Welcome To Your Local Friendly Extension Office

Do you know where your local extension office is? Yeah, oddly enough, neither did I. I mean, I only tell people probably a dozen times a week (in my wisest garden sage voice — which I personally think sounds something like the old guy in the funny hat that is in ALL the best anime movies — which I can think as I pretty much only give gardening advice through email — but back to the point) that they should take their soil to their local extension office and have that soil tested.

Of course, have I taken this advice? Nope. I am really bad in the “do as I say and not as I do” department. Just ask my kids, who can tell you with great accuracy how often I have had ice cream after they went to bed without any and skipped breakfast after making them eat something marginally healthy in the morning.

But this year, I decided it was high time I went and got my soil tested. So I packed up my soil and headed off to see my local friendly extension office (which was in a slightly not so friendly neighborhood). In I walked with soil sample proudly in hand, ready to make wonderful changes to the soil of my vegetable and flower beds and… the lady behind the counter quickly dashed those dreams.

“We don’t do soil tests,” she stated plainly.

What! The extension office doesn’t do soil tests! What is happening to my gardening world? I have always been told that extension offices do soil tests.

Then from behind a door appeared just about the sexiest horticulturist I have ever seen, and this includes that guy that Victory Garden brought in from down under to try to save their ratings. Being a knight in shining Dockers, he informed me that while OSU extension service does not do soil tests, he could help me fill out a form to have my soil samples tested at UMass Extension Offices. I went all giggly and weak kneed and tried to pretend that the 2 children running around the lobby were escaped urban livestock that had nothing to do with me.

I put on my best doe eyed newbie while he patiently explained how I needed to have samples for my vegetable beds tested differently than my flower beds. Feigned ignorance is always a nice way to extend a nice male watching moment. But there is only so much that one can say about soil testing and after he had said it and had handed me my form and soil samples, I reclaimed my wayward children and left the little extension office in the ‘hood.

So, my local extension office does not do soil sample tests, but there are a lot of other things a local extension office is good for. Like identifying those troublesome critters that are plaguing your garden, diagnosing and recommending solutions for whatever diseases are attacking your plants and suggesting all sorts of wonderful plants to grow in your neck of the woods (or city as the case may be).

What I can’t guarantee is that you will have a sexy hot plant guy to help you out. That is something that I have all special in my extension office and I think I will be making a lot more trips there in the future… with my, ahem, gardening questions of course.

Thanks much to Jim Thompson of the Cuyahoga County Extension Office for his help this week!

11 thoughts on “Welcome To Your Local Friendly Extension Office
  1. Denise on

    My Extension does not do soil tests anymore and hasn’t for several years. I think this is the norm now due to lack of funding for Extension. Yet so many articles say “get your soil tested by your local Extension.” You will get referred to a private company that does soil testing.

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  2. Well at least the visit was well worth it. Now I am sure that they will have a steady steam of female gardeners, complete with soil samples in hand. LOL.

    Hopefully you won’t get any bad answers back from you testing.

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

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  3. This was so interesting to me. I’ve always heard (but never given) the advice “go to the Extension office”. Yet I know no one that’s actually gone! And I’ve always wondered if the people giving that advice have actually been there. Good for you for going!

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  4. Peggy Miller on

    I’m glad to know that the extension office was marginally helpful. I’ve toyed with the idea of pursuing OSU’s master gardener program. The problem is that the master gardener at my community garden constantly refers me to the internet when I try to ask her questions. And while the internet is a fun place, I’d rather discuss my questions with a person with experience and practice than stare at my computer any more than I need to. Perhaps Mr. Sexy Hot Plant Guy can work on giving the extension people pointers in personablity as well?

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    Hanna Reply:

    You know, I have run into that as well with the Master Gardeners – Not all of them (many have been very nice), but I have talked to some that were downright snooty to me. I often feel like it is because I am “younger” (as though 35 were all that young) and they feel I am not a “real” gardener.

    It is a shame, because there is a whole batallion of people my age who are getting into gardening and it would be nice if the those with experience would welcome and guide them rather than looking at them with distain. Again, it is not all, not even most, but you know what they say about one bad apple ruining the bunch…

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    Peggy Miller Reply:

    I think perhaps we may be talking about the same master gardener–snooty is the word that suits this person perfectly. 😉

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  5. Kristin on

    Where’s the pic of the sexy hot plant guy?!?! You couldn’t get him to pose for your blog?

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    Hanna Reply:

    I know! I kicked myself as I left that I did not snap a pic of him. But then I thought perhaps that would have seemed a bit stalkeresque. Who knows? Maybe he would have been flattered. :)

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  6. there must be a thing about extension office guys. ours is kinda hot too and i get to see him once a year when my girl goes to 4-H camp, which i happily allow. :)

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  7. That hot Aussie guy from Victory Garden started life as a stripper – google Jamie Durie Manpower – I had his poster on my wall for years and then when he went all gardeny it was a plant/ab collision of stupendous proportions!

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