Office Services

Financial transactions by cash, check, or credit cards; however, please note that we are not able to accept credit card payments for some workshops and events.

Educational Programs

A variety of educational programs are offered in all program areas throughout the year. Click on the “Events” tab to find meetings and workshop that may be of interest to you.

Educational Bulletins & Publications

  • MSU Extension bulletins as well as some publications from various governmental agencies and educational resources are available. We suggest you call the office for publication availability.
  • MSU Extension publications are also available online from the MSU Extension Bookstore at


Home, Yard and Garden

Toll Free Lawn and Garden Helpline:  Call 1-888-678-3464 (1-888-MSUE-4MI), then choose Option #1

Hotline is staffed by MSU Extension Consumer Horticulture Educators and Master Gardener volunteers, the hotline is available weekdays 9 a.m. - noon and 1 - 4 p.m.   (Winter hours are mornings only) When calling the 1-888-678-3464 number, please make sure to choose Option #1 for the Helpline.

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. Call our office or go online for more information on the services offered by CIPS.

Soil Testing  (Don’t guess…soil test!)

Home Self-Serve Test Kit (Residential Lawns, Vegetable Gardens, Flower Gardens, Trees and Shrubs)

Available to purchase for $26 in our office; or order online at the MSU Extension Bookstore at 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 $18 each.  You will receive a Soil Sample Information form to complete and send with your samples to the Laboratory. Test results will be interpreted by an agricultural Extension educator. To understand your soil test results, fertilizer calculator etc. please visit MSU Soil

Ottawa County Phosphorus Fertilizer Ordinance

Effective January 1, 2008: All areas in Ottawa County are prohibited the use of any lawn fertilizer containing more than 0 percent phosphorus; prohibited the use of any fertilizer on frozen ground; prohibited the use of any fertilizer on impervious surfaces including parking lots, roadways and sidewalks.

Exemptions include:

  • Newly-established turf or lawn areas during their first growing season.
  • Turf or lawn areas that have been shown within the last 3 years to be Phosphorus deficient through laboratory analysis (soil test).
  • Agricultural areas, gardens, or applications to trees and /or shrubs.
  • Compost or similar natural organic materials.

Pesticide Applicator Program; Certification, Training, Exams & Manuals

Certification and Training

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, we suggest you call ahead to make sure they are in stock.
  • Online at the MSU Extension Bookstore at – (online purchases may be made with a credit card).

Plat Books

Ottawa County Plat Books are now produced by the Ottawa County Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Department. Plat books are only available in electronic format through the Ottawa GIS Department. Visit the Ottawa County GIS Department at for information on purchasing and downloading a plat book.