not provide personal site visits to home gardens nor answer commercial grower questions. Commercial growers should contact the University of Vermont plant diagnostic clinic to submit samples or for assistance with the identification and management of diseases, pests and weeds.
During this time of year, trained volunteers are busy fielding questions from home and community gardeners on garden planning and outdoor pruning as well as providing guidance on soil test results and troubleshooting insect and plant diseases of houseplants, among other topics. In 2023, helpline volunteers responded to more than 800 questions from the public.