Lawn & Garden
AUBURN UNIVERSITY, Ala. – Are you struggling with your garden? If you have questions or quandaries, who you gonna call? An Alabama Extension Master Gardener is available at the push of a button with the toll-free Master Gardener Helpline. Since 2006, the helpline continues to provide research-based gardening help to Alabamians.
Call 1-877-252-4769 (GROW)
The helpline is available Monday through Friday via Alabama Extension offices across the state. According to Master Gardener volunteer Kate Musso, as soon as clients call, they are connected to a Master Gardener volunteer or the dedicated voicemail system. The helpline voicemail is available 24/7 and volunteers promptly return calls on weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
“No matter the question, the Master Gardener volunteers are there to help,” said Alabama Extension Master Gardeners State Coordinator Kerry Smith. “We’ve trained them to answer almost any garden issue you can imagine.”
“Advice is customized to anyone who wants to grow – whether it’s on a windowsill, in a gallon bucket or in a raised bed,” Musso said.
Master Gardeners assist in answering an array of topics.
- Identifying plant types
- Identifying insect and disease pests
- How much fertilizer to use
- The best time to prune azaleas
- And more!
Don’t hesitate. Whatever the landscape or garden question, dial 1-877-252-GROW.
The helpline serves as one aspect of educational outreach that Alabama Extension Master Gardener volunteers provide.
“It was an important innovation for volunteers to draw on strengths state-wide to reach the greatest number of Alabama gardeners in an effective and timely manner,” Musso said.
Myra Lassere, a Baldwin County volunteer and president of the Alabama Master Gardeners Association, explained that they even reach people through local garden demonstrations, libraries, county fairs and civic events. In any season, the Master Gardeners are ready to assist.
Becoming a Volunteer
For a volunteer to become an Alabama Master Gardener, they must first pass a series of training classes. With 50 hours of instruction and 50 hours of community service, interns can then become certified volunteers.
“Master Gardeners care as much about beloved houseplants as they do a new crop of pole beans,” Musso said. “Enthusiasm for living things is the common thread throughout our national volunteer network.”
For more information on the Alabama Master Gardener Helpline or volunteer program, call 1-877-252-4769 (GROW) or visit the Alabama Extension website, www.aces.edu.