Updated: July 31, 2020
COVID-19 statements are posted on the websites with most county extension offices. Some offices are closed with phone or email as the only contact options. Others allow limited in-office visitations or visits in the field to your location, depending on the need.
Every county in the United States has an office and they can offer a lot of great information for homeowners, like you, as well as agricultural establishments.
A few weeks ago I discovered a yellow jacket nest in the ground right next to the door to my backyard. I wanted to get rid of them but make sure; 1) I didn't risk my family's health, or, 2) Positively identify them as yellow jackets & find out if there was a safe way to remove them without harming any beneficial honeybees or other wildlife.
As much as I would love to believe everything I read or watch on the internet, I really wanted a local expert to help me. That's when I contacted our local county extension office. A few emails later and I had the solution.
Local Experts Ready to Help for FREE!
Anyone who has read my previous blog posts knows I make great use of a local office staff that has helped answer many questions for all things related to trees, shrubs, yards, gardens & landscaping. They’re very friendly, experts with the local area and, best of all, they offer their help for FREE.
Need help identifying certain insects or pests? Not sure if a certain tree or shrub will do well in your yard? Want your soil tested? Need advice of what fertilizers to use and when? Maybe you want to start composting but need help? Gardening questions? Lawn questions? Tree questions? These folks are ready & willing to help anyway they can.
Cooperative Extension Offices
I'm talking about cooperative extension offices. Every county in the United States has an extension office. Associated with one or more universities for each state, these offices serve as a non-credit educational network that staffs experts who can, and should be, a valuable resource for anything you do related to your yard & garden.
The official title is; 'The Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service'. It is a Federal agency under the US Department of Agriculture.
For your convenience, we have compiled a list of the main websites for each state network. You can also find your local extension office with a simple Google search.
Planting Tips, Advice & More!
I recently watched a neighbor plant 2 evergreen shrubs in a low-lying area of their yard that stays pretty wet. It gets a few hours of hot, afternoon sun. Two planting holes were dug the exact size of the containers in the middle of a patch of grass.
I tried, in my ever so subtle way, suggesting they solicit some planting tips and advice. I even offered the number & website to a local office of experts.
They plowed ahead with their project. Sadly, the chance of those shrubs surviving is not good. In less than 6 months my neighbor will be going back to the nursery complaining their shrubs died.
Trust me, I have learned the hard way, wasting a lot of time and money on landscaping that didn’t exactly turn out as expected. I knew there had to be a better way.
Being able to ask questions with a local expert free of charge is invaluable. Getting help is easy, contact them today!