PONTIAC, Ill. – University of Illinois Extension Livingston County Master Gardeners will open the walk-in Help Desk for the 2019 growing season on Thursday,
May 2. The Help Desk is located at the Livingston County Extension Office [1412 South Locust, Pontiac] or by calling them at (815) 842-1776. From May 2 on, the volunteers are available from 9 a.m. to Noon every Thursday throughout spring, summer and early fall.
In 2018, the service answered hundreds of questions on gardening and landscapes, helping gardeners with their woes.
Master Gardeners are community members that have been trained by University of Illinois specialists and educators to assist with your local questions. Questions range from plant and insect identification, to weed identification, tree problems, growing vegetables and fruits, and how to create a beautiful landscape. 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."
Master Gardeners also have access to a wide variety of University of Illinois resources in order to answer your questions.
An office visit is often required if a phone call cannot help, says Kelly Allsup. "Bring your questions and any samples you have. To prepare for your visit, you may view or print guidelines at https://extension.illinois.edu/sites/default/files/mg_client_log.pdf. 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.
Visit the University of Illinois Extension Livingston, McLean & Woodford County's website for more programs just like this one at go.illinois.edu/LMW.