By Lucinda Greene, Horticulture Assistant/Master Gardener Coordinator
It was a fabulous year at the Master Gardener help desk! From April 1 through October 15, we fielded over 900 requests for information in 108 volunteer office shifts for a total of 432 hours. 42% of the calls concerned trees and shrubs. Turf calls were next at 18%. Annuals, perennials and vegetables followed closely at 17%. Insect inquiries, focusing primarily on Japanese beetle questions, comprised 9% of the calls. Volume peaked in May, July and August with 168, 176, and 186 contacts respectively. Our call volume and specific requests were consistent with the unusual Colorado weather pattern this year.
A surprising 49% of the requests came through phone calls, while 42% of the questions arrived through e-mail or the Ask An Expert online platform. We received over 80 walk-in samples for analysis, and the Horticulture staff performed 24 on-site lawn and landscape checks
Congratulations to the Apprentice Master Gardeners and Master Gardener volunteers who fielded these questions and helped share research-based horticulture information with the public.