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Extension horticulture help desk

VCE Master Gardener Volunteers can answer your horticultural and environmental questions. Year round, citizens can call the Extension Horticulture Help Desk at 703-792-7747 visit the Extension office Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. at 8033 Ashton Avenue in Manassas or send an email to the Master Gardeners.

VCE Master Gardeners can assist in diagnosing disease and cultural or insect problems; advising about lawn and plant care; identifying plants and weeds; and providing other information relating to the landscape. It is especially helpful to bring in a specimen of the ailing plant to help the diagnosis.  Client hours are Monday through Friday 8 a.m. - 4 p.m., appointments are preferred please call 703-792-7747. 

Here are some tips for collecting and packaging samples:

  • For disease/problem diagnosis: Provide a sample showing both diseased and healthy tissue on the same sample. For proper diagnosis, samples should have stems or branches 12 inches long or longer. Individual leaves are not sufficient. Please provide a freshly collected sample.
  • For plant identification: Provide as many parts of the plant as possible, including flowers or berries if available. Provide a freshly collected sample.
  • For turf: Submit a sample 6" to 8" square from the margin (edge) of the affected area that contains both healthy and problem grass. Include the root system to a depth of 3-4" deep. For identification of a lawn weed, provide the entire plant if possible.
  • For insects: Collect one or more complete insect specimen(s) and place them in a sturdy plastic container (such as an old pill bottle). Live insects can be stored in a container in your home freezer for an hour and then brought in.

Please do not bring snakes alive or dead! Instead, provide either a photograph or description of coloring patterns, overall length and head shape. Click here for the Snake in the Basement document.

Virginia Cooperative Extension
Environment and Natural Resources
8033 Ashton Ave. Suite 105
Manassas, VA 20109
[email protected]

Virginia Cooperative Extension complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act. If you are a person with a disability and require auxiliary aids services or other accommodations for a workshop or meeting please discuss your accommodation needs at least five days prior to the event with Virginia Cooperative Extension.

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