As of October 1, 2009, the Colorado Master Gardener program in El Paso County, Colorado is “on hiatus.” The strapped county budget doesn’t have room to fund the program for the 2009-2010 year. (Other Colorado State University Extension programs have also been affected, but the 4-H program will remain active.) All services of the Master Gardener program will be unavailable, including the Master Gardener Help Desk, Master Gardener email Q & A, training of new Master Gardeners, “Gardening in the Pikes Peak Region” classes, etc.

As of Oct 1, current Colorado Master Gardeners in El Paso County will no longer be identified by the “Master Gardener” title (which can only be used by those in active Colorado Master Gardener programs still supported by Colorado State University Extension) but will be permitted to use the title “Certified Colorado Gardener.”

Where can county residents now get help with their gardening questions?
1) The Colorado Master Gardeners who have been writing for this blog will continue to write articles and answer questions as Certified Colorado Gardeners. (Native Plant Masters and Wildlife Masters will continue to contribute as well.)

2) Colorado State University Extension has an AnswerLink web site where visitors can research topics and ask gardening questions. Visit

3) For diagnostic help, plant samples may be sent to the Plant Diagnostic Lab at Colorado State University (for a fee). Visit

4) Colorado State University Extension fact sheets are available online at

Contributed by Carey Harrington, Certified Colorado Gardener