PORTLAND, Ore. – Gardeners in Multnomah County now have a new way to get answers to questions ranging from how to keep black spot off their roses to how to grow beans and blueberries.
All they need to do is pick up the phone.
The Oregon State University Extension Service will open a gardening hotline (503-445-4608) on March 30 for the county's residents, the first time Extension has had one there since 2003 when budget cuts forced it to close its office in the county.
Volunteer Master Gardeners, who are trained by Extension to help answer the public's questions about horticulture, will staff the hotline Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The public can also ask them questions in person by stopping by their office in Portland at 2701 N.W. Vaughn St., Suite 453, during these same hours.
The office is located at the headquarters of the West Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District, which is providing the equipment, phone line and office space as part of a new partnership.
Extension offices in 27 counties in the state have their own gardening hotlines, and most receive thousands of calls each year. Last year, the hotline in Washington County answered 4,500 calls while the one in Clackamas County responded to 3,500, said Weston Miller, an OSU Extension urban horticulturist for the Portland metro area.
For phone numbers and more information about the gardening hotlines in the Portland metro area, go to http://extension.oregonstate.edu/mg/metro/questions .