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The right online site can be good tool

June 1, 2011
By Stephanie Bethke-DeJaeghere , Marshall Independent

The Internet is a great place to help your search for information. There are times, however, when we are not sure if the information that we are reading is either fact-based or researched-based information.

We should be cautious just in case something we read is not entirely true. There are some great websites out there that are either offered or recommended by University of Minnesota staff to help us have a "feel good" Internet search. The following are some examples.

Sometimes finding the right plants for your garden is half the battle of getting them planted! The University of Minnesota's Plant Information Online database (plantinfo.umn.edu/) is a valuable tool for finding sources of plant materials, links to plant specific information, and much more.

Created and maintained by library staff at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum's Andersen Horticultural Library, it is updated many times a day. Kathy Allen, Andersen Library's head librarian, highlights ways that the Plant Information Online database can be used, including as a resource to find: nurseries that specialize in certain plant materials (mail order); where to find or buy a particular plant (mail order); wholesale plant sources (hint: knowing local wholesalers may provide clues about local retail plant availability); nurseries or plant names (especially helpful when you can't remember the entire name); plant specific links to reliable web sites with images and information and plant specific book and magazine citations listings.

Another great website that I direct fellow gardeners to is the U of M Extension service website for gardening. The website address is www.extension.umn.edu/garden/. There is a ton of information on gardening on this website with a particular note to the section on the three big questions most Master Gardeners or garden professional field: What is wrong with my plant? which includes topics on vegetables, fruits, turf, trees, shrubs, vines, evergreen trees and shrubs, annuals and perennials. Then there is the section, Is this plant a weed? which includes information on broadleaved plants, grass, sedges and woody moss which you might find either in your lawn or garden. Have you found a plant growing where it's not wanted? Is it a weed? A weed is defined as any plant that is considered undesirable, unattractive, or troublesome, especially one growing where it is not wanted. This online diagnostic tool is designed to help you identify and manage common and invasive weeds in Minnesota lawns and landscapes. And last, but not least What Insect is this? which is split up into two categories; indoors and outdoor insects. This tool helps you to identify beetles, bugs, ants, flies, moths, wasps, caterpillars, maggots, grubs and also relative of these insects, spiders, millipedes, centipedes and sowbugs.

So, if you find yourself looking at some strange bug in your garden on a Sunday afternoon and you can't reach anyone to help you. Go to the Internet website and look it up on the U of M Extension website.

It is there 24 hours a day, seven days a week, waiting to help you with any of your gardening questions, day or night.

For more information regarding gardening, you can reach me at stephanie@starpoint.net

 
 

 

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