Plant Clinic — Get your gardening questions answered

By Jim Janke | Jul 07, 2014

Extension Master Gardener programs nationwide are designed to multiply the efforts of county agents to get horticultural information to the public. Master Gardener volunteers are trained to answer questions about lawns, fruits, vegetables, trees, ornamentals, weeds, diseases, insects, wildlife, soils, fertilizers, pesticides and cultural practices.

One way Master Gardeners communicate this information to folks in Haywood County is through our plant clinic that runs through Sept. 26. Call 456-3575 or drop by the Extension Center on Raccoon Road; any horticultural question is welcome. Hours are 9 a.m. to noon, and from 1 to 4 p.m. from late June to early August every business day.

Many people have questions involving pests like insects, diseases, invasive plants, weeds, and wildlife. Others want information about soil preparation, planting, fertilizing, pruning, harvesting, or freeze damage. Some folks want help understanding soil test results, so we access their report on the Internet and interpret it over the phone.

The clinic has access to a wide range of resources both in print and online. Sometimes examining even a dead plant under a microscope is instructive. We can’t bring it back to life, but if we can determine what killed it you might be able to prevent whatever it was from spreading to other plants.

If we don’t know the answer right then and there, we’ll consult the experts and someone will get back to you with a research-based answer. If organic or cultural solutions would be effective we’ll recommend them along with the correct pesticide to use.

Most gardening problems do not occur overnight; spotting them early makes it more likely that a solution can be found before the situation gets out of hand. So walk around your garden frequently and look for trouble spots. And when you see a problem or have a question, give us a call or stop by. The Master Gardeners of Haywood County would be glad to help.