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Get garden tips by calling garden information center

May 03, 2011

The University of Maryland Home and Garden Information Center phone hot line and website provides free answers to gardening questions and access to hundreds of free garden publications.

Specially trained master gardeners staff a toll-free hot line Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Anyone can ask a gardening question or get help diagnosing a garden problem by calling 1-800-342-2507.

You may also submit questions electronically at www.hgic.umd.edu. Click on the "Send a Question — FAQ" tab on the left and follow the directions. You can also submit a digital photo.  

To send a sample for diagnosis, go to the same website and click on the "Plant Diagnostics" tab, then "Instructions for Submitting Plant and Insect Samples." For each sample, include a $15 check or money order payable to the University of Maryland.

If you don't have computer access, you can mail samples to: University of Maryland, Home and Garden Information Center, 12005 Homewood Road, Ellicott City, MD 21042.

The website also has free fact sheets on hundreds of topics. Click on "Plant Diagnostics" and type in the name of an insect, disease or plant problem such as "bagworms." A fact sheet will pop up that gives you basic background, color photos and management tips.  

The website also has several hundred educational fliers you can download for free. Click on the "Publications" tab on the left of the home page, slide over to "Online Publications" and choose a subject area.  

Also on the website are links to educational videos, the Grow It Eat It website dedicated to growing vegetables, a hot topics section with current gardening topics, and a sign-up link for the newsletter.    

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