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Spring into action with Livingston County Master Gardeners Help Desk hours

PONTIAC, Ill. – University of Illinois Extension Livingston County Master Gardeners will open their Walk-In Help Desk for the 2018 growing season this week. The Help Desk is located at the University of Illinois Extension Livingston County Office (1412 South Locust, Pontiac). Volunteers are available Thursdays from 9 a.m.

to Noon this season.

Questions range from plant and insect identification, weed identification, tree problems, growing vegetables and fruits, how to create a beautiful landscape and much more. Master Gardeners are trained by University of Illinois specialists and Extension educators to answer questions from the community.

While some questions can be answered immediately, many must be researched. Horticulture Educator, Kelly Allsup, says Master Gardeners, "are kind of like plant detectives asking questions, looking at pictures and doing research." They also have access to a wide variety of University of Illinois sources to help research to a solution.

"An office visit is often helpful if a phone call does not do the trick," says Kelly Allsup, "Bring in your questions and any plant samples you may have." Samples should be enclosed in a plastic bag or container and should be fresh to obtain a good diagnosis. If the problem is too widespread or on too large of a plant, pictures can be instrumental in good diagnosis. To prepare for your visit, you may view or print guidelines at go.illinois.edu/MGHelpDesk.

Just a few other ways than stopping in on Thursday mornings would be to contact them by phone at (815) 842-1776 or drop them an email at

uiemg-livingston@illinois.edu. Livingston County Master Gardeners will also be available to answer questions at the Farmer's Market in downtown Pontiac on Saturday mornings.

We are looking forward to spending another season solving horticulture mysteries in our communities.