Online gardening resources include some of the best tools a gardener has, from pictures of and info on diseases, invasive species, and other garden pests to databases to look up any plant your heart desires—whatever you need to know about caring for your garden or growing something new can be found with a little digging. This list is a useful roundup of sites you'll surely come back to more than once. Some resources here are supported through universities or governmental agencies, and others are commercial, but they all contain a wealth of info to help you in your horticultural pursuits.
01 of 09
Every state has a Cooperative Extension System. Regional offices offer location-specific advice on a broad array of topics, including gardening. Most have gardening hotlines and offer informational fact sheets, soil testing, and pest identification for free or a nominal cost. Often the help is provided by master gardeners who are trained to assist the agriculture agents with home gardeners' needs. You might even want to check out the requirements (and classes) for becoming a master gardener yourself.
The USDA's Land Grant Directory page will lead you to your local university extension page. Just select your state and "extension" under the drop-down menus.
02 of 09
You may have to do some digging around, but this VA Tech content-rich entomology site provides excellent insect images, including shots of household pests and those bugs that attack ornamentals and edibles. The site also goes into control measures and pesticide info. Much of the information is broken down by type of problem, such as Insects that feed on leaves or bore into wood.
03 of 09
There is nothing like a picture when you are trying to identify what's wrong with your plants. Unlike ornamentals that all seem to share the same fungal disease problems, vegetables can exhibit an abundance of symptoms. That's why Cornell's Vegetable MD Online is so widely used. There's a photo gallery for identifying the problem, fact sheets for solving it, and integrated pest management (IPM) links to keep it from happening again.
04 of 09
Extoxnet (EXtension TOXicology NETwork) is the joint venture of a handful of land-grant universities across the United States. This site provides pesticide information profiles (PIPs), which give specific information on a pesticide's health and environmental effects. Always follow label instructions when using any pesticide.Continue to 5 of 9 below.
05 of 09
Whether it's kudzu, garlic mustard, stink bugs, citrus canker, the innocent-looking brown sparrow, or purple loosestrife, the best way to deal with an invasive species is to keep it out of your garden and yard. Invasive.org has oodles of resources on unwelcome garden guests, whether herb or herbivore. Supporters of this site include the United States Forest Service, the National Association of Invasive Plant Councils, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the University of Georgia Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health, among others.
06 of 09
A lot of misinformation about which plants are poisonous has found its way into "common knowledge." Cornell University provides a site where you can search for information on particular plants, such as your Christmas poinsettia, or find out what plants to avoid to keep you, your kids, your pets, and even your livestock safe.
07 of 09
Dave's Garden is a gardener-friendly destination. The plant database is billed as the largest in the world, "with 217,995 entries, 374,489 images and 153,342 comments" as of early 2019. You can search by name or plant characteristics or just browse through the pictures and dream.
08 of 09
A catalog of catalogs? Only in gardening! Cyndi's Catalog has contacts and critiques of more than 2,000 catalogs from around the world. Is there a better service that could be provided to an avid gardener—or one more dangerous to the pocketbook in the wintertime as we long for the flowers of spring?Continue to 9 of 9 below.
09 of 09
If you've ever wondered how to pronounce some of those botanical Latin tongue twisters, such as Agastache foeniculum, you can hear proper pronunciation on Fine Gardening's pronunciation guide page. The periodical always includes a phonetic list of the plants mentioned, but nothing beats hearing a name being pronounced.