Throughout the year the Travis County Master Gardeners go on the road to public events around the county, including garden festivals, community fairs, our own public seminars, and special nursery events to bring sound gardening advice to event-goers. We talk one-on-one with the public, giving out free Extension publications on many gardening topics, and we will discuss with you what plants will grow in different conditions, how to help them thrive, and we will even diagnose your plant problems if you bring us a sample.
The plant clinics are a great way to get free personalized advice from a Master Gardener. Check out our calendar to see when we are having our next Plant Clinic, and bring your questions!
Master Gardener Help Desk at the Travis County AgriLife Extension
Master Gardener volunteers provide year-long free gardening advice to homeowners over the phone. We can discuss your gardening issues with you, providing up-to-date, research-based advice from Extension, and send you relevant publications for free. We use a variety of resources, including Extension publications and A&M Horticulture website information, as well as reference books and updates from county Agrilife Extension Service agents.
You can call the phone desk (854-9600 M-F 8am-5pm except holidays), or come on in to the office and talk to us in person (call first to see if a volunteer is available). You can bring us samples of your plants to diagnose if you are having problems, or pick up free publications.
If you cannot bring us a sample, you can send us digital images to our email at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Take close-up photos and also photos of the whole plant, and please make sure they are in focus.
Bring samples in closed plastic bags that have your name and phone number written on them.
- Lawn samples: Cut a 4” X 4” square from your lawn at the edge between the healthy green and the brown or affected area, including the roots and soil, and put it immediately in a closeable plastic bag to keep any insects in the sample and to keep the sample fresh. The blades should still be attached to the runners and make sure the sample grass is not completely dead.
- Leaf samples: Cut off a short piece of a branch that has both healthy and affected parts, and put it into a closed plastic bag to keep the leaves from drying out. Keep the leaves on the branch if possible. Bring leaves that are in the process of being affected, rather than leaves that are completely brown and dead. Take note of what parts of the plant are being affected, whether lower or upper branches, tips of branches or areas nearest the stem, new growth or old growth, one side of the plant or randomly all over the plant.
- Weed samples: Weeds are difficult to identify unless they are flowering, so it is best to pull a sample up when it has a flower head or seeds on it. Seed samples: Put samples of seeds, including pecans, in closed plastic bags to keep in any insects and to keep the sample fresh. Include more than one seed if possible.