Help Line/Help Desk


The Help Line/Help Desk is a vital part of the VCE Master Gardener Program assisting, when possible, the professional staff in providing information to the public regarding  a huge variety of plant-related questions. Staffed by the local Master Gardener Volunteers during the growing season (April to October), the Desk is located in the VCE office on the second floor of the Rockbridge County Office Building on Main Street. Individual Master Gardeners usually volunteer for a two hour period in either the morning or afternoon one day a week.

The Master Gardener Volunteers perform a variety of activities including taking calls from the Public with plant-related questions, distributing soil sample kits, preparing Plant Disease Diagnosis Requests which are forwarded to Virginia Tech for review, and responding to the Public with results.


The Help desk has an extensive reference library to help diagnose plant problems.  In addition we can use the resources of Virginia Tech in identifying plant problems and diseases.  We are available to help you with your gardening questions. You may call us at (540) 463-4734, fill in the form below, or email us at


Question of the Month

Virginia Tech publications:  

American Horticultural Society:


Missouri Botanic Garden:    

United States Botanic Garden:

Chicago Botanic Garden:    

Favorite Gardening Links

Help Line Submission

Q: How do I harvest seeds?

A: Short answer:  Fall is a great time to harvest your own seeds.  Choose healthy plants and allow the flowers or fruits to mature on the plant. On a dry day, collect the seedpods and extract the seeds inside, allowing them to dry before storing in a cool, dark, dry place.  For more detailed instructions, one resource: