I have long been a big proponent of using the full gardening season to grow and produce fruits, vegetables and herbs in your garden. I am not even talking about using season extension methods like row cover or high tunnels, but instead simply taking advantage of our fairly long growing season.
I posted a fall growing timeline on Talking Hocking back on July 8th. You read that right, summer is when you plan your planting. You look at the frost and freeze dates and count backward. I listed the best varieties to plant in the post. I planted in early August the next round of zucchini and green beans.
The best thing about fall is that many of the problems you face in spring and summer go away. The temperatures moderate, the rain comes back and the bad bugs go away. There are a ton of pollinators just looking for something with a flower. You have ideal growing conditions and in many cases will get a larger harvest than the summer one.
Here is what a squash blossom looks like when it is not full of cucumber beetles
The green bean patch looks ragged but that was after a fourth picking of beans. Still have at least one or two left before they are done for the season, but that still means beans until Halloween.
I thick planted carrot seed from a color mix. As they mature I will pick out the largest carrots which will give room for the smaller carrots to grow larger. They are cold tolerant and so the carrot patch will last until Thanksgiving. They look and taste great too.
The weather prediction for fall frost and freeze noted a later arrival than most years. That is helping for sure. Not every year is like this one, but seed is cheap. I planted 3 zucchini plants, 3 squash plants and a 9″ row of beans. Cost was less than $2, totally worth it to take the chance and most of the plants still look great.
The ten day forecast for Logan has a small chance of a frost next week Monday night. I am hoping the micro climate of my office, the street and the parking lot keeps it above 40 degrees. If so I bet I will be eating these little beauties next week.
Next year make sure to take advantage of fall weather and make a plan to extend your harvest. Fall is a great time for growing and you will be surprised by the amount you can sneak in before the frost and freeze dates.
The sign up date is September 25th but you can get in if you cannot make that date. Just give a call to the OSU Extension office in Guernsey County 740-489-5300 to reserve your spot
CLICK HERE FOR PRINTABLE BROCHURE –> Beef School fall 2017-1atyght
Directions to EARS:
In a couple short weeks it will be time for Farm Science Review, one of my favorite things in Extension.
Each year I get a little more involved with this event and this year I am all in. My first year I attended for a day as I had never been there and really enjoyed it so last year I was able to grab a piece of ground at the Gwynne Conservation Area up the road for a deer plot presentation as well as talk about parasites in small ruminants on the main grounds.
This year my schedule will be:
- Tuesday – At the Gwynne all day, talking Deer Plots mid-day
- Wednesday – At the main grounds, talking Equine Internal Parasite Management at 10am.
- Thursday I get to speak back at the Gywnne on a really cool project idea I had that myself and a bunch of educator buddies of mine developed that is particularly useful for Hocking County residents – A new demonstration area that will show different forages to try for Year-Round Grazing.
There was a 1.1 acre of ground that had been neglected that was planted in warm season perennial bunch grasses, like prairie grasses
Some bunch grasses present but also a ton of weeds
The spot was managed with herbicides with the best quarter acre saved of perennial grasses to show them off and the rest of the plot was planted with other forage types. We will have quarter acre plots of the following:
- Warm Season Annuals
- Overwintered Stockpiled Forage
- Cool Season Perennials
- Warm Season Perennials
Baby oats that will grow into a forage that can be fed into the winter
Stop by this new grazing demonstration area if you get a chance. Shuttles will take you back and forth from each event location.
Harvest is on at The Children’s Educational Garden here at the fairgrounds. The vertical garden experiments I have been working on are producing a large volume of produce. Feel free to come and get some cherry tomatoes (PLEASE!!)
I charted progress with pics and video and made a presentation for you all to enjoy:
Click to download flyer –> FACT flyer-1kyfumr
On of my more favorite job activities is to help get a vegetable garden up and running. It can be backyard, urban farm or community gardening but I really enjoy the process as well as it is one of my areas of specialization –> Local Food Production. I always say the best local food is the food you grow yourself.
I was referred by a colleague to Laura Nadeau, Site Lead, at Hocking County Peer House in Logan, a part of Integrated Service. Laura besides being site lead is the resident chef, den mother, gardener and overall saint who keeps Peer House moving and she asked if I would come over to help them get a vegetable garden plan going. They grow vegetables that can be used in the food service , right up my alley.
First thing is that they have some great spots to grow flowers and vegetables. Two nice half sun beds in the front and a perfect full sun, south exposure spot in the back yard off the deck. So we made a plan.
Laura sourced some flowers and seeds(and started some transplants herself) and with some volunteer and resident help we got the beds planted.
This bed got flowers, the other front bed got roma tomatoes, the back beds are mixed veggies
You should see it now! Harvest is on for tomatoes, zucchini, green beans and cucumbers with peppers and pumpkins on the way.
