Home, Yard and Garden
Toll Free Lawn and Garden Hotline: 1-888-678-3464 (1-888-MSUE-4MI)
Hotline is staffed by MSU Extension Consumer Horticulture Educators and Master Gardener volunteers, the Hotline is available weekdays 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. When calling the 1-888-678-3464 number, please make sure to choose Option #1 for the Hotline.
Plant and Insect Diagnostics
Questions involving plant health analysis, plant/weed identification, and insect infestation may be answered by also calling toll-free 1-888-678-3464 (Option 1). If a complete diagnostic analysis is necessary, a live sample may be sent to the Michigan State University Center for Integrated Plant Systems (CIPS) for a fee. Go online for more information on the services offered by CIPS.
Summer Diagnostic Clinic
A FREE diagnostic clinic is offered on Wednesdays from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. during the summer months of May - September at the Grand Traverse County office. Bring in samples (or send photos) of insects, weeds, diseased plants, or other problems in your lawn or garden. Master Gardeners and other experts are available during this time to help identify issues and find solutions.
For more information, visit the Gardening in Michigan website.
Educational Bulletins & Publications
Extension Educational bulletins / publications are sold in the office; however, best to call ahead for availability. You can also search for and order bulletins at our MSU Extension Bookstore Publications from the convenience of your home!
Soil Testing (Don’t guess…soil test!)
Home Soil Test Kit (Residential Lawns, Vegetable Gardens, Flower Gardens, Trees and Shrubs)
Available to purchase for $25 in our office with cash, check or credit card; or order online with credit card at MSU ExtensionBookstore – Bulletin E-3154 Note: You must provide an email address as results will be sent directly to you via email. If you would like help interpreting test results, call our statewide Lawn and Garden Helpline at 1-888-678-3464, option 1.
Commercial (Agricultural Crops, Commercial Growers, Pastures and Wildlife Forage)
Soil boxes for sample collection CANNOT be ordered on-line but can be purchased at the office at a cost of $12 each. You’ll receive a Soil Sample Information form to complete and send with your samples to the MSU Soil and Plant Nutrient Laboratory. Test results will be interpreted by an agricultural Extension educator. If you are unable to come to our office to purchase your soil sample box or you would like to purchase a large quantity of boxes, you will need to contact the Soil & Plant Nutrient Lab at 517-355-0218. Our office is not able to mail the boxes to you. To understand your soil test results, fertilizer calculator etc. online at the MSU Soil Test.com
Pesticide Applicator Program; Certification, Training, Exams & Manuals
Certification and Training
- MSU Extension Pesticide Training & Certification
- Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development (MDARD)
All exam and scheduling questions should be addressed to the Michigan Department of Ag (MDA) at 1-800-292-3939.
Manuals for Certification Training
- Can be purchased at the office; however, suggest you call ahead to make sure they are in stock, 231-922-4620.
- MSU Extension Bookstore – can be purchased online with credit card.
Well Water Testing Services
We no longer provide well water testing services. Click here for a list of local laboratories certified by the Department of Environmental Quality.