First stop: Call our toll-free Info Line
If you notice a problem but can't determine the cause, call the UNH CooperativeExtension Education Center's toll-free InfoLine (M-F, 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.)
Before you call, record your answers to these questions to help the person taking your call find the right answer to your question.
- Describe the damage and the progress of the symptoms.
- What part(s) of the plant is/are affected?
- When did you first notice the symptoms?
- How extensive is the problem?
- Do nearby plants or crops seem to have similar symptoms?
- Do you have the results of a recent soil test?
- How did you fertilize the soil the affected plants are growing in?
- Have you applied any pesticides or herbicides of any kind on or around the affected plants?
Get a soil test Test your soil every three years and follow the recommendations for optimum plant growth.
Identify a suspected plant disease What looks like signs of disease could be environmental damage, a nutrient deficiency, or insect damage.
Identify an unknown insect Most of the insects you see in and around your garden are harmless, and many are beneficial. Don't apply control measures until you'rte certain the caterpillar, bug, or beetle you see is actually doing damage.
Photo credits: Top: Flea beetle damage on potatoes,by Peg Boyles; Bottom: Diseased bean plants, by Kathy Martin,Skippy's Vegetable Garden. Used with permission.