Online Research Tools

Online research tools

Tools of the Trade

In our quest to answer questions about household pests and gardens, the Internet is an increasingly valuable tool. However, just because something is published on-line, does not make it a reliable source of information. Thus, it is important for Master Gardeners to limit our use of on-line resources to research-based information created by universities and other reliable sources. Also start in the Northwest first because the information is most likely to pertain to the kinds of issues that we encounter in this part of North America. Also keep in mind that most plant problems are abiotic!

Oregon State University Resources

Key Resources: Pacific Northwest (PNW) Guides and Organic Weed Control

Plant Disease
Guide to plant diseases in the Pacific Northwest with recommendations for management. Make sure to give only recommendations with an "H" symbol to clients.

Guide to arthropod pests of plants in the Pacific Northwest with recommendations for management. Please use only the "Home Garden, Orchard, landscape, and Lawn Pests" and "Structural and Health Pests" sections.

Guide to managing weeds in the Pacific Northwest. Please use only the "Management- Home Gardens and Landscapes" section. Includes a new Weed Identification Tool.

Organic Garden Weed Management from Cornell
Comprehensive website from Cornell University on managing garden
weeds without chemicals.

Other OSU Resources

Growing Your Own

A great primer on growing vegetables in oregon.

Landscape Plants: Images, Identification, and Information
An incredible resource to learn about common landscape plants in Oregon and beyond.

OSU Extension Publications

List of OSU Extension Publications on many gardening topics includin: Flowers, Shrubs, Trees; Fruits and Nuts: Pests--Insects and Animals; Lawns; Techniques; vegetables.  A wealth of information in topic-specific publications.

OSU Plant Clinic
This resource has a wealth of information for use by Master Gardeners including:

Urban Entomology
This site has information on common household and health pests in Oregon.

Methods of Moss Control

An excellent resource about how to control moss in trees and shrubs, lawns, and on decks, sidewalks, etc.  Emphasis on physical methods and least-toxic chemical treatment.

Nursery IPM
An excellent entomological resource.

Ken Gray Insect Image Collection
Search for images of insects by scientific name.

OSU Garden Encyclopedia
Contains links to many great gardening information resources including:

Washington State University Resources

Yard/Garden Pests
Great resources on beneficials, pests, and control measures.

House Pests
Specific information on household pests including carpenter ants.

Pest Leaflet Series
A series of bulletins on common issues that come up though WSU has a wealth of information on a variety of important topics for Master Gardeners.

Master Gardener Resources
Good information for Master Gardeners from our Extension neighbors to the north.

University of California Davis

Pests in Homes, Gardens, Landscapes, and Turf
This is a well-organized and easy to use resource with incredible depth. Much of the content is applicable to Oregon.

Other Land Grant University Resources

Cornell University IPM
Cornell has great IPM resources. Keep in mind that it is located on the east coast; some of the cases may not apply to Northwest Gardeners.

Organic Garden Weed Management from Cornell
Comprehensive website from Cornell University on managing garden
weeds without chemicals.

Other Resources

Hobo Spider (Darwin K. Vest’s web site)
Hobo Spider: How to Identify
The Burke Museum: Spider Links & Myths
Bed bug info, with excellent photos, at Harvard
Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides (NCAP)

Pesticide Safety: Please Read

These sites contains information about using pesticides. Pesticides can be dangerous if used improperly or carelessly. Always follow label instructions. The pesticide product label is the final word on the safe and legal use of pesticides. Questions about pesticide toxicity can be explored at the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC). Control suggestions are intended for users in the state of Oregon, USA. Others should consult with local experts before relying solely on this information.

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Oregon's Agricultural Progress
The research magazine for Oregon State University Agricultural Experiment Station
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Ask an Expert
Addressing real-life questions with research-based answers... Ask an Expert at Oregon State University.
OSU Extension Catalog
The Catalog is the source for current, peer-reviewed, research-based learning materials published by OSU Extension.