They even won an award for it.
A garden spot does not need to be large to be productive. Contact me if you have a space you wish to garden in and I will help you get started on the path to creating your own local food.
Have you checked the Fall Vegetable Planting Timeline to make sure you are maximizing garden productivity? The NOAA/NWS projected fall of 2017 will have a delayed freeze risk of 1-2 weeks. That gives the potential for a longer harvest into the fall. You still have time to plant a bunch of seed.
I started some lettuce under the lights of my Seed Start Grow Station last week.
Four Season Marvel variety. Red leaf, cold hardy, very tasty
I will put these into The Urban Farm in a few weeks. I will start more seeds in about 2 weeks or so. Lettuce is frost tolerant and fairly cold hardy. With row cover we will harvest until Thanksgiving easy.
In the Children’s Educational Garden here at the fairgrounds, harvest is in full swing with the cherry tomato vertical garden providing a colorful medley. My favorites are the white and purple cherries.
I seeded bush green beans that have about a 50 day maturity from seed.
The zucchini is also up and I hope to start harvesting by end of september.
Fall is one of the best times to grow. Maximize your production by getting some seed in the ground now so you have vegetables to enjoy later on.
On Saturday September 9, 2017, the Hocking County Master Gardeners (MGV), in conjunction with the Hocking County Soil and Water Conservation District, are offering a day of fun, education and training entitled Secrets in Our Garden. “Our Garden” is Bishop’s Educational Garden located at 13200 Little Cola Road, Rockbridge, Ohio.
Attendees can select from ten different workshops including: Tree Identification, Invasive Plants, Pollinators, Container Gardening, Edible Landscapes, and more. The keynote speaker will be Julie Zickefoose, writer, artist and naturalist who will be presenting, Creating a Haven for your Wildlife and Yourself. Kris Cline, of the newly opened, Butterfly Ridge Conservation Center, and Rick Webb from Webb’s Perennials will be on hand to speak.
Registration includes five CEUs(for MGV), lunch and snacks; the cost is $30 for MGVs and $35 for non-members. The registration deadline is August 15. For more information, you may send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, call the OSU Extension Office in Hocking County at 740-385-3222, or visit the Hocking County Master Gardeners Events Page on Facebook.
Click Here to Print Brochure –> Secrets in Our Garden (4)-1hdtrf3
There will be a free open to the public tour of The Urban Farm at Southeast Ohio Regional Kitchen on Tuesday August 8th at 6:30 pm as part of The Ohio Sustainable Farm Tour as well as a celebration of Ohio Local Foods week.
Come visit The Urban Farm to see our process. Bring your friends and your questions and hear about our current plans for produce production and plans for expansion in 2018.
Fall is a great time to harvest vegetables. The weather is cooler, the bugs not as bad, you still have some sunlight and the rain is a little more regular than summer. To have a fall vegetable harvest you need to do a little planning to time your harvest to the frost date. Our frost free date in Hocking is around the middle of October. As of July 9th, we have around a little under 100 days of growing left. Honestly that means you can still grow almost anything.
Start right now:
- Asian cabbage, heading cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower – under the lights would be best. I will start mine shortly in my Seed Start Grow Station. Starting them indoors avoids high summer heat on fragile cabbage family transplants. They will go out around Labor Day. They do not mind cool weather and are improved by a touch of frost.
Lettuce and Asian cabbages are great plants to start with when you are learning to start seeds. They germinate rapidly and reliably and take to transplanting very well.
- Feel free to start some lettuce indoors now as well. A dozen heads of lettuce to start, and then repeat that every two weeks for the next month or two. You might lose some if August is blazing or you might have homegrown lettuce to go with your BLT.
- Plant another row of green beans as well as start another few zucchini/yellow squash plants. You have plenty of time to mature them, trust me.
- Direct seed some green onions and carrots now. These will be tricky because they both take weeks to germinate as well as do not like to break through a hard dry soil crust. They both tolerate cold later on and you get a harvest into October or November.
- If you did not do potatoes early on and you have some space go ahead and plant seed potatoes. They will be buried under soil and mulch and you will have some in fall.
- Hold off a little bit for sugar snap peas, maybe another two weeks, then start them as well.
- You can direct seed another round of cucumbers now. Then you have some to go with your lettuce and tomatoes for a nice fall salad.
- Hold off about 3-4 weeks before you start radishes and beets. They both grow pretty fast and taste way better when they mature in the fall.
- Direct seed another round of Basil right now. Then you have some later in the season that you are not having to cut all the time to keep in under control
Just a few ideas to get you started. Mix in some row cover on some of the veggies and you can have a harvest that easily lasts to Thanksgiving.