Very few gardeners claim to know it all. No matter how experienced we think we are, there are always a few unknowns that crop up every season. A mystery insect, weed, fungus or bird might leave us scratching our head, but there's always someone here at Dave's Garden who can solve the mystery. Our popular Identification Forums are just the place to turn when you're stumped.
Did I plant that?
Just about every gardener has stumbled across an unknown plant and wondered if it was meant to be there, or if a weedy thug is setting up housekeeping. Many times a chance seedling appears and we speculate if it might be something rare and desirable. The Plant Identification Forum at Dave's Garden is an active part of our community and experts stop in every day to help folks from around the world with their mystery plants. This free forum is available for all, whether they are paid subscribers or free access members. Members post images of their plants and more often than not, someone identifies them right away. We have a number of Facebook followers who post images of their unknowns on our social media page and when we direct them to the Plant Identification Forum, most receive an answer that very day. Gardeners love a good mystery and often several members are involved when an especially intriguing plant is posted.
What is eating my plant?
We've all examined chewed leaves and chomped blossoms wondering what could have done the deed. More often than not, the guilty party is nowhere to be found. Sometimes yellowed foliage or mysterious spots appear. Did we water too much? Did we not water enough? Is it a fungus? Insect? Many times, a plant fails for no apparent reason. What to do? The Garden Pests and Disease Forum is a great place to start. This forum is also free for anyone as long as they have a Dave's Garden user account and it is quite active with folks looking for answers to what is happening to their plants. It really helps when experienced gardeners can guide a novice through a situation they've seen before. Sometimes the answer is as simple as repotting a root-bound plant or moving a shade loving plant out of the sun. Most gardeners will receive helpful advice in a short time frame, which is good, because we all know how fast a plant can die if it is determined enough.
Good guy or bad guy?
There is an unknown insect in your garden. Will it bite? Will it bite your plants? Will it bite other bugs? What to do? The Insect and Spider Identification Forum is one of the most active forums in the Dave's Garden Community. Gardeners do not want to destroy beneficials, but sometimes it is hard to tell which insects are on your side. Most insects are identified within a day or so and very often our experts offer suggestions for attracting the good guys and dealing with the enemy. One of the most popular pleas is for assistance with spider identification. Our experts aren't squeamish and bravely open the spider thumbnails to full-size so that they can lay any fears to rest. (I filled in for about 10 days once, when one of our experts was out of town. I saw spiders in my sleep. They are brave souls, indeed.) Again, as with of our Identification Forums, the Insect and Spider Identification Forum is free for all registered members to use. Members with interesting images are encouraged to post them in in our BugFiles database after they are identified.
What feathered friend is this?
Most gardeners enjoy attracting birds as well as insects to their garden and we have a very active Bird Watching forum here too. When requests for identifications reached a significant percentage of posts in that forum, we knew that it was time to create a Bird Identification Forum. Both the Bird Watching Forum and the Bird Identification Forum are free for all registered members to use and we have some excellent experts from around the world to help put names to our mystery birds. Bird watching is second only to gardening when people rank their favorite leisure activities, so it is only natural that a gardening community has both. BirdFiles is our companion database where members can post images of their birds after they are identified.
These free access resources are available to all registered members and we encourage you to make use of the expertise and information available just for the asking. Our community is global and our identification forum regulars are quite used to seeing requests come in from around the world. It doesn't matter if you want to identify a potential weed in your garden or snapped a shot of a mystery plant in South Africa. An unidentified insect from Maylasia gets the same attention as one in a suburban back yard. We welcome your puzzles, because puzzle solving also ranks high in leisure activities and what could be better than to combine that with our other favorite pursuits!
About Melody Rose
I come from a long line of Kentuckians who love the Good Earth. I love to learn about every living thing, and love to share what I've learned. Photography is one of my passions, and all of the images in my articles are my own, except where credited.