Educating the gardening public is central to the Massachusetts Master Gardener Association’s mission. Many of our Community Outreach activities involve working with groups in teaching gardens or at events such as our “Ask a Master Gardener” booths and Soil pH Testing tables. But we also recognize that sometimes home gardeners need more personalized advice.

“What the heck is this bug and is it friend or foe?”

“What native shrubs can I plant in my shade bed?”

“Why isn’t my hydrangea blooming?”

Etc., etc.

In partnership with two of Massachusetts’s most respected horticultural organizations – the Massachusetts Horticultural Society and the New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill – certified Master Gardeners staff two free Helplines. By tapping into volunteers’ extensive knowledge and research tools available to us, our goal is to provide you not only with practical answers to your questions but also a bit of useful learning.

Photo courtesy

Tips for contacting the Helplines:

  • You may use the two Helplines interchangeably. Where you live doesn’t matter.

  • We have an email system for you to contact with us. Please provide as much information about your question as possible and remember to include your NAME, and EMAIL ADDRESS so that we can follow up with you. Due to the nature of our free service we do not have volunteers available on a 24/7 basis. But we will get back to you - we promise.

What happens next?

  • The schedule below lists the days and times that Master Gardener volunteers are on duty. They empty out the queue of emails, roll up their sleeves, and get to work responding on a first come/first served basis.

  • Volunteers will return emails only during the listed hours.

  • Please bear in mind that the volume of Helpline emails varies by season and even day of the week. Some inquiries can be answered in a few minutes, while others may require research. We will do our best to get back to you quickly. Your patience is appreciated.

  • PLEASE NOTE: Volunteers are not on duty on federal holidays or during Thanksgiving week or the last week of December.

Massachusetts Horticultural Society Helpline

Master Gardener volunteers on duty to reply to messages/emails as follows:

April thru October: Mon.-Wed.-Fri., 10 AM-2 PM

November thru December: Mon. - Wed., 10 AM - 1 PM

January thru March: Wed., 10AM-2PM

Email your question to .

New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill Hortline

Master Gardener volunteers on duty to reply to messages/emails as follows:

April thru October: Wed., 12 PM-4 PM; Thurs., 9AM-1 PM

November thru December: Thurs., 9 AM - 12 noon, Sun., 1 PM - 4 PM

January thru February: Sun., 1-4PM

March - TBD

Email your question to .

We look forward to giving your gardening inquiry our full attention.