For the safety of our volunteers, employees and visitors, we will begin meeting face-to-face with the public as soon as it is safe to do so. Your questions matter to us and we want to help you find solutions to your growing concerns.
If you have a soil, insect or plant sample to bring to the office, here are a few things you will want to know:
- First, consider taking a picture of the plant and emailing the picture with your question to: firstname.lastname@example.org We will respond by the next business day. Click here to learn how to take the best picture for the Extension Agent. (Thank you to our friends at Clemson Extension.)
- Bring your sample to the office in a resealable, zip-top plastic bag.
- Write your name and phone number on the outside of the bag.
- Once you arrive at the office, leave your sample with your question and contact information in the box labeled for plant, soil or insects outside the Extension door in the lobby. Staff will collect the samples throughout the day.
- A Horticulture staff member or Extension Master Gardener will contact you to discuss your problem.
- For additional information or questions, please come into the office for assistance or call the office at 913-715-7000.
Diagnosing Plant Problems
The Horticulture staff and EMGs are available to assist you in identifying your lawn and garden problems.
- Attaching photos in an e-mail is easy and convenient to do.
- When taking photos for e-mailing, make sure to use the lowest resolution setting on the camera, as they e-mail much faster.
- Send several photos, including
- ones up close showing the damage,
- and one that shows the entire plant
- Email the photos to: email@example.com
Tips for gathering samples to bring into the Extension office for diagnosis:
- Cut a piece of sod, including the upper root and soil layer, about the size of a salad plate, or about 6” x 6".
- Try to collect your sod sample from an area that contains some healthy and dying stages.
- A dead sample will reveal little information.
- Do not just bring in a handful of grass blades.
- Place the sample in a plastic bag or small container for transporting.
Tree and Shrub Samples
- A 1 – 2 foot branch or twig showing the damage is the most helpful for diagnosing problems.
- Avoid a limb that is completely dead, or bringing in a handful of leaves.
- It may be helpful to collect several limbs showing the various stages of decline.
- If possible, cut just before bringing into the office.
- If they must be cut and held, keep them refrigerated to preserve freshness.
- Avoid squashing the insect, if at all possible.
- Do not collect between pieces of tape.
- Instead, trap the insect in a small bottle or bag.
- If you need to kill the insect place it in a bottle containing rubbing alcohol.
- If possible, bring the entire plant to the office, pot and all.
- This gives us the best picture of what is going on with the plant.
- If this is not possible, a couple of small shoots are helpful.
- A leaf-only sample often does not show enough for a proper diagnosis.
Do you have a lawn or garden question such as:
- What do I plant?
- How do I plant?
- What's eating my plant?
If so, call the Extension Master Gardener Hotline. We are ready to help you solve your growing concerns. Whether you contact us by phone, e-mail or in person, Extension is your source for non-biased, researched-based answers to your questions.
The EMG Hotline is available year-round to meet all your lawn and garden needs. So, give us a call, send us an email, or stop in and see us. We're here to help!