Ask A Master Gardener

ask a master gardener

Are you gardening challenged? On The Valley Today this afternoon, host Janet Michael went to the Frederick County Extension Office to chat with several Northern Shenandoah Valley Master Gardeners to get answers to some popular questions. Joanne Royaltey, a Program Associate in the Consumer Horticulture & Invasive Species department of Virginia Cooperative Extension led the conversation. You can click here to listen to the conversation.

Joining them to chat about gardening issues and the Master Gardener class itself were:

  • Lucy Carlson, Master Gardener
  • Linda Bartlett, MG Class of 2022
  • Evelyn Garland, MG Class of 2022
  • Lisa Robertson, MG Class of 2022

The group talked about their experiences in the class, why they joined and what they’ve learned from their participation. They also shared answers to several questions that they are asked through their “Ask a Master Gardener” help line (aka GreenHelpLine.)

If you have any type of gardening question, volunteers at the Extension Master Gardener Help Desks will research your problem and provide unbiased, research-based solutions AT NO CHARGE. They can answer questions about trees, shrubs, house plants, perennials, annuals, and more!

You can simply e-mail a description (ideally with photos) of your gardening problems to the GreenHelpLine in your county, or stop by during office hours (see below) in Frederick, Shenandoah, and Warren Counties. Page and Clarke Help Desks operate virtually, and do not hold in-person office hours. During the growing season visit their booths at area plant clinics and farmers markets as well.

Today they discussed the types of questions they get and how they find answers and solutions for them. Topics included mulching, tree-topping (DON’T DO IT!!), growing tomatoes, propagating African Violets, the importance of soil testing and learned about choosing the right space for the right plant.

Contact your local office below, visit their website: and follow them on Facebook.

  • Frederick County
    • Location: VCE Office, 107 North Kent Street, Winchester, VA
    • Help Desk Hours: Every Wednesday, 10 a.m.–Noon
    • E-mail:
    • Phone: 540-665-5699
    • Southern States Farmers Market: Third Saturday of each month, April–October, 9 a.m.–1 p.m.
  • Clarke County
    • Drop-off location and hours: VCE Office, 524 Westwood Rd., Berryville, VA; Monday–Friday, 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m.
    • E-mail: (include “Clarke County Gardening Question” in the subject line)
    • Phone: 540-955-5164
    • Clarke County Farmers Market: Second Saturday of each month, May–October, 8 a.m.–Noon,
  • Page County
    • Drop-off location and hours: VCE Office, 215 W. Main St., Suite C, Stanley, VA; Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–5 p.m.
    • E-mail: (include “Page County Gardening Question” in the subject line)
    • Phone: 540-778-5794
    • Plant Clinic at Massanutten Country Corner: Second and Fourth Saturdays of each month, April–October, 9 a.m.–Noon
  • Shenandoah County
    • Location: VCE Office and Classroom, Shenandoah County Government Center, 600 N. Main St., Suite 100, Woodstock, VA
    • Help Desk Hours: First and third Fridays of each month, April through October, 9 a.m. –Noon; First Fridays in November and December, 9 a.m.–Noon
    • E-mail:
    • Phone: 540-459-6140
    • South Street Barn Farmers Market: Last Saturday of each month, May–September, 8:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m.
    • Strasburg Farmers Market: Alternating Saturdays, April–October, 8:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m.
  • Warren
    • Location: VCE Office, Warren County Government Center, 220 N. Commerce Ave., Suite 500, Front Royal, VA
    • Help Desk Hours: First Monday of the month, April through October, 10 a.m. –1 p.m.
    • E-mail:
    • Phone: 540-635-4549