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N.C. Cooperative Extension has research-based information and abundant resources to help residents of North Carolina answer their horticultural questions. Please check out some of the links to popular resources below:

Plant Clinic: Open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., the Cooperative Extension Plant Clinic located in the Hutaff Building at the New Hanover County Arboretum (6206 Oleander Drive in Wilmington, NC 28403) offers free, research-based guidance and information on topics including how to select the right plants for your site, identifying weeds, insects, and plant diseases, and how to avoid overuse of garden chemicals. Residents can visit in-person or call (910-798-7674) to ask their gardening related questions. Beyond answering horticultural question, printed factsheets, and consultations with Master Gardeners, the Plant Clinic also helps facilitate agronomic services offered through the NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Here is a list of services and fees offered to NC residents: 

  • Soil testing No fee April 1-Thanksgiving, $4 per sample December through March.
  • Nematode Analysis $3.00
  • Water/Solution Analysis (irrigation water, not potable water $5.00)
  • Plant Tissue Analysis $5.00
  • Standard Waste Analysis $5.00
  • Soilless Media Analysis $5.00

The Plant Clinic can also send samples to the Plant Disease and Insect Clinic (PDIC) or the Turf Diagnostics Lab at NC State:

  • Digital photos for identification free
  • Physical samples or ornamentals or turf $20.00 (if submitted via Extension agent)

For information about PFAS, see this NC State Extension Guide to Understanding and Addressing PFAS in our Community, including a list of certified labs that offer PFAS testing in water (for testing soils, fresh produce, etc. click here). For information about dealing with the pollutant exposure from tidal floods, read this from NC Sea Grant. More resources can be found at these portals: NCSU Center for Environmental and Health Effects of PFAS, the Action Strategy for PFAS from the NC Department of Environmental Quality, information about exposure to PFAS from the CDC, and PFAS as explained by the EPA.

EG Handbook: Learn the right way to garden using this 21-chapter textbook published by NCSU researchers. This searchable, online text is the main text used for the Extension Master Gardener Training.

Plant Toolbox: Need help finding or identifying a plant? The North Carolina Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox contains searchable, de-
tailed descriptions and photographs of 5,000+ plants that grow in and around North Carolina.

Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program: The NC State Extension Master Gardener Program recruits, trains, and engages people to serve as volunteer educators who strengthen Extension’s If you are interested in becoming a Master Gardener volunteer please contact the Extension Master Gardener Coordinator in your county for information on training requirements and volunteer opportunities. Learn more at:

Online Gardening Classes: Have you ever wanted to become a  garden and landscape expert but don’t have the time or money to go back to college and get the degree? Now you can! NC State Extension Gardener program is proud to offer a fully online, asynchronous Garden and Landscape Course Series. It covers everything from soils to edibles, pests to weeds, herbs to trees, and everything in between. These are NOT Extension Master Gardener℠ certification courses. Read more at:

School Gardens: Find resources to plan, start, and maintain school gardens. Garden-Based Curriculum, lesson plans and resources also available. Read more at: . See also “Native Farm to School Guide: Connecting Traditional Foods, Stories, Language and Community“.

Farm to Early Care Education: Farm to Early Care and Education (Farm to ECE) enhances the health and education of young children by developing systems and experiential learning that connect children and their families with local food and farms. It includes any type of activities in ECE environments that incorporate local foods through meals and snacks, taste tests, lessons, farmer visits, cooking, growing food, and/or community and parent involvement. and

Garbage to Gardens program for schools looking to divert lunchroom waste from the landfill, and using compost from food waste in school gardens.

Small farmer resources Primary challenges to new producers and beginning farmers include access to land, access to capital, and farm business planning training and support. This page is a starting point for aspiring producers and farmers to glean resources and knowledge that may answer questions and address challenges. Read more at: See also, Growing Small Farms

NC FarmLink is a program of NC State Extension that connects farmers, landowners, and service providers across North Carolina, helping to grow the state’s agriculture industry. NC FarmLink maintains databases of available farmland and farmers looking for land, and works with landowners and farmers to ensure an appropriate and lasting match is made.

This Interactive Map of Public Gardens in North Carolina is a great resource to plan your next garden visit. Click on a marker for detailed information on a specific garden. View Public Gardens in North Carolina as a full-screen map for additional options. Many gardens feature specific themes including pollinator gardens, shade gardens, vegetable gardens, composting stations, and more. Some offer tours and workshops in the garden.