Gardening Questions? Get free advice from Ottawa’s Master Gardeners

You purchased a home that included a beautiful perennial garden, but this year the flowers aren’t looking as plentiful or as healthy as they once did. What can you do to perk them up?

Or you’re selling your home in a few months, and you’re looking for tips on how to get the lawn as lush and green as possible.

Or you have a back yard that doesn’t get a lot of sun. What are some plants or flowers that can thrive with minimal sunlight?

As I tell clients who are preparing to sell property, creating curb appeal can be hugely helpful in your sale.

When potential buyers pull up and are wowed before they’ve even stepped inside, the odds are in your favour.

But not all of us have green thumbs, and sometimes we could use help and advice.

Especially at this time of year, as the days get warmer and we enter the busy growing season, trying to create a thriving garden can involve a lot of questions.

If you live in the Ottawa area, you can get free gardening advice just one phone call or e-mail away, thanks to the experts at the Master Gardeners of Ottawa-Carleton.

The Master Gardeners is an organization of dedicated volunteer gardening experts who will offer advice and answer your gardening questions by phone or e-mail. The organization, which has chapters in other cities, including Toronto and Kingston, also has a Facebook group you can join for questions and answers.

It’s a better solution than turning to the web, as you’ll be getting detailed help and advice from experts who will offer specific advice based on Ottawa’s climate and growing conditions.

In normal times, when we aren’t dealing with a pandemic and social distancing, the Master Gardener volunteers offer in-person advice clinics at local events such as farmers’ markets and the Home and Garden Show.

While those activities have been on hold this past year, the organization continues to answer their phones and e-mails, and plans are in the works for the group’s annual summer plant sale. You can also sign up to receive a free monthly electronic newsletter.

The group also presents lecture series and information sessions you can watch via Zoom, some of which have a fee.

The Master Gardeners do not recommend specific stores, nurseries or brands, but the volunteers will do their best to answer your questions on a wide range of horticultural topics.

This typically includes questions about identifying flowers, tree care, planting vegetables, dealing with garden pests or squirrels, general lawn care, when and how to apply mulch or how to rescue plants or flowers are not thriving.

For more information on the group, visit their site, at http://www.mgottawa.ca.

To ask a question by phone, you can reach a volunteer Wednesdays and Thursdays between 1 and 3 p.m., at 613-236-0034.

You can also e-mail the group at mgoc_helpline@yahoo.ca The organization asks that if you are looking for help identifying plants, pests or diseases, that you include photographs with your e-mail.

If you’re considering selling or buying property in the Ottawa area, I’d love to chat with you about the market in your area. With more than 30 years of experience as a Realtor in Ottawa, I know the city and its neighbourhoods well.

I’ve assisted clients through a wide range of market conditions, including the hot sellers’ market we’ve been experiencing for much of the past year.

You can read more about me and my services on my site, www.nancybenson.com.

Feel free to give me a call, at 613-747-4747.