Come out for Plant and Pest Diagnostic Clinic
By DAVID SPRAGUE
OSU Extension Master Gardener Volunteer
Now that spring’s is here, so are the diseases, insects and general questions about what’s going on in the landscape.
Our 2017 Plant and Pest Diagnostic Clinic starts Monday. The clinic’s OSU Extension Master Gardener Volunteers provide the public with free information on a wide range of questions.
We cover nearly every aspect of the garden – vegetables, lawn care, plant identification, pest identification and management, plant disease diagnosis, fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides and more.
We also offer laboratory soil tests. These tests are the only way to get precise information about your soil. They provide more information than results you get from soil-test kits found in stores, and they give you recommendations for improving the soil based on the test results.
Lawn, flower bed and garden soil should be tested every two to three years before applying fertilizer or other amendments. The cost for a soil test is $20 per sample.
You can call or come by the clinic with your questions. For most questions it is helpful if gardeners provide us with a sample – whether it is an insect or a plant.
Use these guidelines when collecting samples for the clinic:
For plant diseases: Provide a fresh sample showing both diseased and healthy tissue on the plant. A good sample would be a fresh stem or branch with leaves and any available flowers and fruit included.
For plant identification: Provide as many parts of the plant as possible including stems, leaves and flowers, fruit/berries if available. The fresher the sample the better.
For turf issues and identification: Take a sample 4 inches to 6 inches square from the margin (edge) of the affected area that contains both healthy and unhealthy grass. Include roots and soil to a depth of 2 inches.
For pests: Collect one or more intact insect or pest specimens and place it/them in a plastic or glass container. Write your name on the container and seal the container so any live pests cannot escape.
For soil testing: For information on taking soil samples, go to http://go.osu.edu/soiltesting or call the clinic and we’ll walk you through the process.
The OSU Extension in Mahoning County is located at 490 S. Broad St. Give us a call at 330 533-5538. The clinic is open from 9 a.m. to noon Mondays and Thursdays through the end of October. If those days and times are not convenient, visit or call the office during normal business hours – 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. – to complete a form and leave a sample. Master Gardener Volunteers will get back to you with an answer.