Free plant and insect diagnostic clinics

The University of Minnesota Extension – Anoka County Master Gardener volunteer program offers free plant and insect diagnostic clinics for Anoka County residents.

These clinics are designed to help homeowners identify problems and develop appropriate solutions for their landscapes by using research-based information.

Clinics take place on Wednesday evenings at the Bunker Hills Activities Center from 6 to 8 p.m. (arrive by 7:30 p.m. at the latest) May 22 through Aug. 28, except the week of July 4.

For the convenience of those living on the western side of Anoka County, a traveling plant and insect diagnostic clinic will be held at the Nowthen Threshing Show, 7415 Old Viking Blvd., Aug. 16-18.

At the clinics, residents can bring samples of garden or lawn plants, or weeds for identification; bring samples of damaged plant material for diagnosis of common insect, disease or other problems; receive recommendations for cultural control of pests and weed problems or discuss other problems or concerns about lawns, trees, flowers, fruits, vegetables and pests with master gardeners.

Samples of diseased plants should be a substantial portion approximately eight to 10 inches in length, with leaves, flowers and fruit if available, and include margins showing both healthy and damaged material.

Samples of insects should include the whole insect (not squished) placed in a screw top jar or sealed plastic container. Insects can be placed in a freezer to preserve them.

Samples of turf need to be about the size of a small shoe box and must include the roots. If the turf is diseased, the specimen needs to include a margin of both the healthy side and unhealthy side. While the clinics are free, donations are welcome.

Participants are asked to bring a maximum of three samples per visit. To learn more about clinics, or other programs offered by master gardeners call 763-755-1280 or visit www.anokamastergardeners.org.

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