Plant Toolbox Keeps Getting Better With Help From Master Gardener Volunteers

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Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox logoThe Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox is a one-stop shop for plant information that contains more than 4,600 plant profiles, each featuring cultural requirements, suggested landscape uses, IPM information, and images from multiple seasons. You may search for plants by their common or scientific name, or use the Find a Plant feature to select the perfect plants for your landscape conditions and needs. In addition, there are over 100 garden galleries showcasing mature plant combinations and inspiring hardscapes. Explore what you will find in each plant profile, including QR codes that can be added to signs, labels, and educational materials.

Thanks to the efforts of Master Gardener℠ volunteers, who contributed over 4,000 service hours to enhance and maintain the site in 2021 and 2022, the Plant Toolbox keeps getting better. Volunteers gathered images, wrote descriptions, researched and entered data, and proofread entries.

Screenshot of purple coneflower profile from the Plant Toolbox

Purple coneflower profile from the Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox.

When asked what he enjoyed most about working on the Plant Toolbox, Master Gardener volunteer Gene Cronin shared, “Prior to the toolbox, most of the plants I learned about were the ones that went in my own backyard. Doing the research for plant entries opened up a whole world of plants I was unfamiliar with and helped me to appreciate how diverse that world is.”

Master Gardener volunteers in Brunswick County are taking full advantage of the QR codes found in each Plant Toolbox plant profile by adding them to plant labels in their demonstration garden, located at the N.C. Cooperative Extension, Brunswick County Center. Master Gardener volunteers who participated in the 2022 training class cataloged over 660 plants found in the garden and added QR codes to each plant’s label as part of their internship project.

Scanning the QR code with a cell phone conveniently leads each visitor to full and accurate information found in the Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox. According to EMG program coordinator, Krys Ochota, “Adding QR codes to all of the plant labels makes the demonstration garden truly useful to Brunswick County community members, and newcomers in particular.”

Explore the Plant Toolbox to find great plants for your yard!

Learn more about how you can be part of the NC State Extension Master Gardener program!

2021 Snapshot of EMGV activity. 3808 volunteers. 158,634 volunteer hours valued at $4.1 million. 77,371 residents reached.

See the 2021 Annual Report to explore more examples of how volunteers with the Extension Master Gardener℠ program share their knowledge to help North Carolinians learn and grow.