The Garden Line and Plant Diagnostic Service






Master Gardeners answer thousands of questions from homeowners each year on topics related to gardening and lawn care:  soil and plant nutrients, disease and pest identification and treatment, vegetable gardening, water conservation, and wildlife habitat are some examples.

THE GARDEN LINE (302) 831-8862

Leave a message for a Master Gardener on The Garden Line and they will return your phone call within 24 hours.


The New Castle County Extension Office accepts homeowner plant and insect samples.

Plant Submission Guidelines:  Examine plants carefully and select leaves or plant parts showing a range of symptoms from mild to severe. Often there is a transition zone between diseased and healthy that may provide the best sample. Select enough material to work with, for example 8 to 10 leaves, or several shoots or branches. For turf samples, please dig out a section containing soil and roots. Try to collect a sample prior to the application of any pesticides.

Place the sample between paper towels or in a paper bag. Then place sample in a Ziploc or other plastic bag and label the outside with a name and date written in permanent marker. Refrigerate the sample, or store in a cool location out of direct sunlight, until submission. Many samples deteriorate rapidly.

Bring your sample to the New Castle County Extension Office and visit the “drop-off station” in our hallway to fill out the appropriate form(s) and leave your sample for evaluation.  If necessary, the Extension Educator will coordinate with the Plant Diagnostic Clinic for assistance.  A Master Gardener or Extension Educator will call you about your sample within 7 to 10 business days.