Wealth of information is found online

By Randall Fortson, Master Gardener Intern

As we head full bore into late fall and winter, when weather limits the work that can be done in our yards and gardens, many of us will inevitably find ourselves with more time on our hands. This is the time to plant trees and bulbs, and to start thinking about garden projects in 2024. It’s a great time to plan those spring and summer catalog orders and to possibly to take stock on what has worked, what has not, and what could possibly work better in our yards and gardens.

Some of these things may require a bit of research, and if so, there’s always much to read via publications made available through the Cooperative Extension Service. Perhaps you are aware of the impressive number of online publications made available through our own Virginia Cooperative Extension. But did you know, thanks to the partnership between federal and state governments, and land-grant universities made possible by the Smith-Lever Act of 1914, that each state offers a variety of similar services through its own Cooperative Extension Office? Each of these offices produce and distribute an amazing amount of information and much of it is online for you to access. So in the event that you can’t find the information you want via the Virginia Cooperative Extension Service at https://www.pubs.ext.vt.edu/, you may want to check another state’s Extension Service website.

Below is a list of Extension Service websites that offer substantial numbers of free online publications. Just know that, to some extent, and perhaps with differing focus, each state offers research-based knowledge and expertise in a variety of areas such as agriculture, horticulture, agronomy, plant pathology, entomology, soil science, environmental science, agroecology, etc. that may be useful to your research. Cooperative Extension Service publications offer a goldmine of information and much of it is online for you to freely access. So while the days are dark, cold, and dreary, and you have more free time than work, study up because spring will be here sooner than you think.

Select List of Land-Grant Universities offering Online Cooperative Extension Service Publications and Educational Resources:

Virginia Tech https://www.pubs.ext.vt.edu/
University of Maryland https://extension.umd.edu/
North Carolina State https://content.ces.ncsu.edu
Clemson University https://hgic.clemson.edu
University of Georgia https://extension.uga.edu/publications.html
Oregon State University https://extension.oregonstate.edu/catalog
Oklahoma State https://extension.okstate.edu
University of Tennessee https://extension.tennessee.edu/
University of Missouri https://extension.missouri.edu/publications