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Plant, pest clinic reopens

We’re back! That’s right, after being closed all of last year due to COVID-19, the Mahoning County Extension Office’s Plant and Pest Diagnostic Clinic is back for 2021.

What does this mean for you? The clinic is here to help you with gardening, landscape and pest questions. The clinic is staffed by OSU Master Gardener volunteers who have been trained by and work under the guidance of the Extension Office’s educators.

We can help you with questions on flowers, vegetables, lawn care, trees and shrubs. We identify and recommend controls for garden and household pests based on university research. Plus, we identify plants and plant diseases and make recommendations on fertilizers and soil amendments.

And there is no cost for these services.

All the answers you’ll get from the clinic are based in science. Our answers come from tests and evaluations conducted by universities and other unbiased, research-based organizations. Additionally, as part of The Ohio State University Extension System, the clinic has full access to all OSU’s resources to find answers to your questions.

The clinic offers laboratory soil tests for your gardens, flower beds and lawns. Laboratory soil tests are much more accurate and provide more information than off-the-shelf soil test kits found in stores. Lawns, flower beds and garden soils should be tested every two to three years before applying fertilizer or other amendments. The cost for a soil test is $20 per sample. This cost includes prepping and mailing your sample as well as an experienced Master Gardener or staff member to go over your test results with you if you have any questions.

For information on how to take a soil sample, see the Mahoning Extension website at http://go.osu.edu/soiltesting.

You can help us help you by bringing in samples with your question(s). For plant identification, provide as many parts of the plant as possible, including stems, leaves, flowers, and fruit or berries (if available). For plant disease ID, provide a fresh sample showing both diseased and healthy tissue. For pest ID collect one or more whole samples in a plastic bag or jar, with your name on the bag or jar.

For lawn questions, a good lawn sample is a 4-to-6-inch patch from the lawn containing both good and bad areas of grass, include the grass roots and soil to a depth of 2 inches.

Now that it is April, the clinic is open for walk-ins or calls. Operating hours are 10 a.m. to noon Mondays and Thursdays through the end of October at the extension office, 490 S. Broad St., Canfield. If these days and times are not convenient, you can visit or call the office weekdays during normal business hours, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with your questions and a Master Gardener will get back to you later.

The clinic is a service of the Mahoning County Extension Office and is brought to by OSU and the Mahoning County Commissioners. It is located in the Mahoning County Extension Office at 490 South Broad St. in Canfield. The phone number is 330-533-5538. The clinic website is at http://go.osu.edu/mahoningclinic.

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