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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

Rockbridge Master Gardeners has developed online libraries of common plants and seeds that may be available at nurseries and garden centers. The libraries provide detailed information on each plant or seed. To access these libraries click on the "Plant Library" or "Seed Library" boxes below.  Prices listed are from our most recent Plant Sale and do not reflect pricing at nurseries and garden centers.


Submit Your Gardening Question to Our Help Desk

Please click the box below to email your gardening questions to our Help Desk. Include your name, mailing address, telephone number, email address, and a detailed description of your question. You may attach photos to your email.

Question of the Month

Q:  What disease or insect is killing my plant?


A:  Actually, the most likely culprit is drought.  No matter where you live in the county, we have experienced a dearth of rainfall for the past month.  Drought-stressed plants are more susceptible to infection, insect attack and abiotic stressors such as temperature extreme or chemicals such as fertilizers or pesticides.  Most cultivated plants do well with a soaking of 1 inch of water applied to the roots weekly as opposed to more frequent surface watering or no supplemental irrigation.  So, if your plant appears ill, first correct the water deficit.  For more information click on the links below or copy them into your browser:

Help Desk

Growing Tomatoes in Rockbridge County Guide

It’s hard to live in Rockbridge County and not be tempted by our beautiful, lush landscapes to spend time in a garden watching things grow. Tomatoes tend to be a particular favorite amongst gardeners. We hope this month-by-month guide will ensure you years of success as you enjoy your garden.

USDA Hardiness Zone Map


Virginia Tech publications:  

American Horticultural Society:


Missouri Botanic Garden:    

United States Botanic Garden:

Chicago Botanic Garden:    

Favorite Gardening Links

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