Help Desk

Help Desk

Have a question?  Need a plant ID? 

Have a bug issue?  Have a sick plant?

Just fill out the form below to have one of our Master Gardeners find the solution.

Your completed form along with any photos will be sent directly to our Help Desk at the Extension Office.  One of our Master Gardeners will research your issue and keep you informed of the progress/solution.  You will be contacted if further information is required.  If we need expert advice from a lab, your issue will be sent to one of the following labs at Virginia Tech listed below . 

Soil testing kits are available at the Extension Office and at local libraries for you to complete.  Instructions for mailing to the Soil Testing Lab are included in the kits.

If you have further questions, feel free to call the Help Desk at:  (540) 776-7178

Soil samples are analyzed for specific soil nutrients to determine proper application rates of fertilizer and lime for optimum plant growth. Routine analysis includes soil pH, P, K, Ca, Mg, Zn, Mn, Cu, Fe, and B. Soluble Salts and Organic Matter tests are also available

The Virginia Tech Insect Identification Lab provides identification and control recommendations to Virginia Cooperative Extension agents.  Insect samples and insect damaged plant material from any structural, plant, or animal hosts are accepted. Insects are identified to the lowest taxonomic level needed for control decisions.

The Weed Identification Lab provides identification and control recommendations to Virginia Cooperative Extension agents.  If possible, weed samples should include leaves, stems, roots, flowers, and seed. Digital photos are also identified. 

Plant samples with problems caused by pathogens (including fungi, bacteria, viruses, and nematodes), in addition to plant samples with environmental or other abiotic problems, may be submitted to the Plant Disease Clinic.  Diagnosis is provided for any type of plant. Other services provided by the Plant Disease Clinic include mushroom identification and identification of non-weedy plants.  Digital photos can also be identified.