Master Gardener volunteer conducts a pH soil test on a soil sample
Image by Sandy Repp

A Master Gardener volunteer tests a soil sample for pH.

Diagnostic Lab

Our Master Gardener Hotline at 585-798-4265 welcomes your gardening questions! Our Master Gardener volunteers help identify pests and plant diseases, provide gardening recommendations, and facilitate soil samples.

The Master Gardener Hotline is available from May through October. During the late fall and winter months, please call the OCCCE main office at 585-798-4265 or submit an email request for assistance to our Horticulture Educator, Katie Oakes, at or Ag/Hort Administrative Assistant, Kim Hazel, at

Soil tests for pH are $2 per sample or $5 for 3.

Plant, produce, or specimen samples should include as much of the item as possible. A portion of a healthy section of the plant along with the diseased/damaged section is very helpful. Plants wilt after being cut or moved. Please place the stem in water or refrigerate a plastic bag until the sample can be delivered. Fresh samples in disposable containers are best. Insects, worms, or other potential pests often fit into a plastic sandwich size bag. Any information that you can provide about the conditions in which the item was found or grown also assists in diagnosing the problem and recommending a solution.

Please note that the purpose of the hotline is to address gardening problems. If you have a general plant or insect identification question, our Master Gardeners can recommend resources to help you expand your knowledge of gardening-related topics.


Katie Oakes
Horticulture Educator, Master Gardener & Master Food Preserver Program Coordinator
585-798-4265 ext. 125

Last updated July 26, 2019