We sometimes use the present tense to refer to future events, always using a time phrase that indicates the future. This is the case with this sentence:
"Esta tarde ayudo a mi madre en el jardín."
If you only say "Ayudo a mi madre en el jardín." there is no indication of future, but with "esta tarde" we know it is referring to a future time, "this afternoon".
I hope this helps.
(We've got a lesson about this usage coming up soon.)
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