What if you could have the horticulture research of all the Cooperative Extension universities at your fingertips? Guess what? You already do. It's an online library of research-based, unbiased information at www.extension.org /horticulture. But, not only is information available on a number of horticulture topics, there is also information on families, youth, community, disaster networks and farming. It's called "eXtension," and it's an interactive learning environment connecting you with university experts who know their subject matters inside and out.
You can access creative solutions to many of today's complex challenges 24 hours a day, getting customized answers to your specific questions based on reliable, field-tested data. The answers are dynamic, relevant and timely.
Trying out the site, I clicked on "Trees and Shrubs," and then on "Selection." I scrolled down to a section called "Tree and Shrub Selectors for Hardiness Zones 2-9." There I found a link to the University of Illinois Tree Selector. I opened this link and marked boxes to search for a small tree for zone 3 and dry soil, with green leaves and red fall foliage, and that would withstand alkaline soil, salt and wind. Up popped Amur maple. The site gave me accurate information. My search for a drought-tolerant shrub that would take the same conditions was successful after I slightly modified the parameters.
In the trees and shrubs section, besides the tab for selection, there are tabs for planting, maintenance and problems. Back on the main horticulture page, you can find out more about flowers, fruits, vegetables, lawns, indoor plants, landscaping, pests, soils and composting. Perhaps you want a gardening calendar. Under that tab, scroll down until you see the area titled West. Use either Idaho's or Utah's information for gardening here in Nevada.
The new eXtension Web site is evolving. There will be more information added to the site every few months. As you look through the offerings on the site, you might determine that you're still seeking information or educational resources in a topic or subject matter area not found on eXtension. You can let us know about this need in several ways. You can contact eXtension directly and let them know what you'd like to see added. You may also contact your local Cooperative Extension office and let us know what you need. We may be able to help you immediately, or we can alert the eXtension folks of your need.
For more information on gardening in Nevada, contact me, 887-2252 or email@example.com, or your local University of Nevada Cooperative Extension office. Check out many useful horticulture publications at www.unce.unr.edu. "Ask a Master Gardener" by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
-- JoAnne Skelly is the Carson City/Storey County Extension Educator for University
of Nevada Cooperative