Hotline: 816.833.TREE (8733)

Hotline Information

MARCH 1st – Regular Hotline Coverage Begins
(ends Oct 31st)

Call or Email Your Home Gardening Questions

816-833-TREE (8733) – 24-hour voicemail

(Please include your county, phone number and any pictures that would help us assist you in your email)

Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City (MGGKC) volunteers provide free, unbiased, research-based answers to your home yard, garden and plant questions.

Volunteers answer questions weekdays (9:00 AM thru 12:00 AM) during the growing season, March 1st to October 31st. Our goal is to respond within 2 business days.

Extension Master Gardener in-person assistance is available (9:00 AM thru 12:00 AM) at the University of Missouri Clay County Extension Center on Tuesdays and Thursdays for walk-in questions starting again on 3/5/24.  The Extension Center is open Monday thru Friday from 8:30 AM to 1:00 PM and is located at

1901 N.E. 48th Street, Clay County Annex
Kansas City, MO, 64118
Phone – 816-407-3490.

Help Us Help You

Be sure to provide your address (street, city, state, zip code) and daytime phone number so we can get in touch with you if we need additional information and/or mail you a written response to your question(s).  Also, if you include your email address, it will allow us to provide you with a more timely response while saving paper/postage.

We never share your personal information with anyone.


Below is information that may answer your question(s) or be of interest:

Soil Tests
A soil test measures the relative soil fertility levels. It is a basic tool in planning an economically and environmentally sound fertility program. Plant analysis, on the other hand diagnoses or confirms diagnoses of a visible symptom. Combined with the soil test information, plant analysis allows fertilizer management to be fitted more closely to a crop’s needs.

Here’s how to collect samples:   Soil Sampling

There are 3 ways to submit your soil sample for testing:

  • Samples may be brought in person to the Clay County Extension Center  Website – Clay County Extension between 8:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Monday thru Friday. It is highly recommended that you call the Extension Center before leaving to verify that staff are working in the office at the time of your arrival.
  • Samples may be brought in person only on Wednesday between 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. to the MU Extension Office located at Truman Habitat for Humanity.

                      501 N. Dodgion St., Independence, MO  64050


  • Anyone, in any county, can mail their soil sample to the University to avoid traveling to an Extension Center using the information found below.

To mail your sample and pay for processing, please refer to the following:   

  1. How to package samples:  Send soil samples in a clean, dry container removing stones, grass, or roots.  Soil samples should be spread flat and allowed to dry completely for one day. If you have a soil sample box, use it. Otherwise, you can put your sample in a small brown paper bag. Put this bag into a plastic bag to contain spillage. A minimum of one cup of soil is needed. How to Submit Samples
  2. Download and complete the Soil Sample Form for Lawns and Gardens:  Soil Sample Form  
  3. Be sure to include the fee with your soil sample or prepay using a credit card. The cost of a Regular Fertility Test is very reasonable at $15. If paying by check, make check payable to MU Soil Testing. (Other tests are available at an additional cost.)  If you wish to pay by credit card – Credit card payment info
  4. Turnaround time is generally less than 10 days. Including your email address will expedite the timeliness.
  5. Mail your sample to: 

               Soil and Plant Testing Laboratory
               1100 University Ave
               Mumford Hall, Room 23
               Columbia, MO  65211

               Phone: 573-882-0623

After you receive your soil test results, you may want to calculate how much of the suggested nutrient is needed.  Here is a useful tool to accomplish that – Lawn Fertilizer Calculator.

There is a valuable video that will help you interpret the results using this link “Understanding your soil test” – Video (over 8 minutes) – OR for printed help Understanding Your Lawn and Garden Soil Test Reports and Calculating Fertilizer Requirements Based on Soil Test Recommendations

Plant Analysis
For information about getting a scientific analysis of a problem with any plant or turfgrass, see this MU website Plant Diagnostic Clinic.

Tomato Problems
Video – quick review of disease problems –
         – quick review of insect problems –

For additional information about tomato issues visit this webpage –

Garden Calendar
Ever wonder what should be done in your garden or lawn each month of the year? Our Garden Calendar will help you maintain a healthy yard and plan for the upcoming months/seasons.

Resource Links
These links will help you research your own questions.

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University of Missouri Extension Master Gardener Program