LC Master Gardeners offers free home consultation service

Published 3:32 pm Friday, February 16, 2024

The Lafayette County Master Gardeners offers several services to area residents free of charge to assist people in their gardening and landscaping efforts.

One such service brings the master gardener to your home.

“We are trained to go out and help people in our county with home horticulture questions,” said Karen Travillo, chairman of the LCMG Home Consulting Committee. “Whether it’s landscaping, lawns or vegetable gardens, people can give us a call and we’ll schedule a home consultation.”

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After setting up an appointment for a home consultation, a master gardener will come out to your home and make recommendations. They can also take soil samples that are sent to Mississippi State University Extension Service which will analyze the soil.

“The samples can tell if there’s something that you need to add or if you’re looking to plant a vegetable garden, it may tell you what you need to add to that,” Travillo said.

Lafayette County doesn’t always have the best soil for growing, Travillo said, and the ground often needs a lot of preparation to make it ready for planting.

“Bed preparation is the key to the success of anything you are planting,” she said.

Doing the home consultation program also helps master gardeners in getting in their community service hours.

In exchange for 40 hours of educational training to become a master gardener, individuals must perform 40 hours of volunteer service within one year of their training.

After the first year, volunteers are required to do 20 hours of volunteer service and to attend 12 hours of educational training to remain certified as Master Gardeners.

The LCMG also has a helpline that is staffed with a master gardener volunteer from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesdays.

“It might be that the master gardener can help them and answer their question right away, but if not, they have publications from Mississippi State they can look up and get back to them,” Travillo said. “If they believe the person needs a home consultation they will refer it to me and I’ll set that up.”

Travillo said the master gardeners who do a home consultation do not do any physical work for the homeowner.

“We are there to advise and make recommendations,” he said.

The home consultation program is available year-round.

To ask for a home consultation or to call the helpline, call 662-234-4451.