By Jamie Stang, Wright County Extension Master Gardener
Have you ever looked at something growing in your yard and asked, “I wonder what’s wrong with that plant”? If so, you may want to check out the University of Minnesota Extension website titled What’s wrong with my plant?, which can be found at https://apps.extension.umn.edu/garden/diagnose/plant/
The site is a treasure trove of information that can help you identify what is causing a problem with your tree, bush, lawn or plant. Simply go to the website and select the category you need help with (vegetables, fruit, lawn, flowers, or deciduous or evergreen trees). Choose the specific plant you need information about and then the specific issue. You will be able to scroll through photos and descriptions of common problems to determine the specific issue you are dealing with. The site will also link you to additional information about how to prevent and treat the issue.
A related web page to help answer yard- and garden-related questions is the What insect is this? site, which can help you determine what insects you find among your plants and whether or not they are something you need to be concerned about. This site is available at http://apps.extension.umn.edu/garden/diagnose/insect/garden/
The site allows you to scroll through photos of insects, arranged by types and size, until you find a match with what is currently in your yard. It’s a tool used by master gardeners often. Recently, I found out that the little yellow insects on my milkweed plants are oleander aphids, which are harmless, so I was able to let them live in peace among my flowers.
Another question that you may have as you walk through your yard is “Is that plant a weed”? And, you guessed it, the UMN Extension Program has a website to answer that question, too. This site helps take the guess work out of weeding, and can avoid mishaps such as accidentally weeding out the goldenrod that you planted last year because it looks a lot like ragweed. You can find this website at http://apps.extension.umn.edu/garden/diagnose/weed/
The University of Minnesota Extension program provides additional information on gardens, lawns, trees and crops at their website. The information is available free of charge and is tailored to Minnesota yards and gardens. Best of all, it helps to take the guess work out of yard and garden work, so you can stress less and enjoy your yard more.