Who You Gonna Call?

— Written By

Got a problem with your grass, your azaleas have white flies, your shrubs are stunted, something is drilling holes in your yard, or you just moved here and want to garden but you don’t know what will live? Who you gonna call?

That call can be made to an Extension Master Gardener Volunteer at the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Center in Lee County. Lee County Extension MGVs have been operating a gardeners’ Help Line for over 15 years and among our group we have a wealth of information to share on gardening.

Extension Master Gardener Volunteers working as an extension of the NCSU staff and the local Horticulture agent, help educate the public on lawns, fruits, flowers, vegetables, shrubs, fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides and wildlife. We deliver unbiased, factual and research based information to the residents of Lee County on the best gardening practices for the Piedmont region of North Carolina. We handle thousands of questions from residents, which enable the local staff to focus their attention on numerous educational programs.

The Extension Master Gardener Volunteers Help Line is a one-on-one service where residents can ask questions and get resources, bring samples in for diagnosis and receive help in identifying bugs, plant diseases, weeds, problems with fruit and vegetables.

We provide information on soil testing and help you understand your results provided by North Carolina Department of Agriculture, Agronomic Division. Plant material and/or bugs can be sent to NC State University for a diagnosis for a small fee. We answer questions about the best plants, shrubs and trees to plant in your landscape for sun or shade.

Extension Master Gardener Volunteers are available onsite at the Lee County Center of N.C. Cooperative Extension from April through October; Monday, Wednesday and Fridays from 10 a.m. -1 p.m. or by phone to answer gardening questions and diagnose plant problems. To access the Help Line with questions, clients are asked to call 919-775-5624. You can also reach us by email at leemgvol1@gmail.com with your questions and even send in pictures to help us diagnose the problem.

If we can’t answer your question(s) we’ll find an agent or specialist who can. And you can be assured our response will be research-based rather than just a quick guess. Clients will be asked to provide their name, phone number, e-mail address (if available) or home address as it may be necessary for the Extension Master Gardener Volunteer to return a call, email or mail the answer to their question.

We look forward to hearing from local gardeners during our Help Line hours or greeting them in person with their gardening questions at the North Carolina Cooperative Extension center in Lee County located at 2420 Tramway Road in Sanford. For more information contact Lee County’s Extension Master Gardener Volunteers on the web at http://www.ncstategardening.org/extension_master_gardener/lee/index_county or by phone at 919-775-5624.

Kate Sawaya is an Extension Master Gardener Volunteer with North Carolina Cooperative Extension in Lee County.