MASTER GARDENER: You have questions? Answers are out there

Twitter IpoEvery gardener has questions; every season brings new opportunities for learning. No matter how much we learn on our own – trial and error combined with interested observation teaches a lot – there is always more to learn. When you have questions, help is only a click or a phone call away.

With smart phones and Google making information easy to find, here’s a word of caution. Be sure that gardening information and advice that you use is applicable to Northeast Mississippi. A few hundred miles can make a huge difference in a gardening application’s success or failure. Check out local or area resources first.

Area gardening centers stock plants that generally are successful in our climate zone. The staff is knowledgeable about the plant materials and products they sell. They want you to be successful; ask for their help.

The Lee County Master Gardener Help Line, manned by volunteers, is available Monday-Thursday from March through September from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Questions are usually answered within 24 hours. Call (662) 620-8280.

Watch the Daily Journal for announcements of the Master Gardener Learning Series, which is free to the public. With a variety of topics, there is something for everyone. For instance, on March 11, you can learn about vegetables. Call (662) 841-9000 to pre-register.

If you prefer researching a topic on your own, information is abundant. Try these:

www.leecountymastergardeners.com is where you can find out what’s happening locally, what Learning Series classes are coming up, the date of the Plant Sale, etc. There is also a convenient link to a number of state and national resources.

www.msucares.com is your access to an amazing resource: Mississippi State University Extension Service. If it grows in Mississippi, you should find answers to your questions here.

Visit the North Mississippi Research and Extension Center in Verona. See the gardens and learn about the research being done in our own backyard.

Spring is on its way. Really!

Sandra Caldwell, a Master Gardener, is a trained volunteer of the Mississippi State University Extension Service. For gardening questions, call the Help Center at (662) 620-8280 in Lee County or (866) 920-4678 outside Lee County and leave a message.