Northern Neck gardeners can get free, reliable answers to their yard, landscaping, and gardening questions by contacting one of the Northern Neck Master Gardeners’ (NNMG) Help Desks. Trained volunteers staff the Help Desks at Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) offices three days each week. They take phone calls, respond to emails, and inspect samples brought in by local gardeners and homeowners.
“Our skilled and knowledgeable Extension Master Gardeners are available to answer questions and provide researched-based advice,” said NNMG President Marge Gibson. “This valuable service provides home gardeners with reliable information based on scientific research from our land grant universities, Virginia Tech and Virginia State University. You can ask anything garden-related, and they will guide you in the right direction.”
“Help Desk volunteers can advise on what needs to be done in gardens and yards during each part of the growing season. This includes pruning, dividing, soil sampling, disease control and prevention, project planning, and much more,” said Henry Riely, NNMG Help Desk Program chair.
“Help Desk volunteers research questions and provide specific information from VCE publications and fact sheets. If they cannot answer a question, they research the topic or refer the problem to subject matter specialists at Virginia Tech,” Riely continued.
Residents can bring in plants, insects, and weeds for identification and diagnosis. Plant specimens should include a sample 12 to 18 inches in length and include the junction of the plant’s healthy and affected tissue. Photos are also helpful.
The Westmoreland Help Desk is open Monday mornings, the Northumberland Help Desk is open Tuesday mornings, and the Lancaster Help Desk is open Thursday mornings. Hours are from 9:00 a.m. until noon, and the Help Desks are closed on holidays. NNMG also serves residents of Essex and Richmond counties. Questions can be submitted at any time by email to helpdeskNNMG@gmail.com.