Whether a person is an expert gardener or has recently acquired a green thumb, the resources available through state extension services offices shouldn’t be overlooked. Providing free advice about all kind of growing issues, these offices are designed to help even the backyard gardener learn the ropes of growing plants. What’s more, they also provide a whole host of low-cost analysis services to help foster plant growth both for the hobbyist and professional.
Most state extension services provide a number of services that appeal to both the professional and the beginning gardener. They include such programs as:
* Master gardener. These are volunteers that study plants that grow well in certain areas and help others learn to grow them, too. Walking encyclopedias about growing issues within their states or regions, these folks run free seminars to help gardeners learn about plants, conservation and more.
* Soil testing. This might come with a small charge, but many state extension offices will help farmers and even backyard growers learn about their soil’s consistency so they can make informed decisions about what nutrients need to be added for growing certain crops or plants.
* Plant advice. Most extension service offices have people on call to answer an array of questions about growing plants in certain areas. They can provide advice about what kinds of trees, plants and flowers to grow in an area.
* Yard and landscape advice. Extension agents can even help with creating a backyard environment that’s friendly to the surrounding ecosystems.
* Plant disease and pest identification. Agents are available to help homeowners and gardeners identify and eradicate pests that might be plaguing plants.
* Conservation programs. Extension offices provide a lot of information on environmental conservation. Water conservation programs tend to be very popular in regions where drought is present and the extension service offices lead the way in helping people enjoy gardens while staying within the limits of reasonable water use.
* Crop suggestions. The extension office is a great place to find out what types of edible plants grow well in a particular area. Agents can even offer advice on how to grow them, where and when.
This is just a sampling of what most state extension offices offer. With knowledgeable staff and a veritable army of volunteers, these agencies can provide a world of information on gardening in your specific area. Generally at no charge, these services are irreplaceable.