Pest clinic offers help Guarding your garden

By Bill Snyder

OSU Ext. Program Assistant

Your garden has been planted, you have been nurturing it with care, and everything seems to be progressing according to your plans. Unfortunately, during a closer examination of your work, you start to notice things about your yard and gardens that just don’t seem right.

In the vegetable garden, holes have appeared in the eggplant leaves. A white powder is covering the older leaves of your zucchini plants. Strange-looking yellow-striped bugs are walking all over your cucumber plants. A giant green worm is eating the leaves on your favorite tomato plant.

Your flowerbeds have obviously not escaped problems. Something appears to be tunneling inside the columbine leaves. Tiny insects are covering your mock orange bush and they seem to be accompanied by an orange and gray monster. Orange fishing line seems to have wrapped around the snapdragon plants.

To make matters worse, strange fleshy lumps have appeared on the leaves of your favorite maple tree. The maple bark has something green growing all over its surface, and if that weren’t enough, it appears that something vomited a yellow mass on your fresh hardwood mulch.

Where can you turn for help?

The Ohio State University- Mahoning County Plant and Pest Diagnostic Clinic (MCPPDC) provides a place to visit or call when things in your garden do not go as planned. The clinic is open from 9 a.m. to noon Mondays and Thursdays from April through October. Whether you visit or call, you will speak with and have your questions answered by master gardener volunteers trained in soil science, botany, plant disease, insect identification, etc. Alternatively, you may wish to email questions with attached photos.

The volunteer will ask you some basic questions about you and your garden. If a solution is not immediately apparent, they will research your inquiry and respond by phone, mail or email, as you wish.

Our master gardener volunteers have access to all of the available resources of Ohio State University. We will provide you with a range of solutions that should be compatible with your gardening philosophy. You can visit the clinic at 490 South Broad St., Canfield, across from Canfield Fairgrounds, call 330-533-5538 or email

Information about the pest diagnostic clinic can be found at A list of likely causes for the specific garden problems listed above can be found at

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