Can’t identify that pesky insect eating your zucchini plant? How do I start a compost pile? What’s the easiest fruit to grow in the Ozarks? Christian County Master Gardeners have the answers for callers to its gardening hotline at the county Extension office on the Ozark Square.

For now, the hotline is staffed remotely Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to noon. Gardeners may call the Christian County MU Extension office at 417-581-4853 with their questions and will be directed to the Master Gardener on duty, working from his/her home, by phone.

Gardeners also may email their questions and photos to

During the pandemic, the county Extension office is closed to visitors except by appointment at the phone number above.

Hotline staffers use a variety of resources to help solve callers’ gardening problems and answer their questions. These include Extension guide sheets, online websites, a library of books and reference materials and personal knowledge gained from Master Gardening training and experience,

“We love to help the public with their garden questions,” Dennis Baker, chair of the hotline team, said. “We’re not afraid to tell callers we’ll have to get back with them as we do our research. Through the years, we’ve helped hundreds of gardeners and almost always have answers and options for them. Our mission as Master Gardeners is to help the public ‘learn to grow,’ and our hotline is one way we do that.”

The hotline will be available through mid-October.

The nearly 60-member CCMG chapter supports:

  • Spring and fall plant sales
  • Free public gardening seminars
  • Advanced training workshops for Master Gardeners
  • Monthly membership programs open to a limited number of nonmembers
  • Public gardens: Clever City Hall Garden and in Nixa, Gardens at Woodfield, Rotary Garden and Nixa Community Center Garden
  • Gardening hotline, 9-12, mid-March to mid-October, Monday through Friday, at the Extension office, 581-4853
  • Scholarships to College of the Ozarks and Ozarks Technical College students and for Master Gardener training

Contacts: Facebook,, 417-581-3558 and The University of Missouri Extension is committed to providing equity and access to all through the implementation of practices and procedures that ensure compliance with federal laws and university policies and that enhance the Extension's capacity to serve the people of Missouri.