Yard & Garden Report


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Online Plant Doctors

Use these online tools to keep your plants healthy

What's Wrong With My Plant?
There is much information available online. Some of it is wrong. Look for research-based information from NDSU and other universities.
Gardeners face new threats every year. There are mysterious diseases and new insects invading us from all corners of the world. Don’t forget about the powerful whims of Mother Nature. Her frosts, floods, drought and hail add to the unpredictability of the season.

Keeping plants healthy can be a challenge, but you are not alone. There is plenty of help available 24/7 at your fingertips.

The most comprehensive diagnosis tool for gardeners is “What’s wrong with my plant?” (http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/diagnose/plant/).

Let’s say you have a sick tomato plant. Start by clicking on the type of plant (in this case, “Vegetables”), species of plant (“Tomatoes”) and general description of problem (“Distorted, curled leaves”). The tool will lead you to your enemy (aphids, virus, herbicide injury, etc.) and strategies for remedying the problem.

Ask-An-Expert is available from Cooperative Extension (https://ask.extension.org/ask). Type in your questions. An Extension educator will promptly reply. As a member of the “Ask-An-Expert” team, I encourage you to include digital photos of your sick plant or mysterious pest.

Search engines such as Google (http://www.google.com) are full of information—including lots of wrong information. Add “university” to your keywords and this will lead you to accurate information.

Don’t forget about your local NDSU County Extension Agent. Pick up the phone and get unbiased, research-based advice. Find your local office at https://www.ag.ndsu. edu/extension/county-extension-offices.

Written by Tom Kalb, Extension Horticulturist, North Dakota State University. Published in the NDSU Yard & Garden Report, June 8, 2016. The photo was downloaded from the University of Minnesota Extension Service.

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