The Jefferson County Garden Hotline is still there to help

The Garden Hotline is a free service offered through Penn State Extension to help all county residents with their gardening questions and concerns. The Penn State Extension office in Brookville, Jefferson County, is temporarily closed to the public, so the Garden Hotline, which is staffed by Master Gardeners, is currently unable to accept plant samples. 

 If you have a plant question or concern, please send a detailed description via email to  You may attach two or three high quality photos to help the Master Gardeners identify the plant or issue.  Master Gardeners will promptly retrieve your email and respond. You may also call the office at 849-7361, ext 508 and leave a message which will be forwarded to a Master Gardener and returned to you as soon as possible. Please leave your phone number and email if you have one.

Soil Test Kits and Water Test Kits 

Ordinarily, soil test kits and water test kits can be purchased at most Penn State Extension county offices. With offices closed, kits can be ordered online directly from the lab or soil test kits may be picked up at most local feed stores. While the lab remains open, it is operating under an emergency contingency plan with limited capacity. Turn-around time for test results may be longer than usual. The lab asks that only high priority samples be submitted at this time. These include drinking water and agricultural samples associated with food/crop production.  

Plant Pathology Services 

If the Garden Hotline is unable to diagnose your plant disease, the Penn State Plant Disease Clinic remains open and is still accepting samples. However, they will be operating on limited lab hours and are prioritizing samples of life-sustaining crops/plants (e.g. field crops, vegetables, tree fruit, small fruit, etc…).  The Clinic is accepting digital sample submission and encourages submission of photos before mailing samples. Digital samples can be sent to their new email address If necessary, physical samples can be mailed to the clinic via US Mail, FedEx and UPS. See the Clinic website for more specific information on submitting digital and physical samples.

Cheryl J. Shenkle, Penn State Extension Jefferson County Master Gardener Coordinator, 186 Main Street, Suite 3, Brookville, PA 15825.  E-mail

Penn State is committed to affirmative action, equal opportunity, and the diversity of its work force.

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