The Camden County Office of Sustainability and Shared Services has brought back the certified gardeners' helpline.

County Commissioner Jon Young said the helpline is a service that runs two days a week on Mondays and Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for those who don't have a green thumb and even for the most experienced gardeners.

Residents can call 856-216-7130 and talk to gardeners about vegetables, flowers, or an insect pest and plant disease problem, household plant care, and just general gardening questions.

Camden residents are also invited to bring their sick indoor or outdoor plants, bug-eaten leaves, and flowers or insect samples to the helpline office located in the Lakeland Complex, Building A, on the first floor at 508 Lakeland Road in Blackwood.

"The helpline is a great way for gardeners of all skill levels to address concerns with their plants and gain more knowledge on gardening," said Young.

If people don't want to call, they can also email questions and photos to Njgarden@camdencounty.com. Young said sometimes people can't explain what the issue with their plants or flowers may be, so if they take a picture and send it in, the gardeners can help them out.

Certified master gardeners at the Camden County Lakeland Campus (Photo Credit: Camden County)
Certified master gardeners at the Camden County Lakeland Campus (Photo Credit: Camden County)
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Helpline topics include:

Vegetable, fruit, and flower gardening

Insect pests and plant diseases

Weed identification and control

Houseplant care

Container gardening

Pruning and care of shrubs and trees

Lawn and landscape care

Water conservation and support of beneficial wildlife

Young said there are over 200 volunteer master gardeners.

"We plant over 10,000 of our own flowers and plants in Camden County throughout our park systems, and our roadways, and beautification projects. All of it is done in-house by us. We plant them. We grow them over the winter. They bloom up and we plant them," Young said.

The county also has a tool rental program. If residents need pruning tools or something to help with gardening, there is a tool lending library at the Lakeland Complex. Young said residents can borrow a hoe, a shovel, or a pair of shears to aid in the gardening process.

To become a certified gardener, go to CamdenCounty.com to sign up to become one. Young said there are a host of folks who have a green thumb, love the horticultural world, and enjoy sharing their knowledge of gardening with others.

For those who don't live in Camden County, there is gardening help for them too. Rutgers also runs a master gardener helpline in 16 other New Jersey counties. To find a master gardener helpline for those seeking horticultural and pest control information, visit https://njaes.rutgers.edu/master-gardeners/helplines.php.

Jen Ursillo is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach her at jennifer.ursillo@townsquaremedia.com

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