Master Gardeners Help Desk

June 3, 2020

By William H. McCaleb

Master Gardener Coordinator & Program Assistant, ANR

P.O Box 757 Halifax, VA 24558



While the coronavirus and social distancing keep us apart and the Halifax Virginia Cooperative Extension Office is still closed to the public, as are all county owned buildings, the Southside Master Gardeners are always ready to help you with gardening and landscape questions. Stymied gardeners can email their gardening question to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., along with their name, address, phone number, an explanation and any pictures of their problem. If you are on the internet, you can also access a Southside Master Gardener by going to the website for the Southside Master Gardener Association ( and then click on ‘Ask a Master Gardener’. Either route you choose, a Master Gardeners will respond (probably from a different email address) but they will respond and recommend a solution.

Of course, with the office being closed to the public at this time, puzzled gardeners aren’t able to drop off their diseased specimens or get soil sample kits. For now, we are accepting high resolution pictures of plants which we will analyze or send to our specialist at Virginia Tech laboratory. We have to complete some important paperwork, so please make sure you include your name, address, phone number, email address, full description of the problem so our specialist can quickly understand the issues at hand.

Also, not everyone has email access, and if email is not available, there is a help desk phone (434) 830-3383, here at the Extension Office, where anyone can leave a message and a member of the office staff will retrieve it and dispatch the information to one of our problem-solving Master Gardeners.

For now, email is the best method to reach a Master Gardener or the Coordinator. We are still here, we are still waiting to resume our educational programs if the COVID-19 virus abates and we can get back to serving the public directly. I hope you are having a great growing season so far and it won’t be long before you slice up that first home grown tomato. I know some of us are already eating fresh greens, onions, and lots of radishes.

May your garden grow and may you enjoy the wonder of nature and the outdoors and remember, you could be in the state of Maine where they just had another killing frost three days ago. Kind of makes you appreciate our more temperate climate here in Southside Virginia. Be safe and stay healthy by keeping your distance when folks come around and wear your face cover, but if no one is around…your plants don’t care if you are wearing one or not. They probably would like to see your smiling face!

Staunton River Pool Closure Announcement


Change in Sanitation Schedule Due to Memorial Day Holiday

Plant A Flower Day at Town of Halifax Farmers Market

Spring Clean-Up Scheduled for May 15th & 16th

Date:    May 1, 2020

Re:       PSA-Town of Halifax Annual Spring Clean-up

The Town of Halifax Solid Waste Department will conduct its annual free spring clean-up for town residents and businesses by appointment only on Friday, May 15th and Saturday, May 16th. This service will be subject to the following conditions:

  1. Residents and businesses are required to call the Halifax Town Hall (434-476-2343) for notification to remove discarded household/business items and yard debris too large for regular trash pick-up and must give their name, telephone number and physical address (notification for sign-up must be made prior to 12:00 noon on Wednesday, May 13th).
  2. Only household/business items that can be lifted by two grown men will be accepted, and no caustic solvents, toxic or hazardous materials or petroleum based liquids will be permitted.
  3. Tree limbs and brush must be cut in lengths no greater than 4 feet and neatly piled by participant along with qualifying household/business items near the curbside of the property or customary pick up site to be easily visible and accessible from the road by Town Solid Waste personnel.
  4. Town employees will not be responsible for cutting or removing tree trunks or tree limbs with a diameter of 4 inches or greater.
  5. The Solid Waste Supervisor will not be required to remove the qualifying material mentioned above if resident or business owner has failed to notify the Halifax Town Hall to schedule a pick-up.