Yard and Garden
Our staff will do our best to assist Lincoln and Adams County residents with commonly seen plant and insect problems. However, there are currently no Master Gardeners or WSU home-garden faculty personnel based in the WSU Extension Offices in Lincoln County (Davenport) or Adams County (Ritzville), WA. For accurate diagnosis, samples and/or photos will be sent to the Spokane Co. Master Gardener Clinic, to Grant Co. Master Gardeners, or to WSU diagnosticians in Pullman or Puyallup. There may be a charge for some services.
Information on how to submit a sample.
For more information:
Pressure Gauge Testing for Pressure Canners
Do you have garden or farm-stand produce to preserve? If you use a canner with a dial gauge, it should be checked for accuracy before use each year. Gauges that read high cause under-processing and may result in unsafe food. Low readings cause over-processing.
Using and Caring for Your Pressure Canner (PNW421)
See the Healthy Family Page for more food preservation resources.
Other Garden Links
Below are some very useful links that can be used when it comes to all of your garden related questions.
Please visit the Spokane County Master Gardener Web Site:
Adams Co. WA residents, especially those in the south-western portion of the county should also visit:
Preparing Plant & Insect Samples for Identification or Diagnosis
For Lincoln and Adams County Residents:
Please follow the instructions below to submit samples. Incomplete samples or forms may have to be returned for additional information. Include a daytime phone number so that a Master Gardener or diagnostician can call you with further questions, if necessary. Please allow three to four working days for a response.
- Prepare your sample according to the instructions below. Bring in the freshest sample possible
- Bring your sample to the Extension Office:
205 W Main Ave., Ritzville, WA 509-659-3209
Monday – Wednesday before 4:00 pm, or
Thursday by 2:00 pm.303 6th St., Davenport, WA 509-725-4171
Monday 9:00 – 11:00 am, Tuesday – Wednesday 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
or Thursday before 2:00 pm.WSU Education Center,
222 N Havana Street, Spokane, WA (south of the fairgrounds).
9:00 am to 3:00 pm , Monday through Thursday and 9:00 am to 11:00 am on Friday. Samples may also be dropped off at the main office from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm.
An after-hours drop box for small samples is available outside the south entrance.
If you can’t bring samples early in the week or by mid-day on Thursday, store samples in your refrigerator until early the following week. However, it’s best to bring a fresh sample.
Preparing Plant Specimens for Disease Diagnosis – Form C1006
- Select a plant specimen showing distinct disease symptoms. If it is not practical to bring the entire plant, try to bring several plants or plant parts that show the various stages of the problem: a plant showing the early stages of the disease, a plant that is severely affected, and a healthy plant, if available.
- Dig up the entire plant where practical, including its root structure. Try not to pull the plant as any diseased roots will be left behind.
- Tree diseases can best be diagnosed by evaluating the junction of diseased and healthy tissue. Include twigs or limbs just beginning to show symptoms, but still alive. Old, dead limbs are useless.
- Wrap the roots in a plastic bag separate from the rest of the plant to prevent dirt from contaminating leaves and stems.
- Place the entire sample in another plastic bag without additional moisture, as it also may cause contamination.
- Optional: good quality photos may be helpful, especially for large trees. If possible, bring photo with sample and/or be prepared to email.
Preparing Plant and Weed Identification Requests – Plant ID Form
Plants/weeds are identified in many ways. The most useful plant parts are flowers, fruits, leaves, buds, and young stems. Because some ornamental plants have many varieties, it may not be possible to determine the exact variety without the flower.
- Collect as many plant parts as possible. Flowers, fruits/seeds, leaves, stems, buds and roots may aid in identification.
- Place the plant specimen in a plastic bag along with a dry paper towel (don’t add water) and seal
- Optional: good quality photos may be helpful. If possible, bring with sample and/or be prepared to email.
Preparing Insect Specimens for Identification – Form: C0495
- Carefully collect insect specimens and/or plant material associated with insect damage.
- Bring as much of the affected plant material associated with the insect pest as possible.
- Place insect in alcohol contained in either small vials or bottles with secured caps. Place the container inside a plastic bag. If you do not have a supply of regular methyl or ethyl alcohol, rubbing alcohol may be used. This is easily obtained from any drugstore. DO NOT put plant material in alcohol!!
- Place large adult moths and butterflies cushioned in a box or jar with cotton to minimize damage.
- Optional: good quality photos of insect damage, especially in trees may be helpful. If possible, bring with sample and/or be prepared to email.
Extension programs and policies are consistent with federal and state laws and regulations on nondiscrimination regarding race; sex/gender; sexual orientation; gender identity/expression; religion; age; color; creed; national or ethnic origin; physical, mental, or sensory disability, including disability requiring the use of a trained service animal; marital status, genetic information, and/or status as an honorably discharged veteran or member of the military. Report concerns to oeo.wsu.edu, 509-335-8288, or your local Extension office. Requests for special accommodations at Lincoln-Adams Extension Events can be made at least two weeks in advance by calling 509-659-3209 or 509-725-4171.