Summer Garden Programs

Hardin County – The Hardin County OSU Extension Master Gardener Volunteers are hosting three summer garden programs at the Friendship Gardens of Hardin County located at 960 W. Kohler Street in Kenton. The programs will begin with an event on “Hugelkulture” on June 15, “Worm Composting” on July 20, and another on “Growing Cabbage, Broccoli, and Kohlrabi” on August 17.

Learn about Hugelkulture on Thursday, June 15 from 6:00-7:00 pm. Hugelkulture is a centuries old traditional way of building a garden bed from rotten logs and plant debris. This program will be presented by Hardin County OSU Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Kim Thomas.

A great way to make the richest and cheapest compost for all your garden plants is to practice Worm Composting. Join Hardin County OSU Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Kim Thomas on Thursday, July 20 from 6:00-7:00 pm for this educational program to enhance your garden’s soil.

Want to know the best techniques for growing cabbage, broccoli, and kohlrabi? Learn the tricks on how to grow these delicious vegetables, and tips on how to keep them pest and disease free. This program will be held Thursday, August 17 from 6:00-7:00 pm and will be presented by Hardin County OSU Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Stewart Coats.

These events are free and open to the public, rain or shine with the featured program inside the shelter house at the Friendship Gardens with seating. Registration is not necessary to attend. Master Gardener Volunteers will be stationed throughout the Friendship Gardens before and after the programs to answer your gardening questions. All interested gardeners are encouraged to attend.

Master Gardener Annual Plant Sale

Hardin County – The 18th Annual Hardin County Master Gardener Plant Sale will be from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm on Saturday, May 20 rain or shine at the Friendship Gardens of Hardin County. The Friendship Gardens of Hardin County is located behind the old HARCO Workshop Building, 960 W Kohler Street in Kenton. Follow the signs to the parking that is available at the garden.

In addition to plants and garden items supplied by the Hardin County OSU Extension Master Gardener Volunteers, there will also be the Hardin County Men’s Garden Club and vendor Star Farms Native Plants at this annual event with plants for sale. In the past, the public has been able to find a wide choice of their favorite flowers, bedding plants, roses, herbs, trees, and various other potted plants at this event.

Sharing from their own knowledge and experience, gardeners from the OSU Extension Hardin County Master Gardener Volunteers, Hardin County Men’s Garden Club and vendor Star Farms Native Plants will be on hand to answer questions and provide advice for a successful gardening year. In addition, free packets of Ohio Victory Gardens seeds provided by the Ohio Department of Agriculture will be available.

Make sure you put Saturday, May 20 on your calendar to attend. Hopefully the weather will cooperate, and conditions will be more suitable for planting by the date of this year’s plant sale. The OSU Extension Hardin County Master Gardener Volunteers look forward to seeing you at the Friendship Gardens once again this year. Come early as noted in the past, the event has been popular, and plants go fast. So, bring your boxes and wagons, and get your green thumb on for the new planting season!

Ohio Victory Gardens Offers Free Seeds

Hardin County – It’s time once again to get your hands dirty and start growing! The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) and Ohio State University Extension offices are kicking off the fourth year of the Ohio Victory Gardens program. Due to high demand, the program has expanded to include 50 counties, up from 42 counties last year. Thousands of seed sample kits are available for free to the public to get people planting.

Specific days and times for each office are available on the Ohio Victory Gardens website, as well as planting resources and information. Hardin County OSU Extension will make available Ohio Victory Garden seed packets containing a combination of carrots, cucumber, lettuce, and sunflowers. Seeds are currently available at the Hardin County OSU Extension Office, 1021 W Lima Street in Kenton and will also be available at its annual Master Gardener Volunteers Plant Sale being held Saturday, May 20 from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm in the Friendship Gardens of Hardin County located at 960 W Kohler Street in Kenton.

Victory Gardens originated during World War I, an answer to a severe food shortage at the time. People were encouraged to find any usable space, plop in some seeds, and contribute homegrown fruits, vegetables, and herbs to the effort. The idea was wildly successful, growing an army of amateur gardeners and serving to boost morale and patriotism.

While we’re not in wartime, we can all commiserate the past few months have been tough, mood-boosters are welcomed. So, the Ohio Department of Agriculture and Ohio State University are reviving the effort and once again inspiring people to get their hands dirty, realize the fruits of their labor and share with others if inspired. We believe a good day in the garden is good for the soul.

The Victory Gardens Program offers a full website with details on seed distribution, advice, and resources on every aspect of planting and harvesting produce at online. All Victory Gardens participants will be eligible to win a free starter gardening toolkit by completing a short online survey to enter.


Article written by Ohio Department of Agriculture and edited by Mark Badertscher-OSU Extension, Hardin County

Pesticide & Fertilizer Recertification Training

Hardin County – Some farmers have received a notice that informs them that their current pesticide and/or fertilizer applicator licenses will expire at the end of March 2023 and that they must complete their continuing education hours to renew before this date. Thirty dollars is sent to the Ohio Department of Agriculture in Reynoldsburg to renew the license and $35 to OSU Extension for the pesticide continuing education requirement. If fertilizer recertification is needed, the cost to OSU Extension is $10 for the fertilizer continuing education requirement.

Farmers must have a private applicator license to apply restricted use pesticides on their farm or for an employer’s crops. A commercial license is required for individuals who apply products on fields other than their own or as a business. The Environmental Protection Agency determines whether a product is designated restricted or general use. Restricted use products may be organic or traditional pesticides.

To obtain a private pesticide applicator license, farmers must pass a series of exams that test their competency in pesticide safety and application knowledge. They also must be certified in one or more of seven categories in addition to Core knowledge. These categories include Grain and Cereal Crops, Forage Crops and Livestock, Fruit and Vegetable Crops, Nursery and Forest Crops, Greenhouse Crops, Fumigation, and Specialty Uses.

Farmers must have a private fertilizer applicator license if they apply fertilizer on 50 or more acres of crops grown for sale. This does not include crops that are used on the farm for their livestock or fertilizer used through the planter. It does include fertilizer applied in the fall, pre-plant, or side dressing. If fertilizer is applied by a commercial applicator, the farmer does not need to have fertilizer certification. Like pesticide applications, there must be record keeping of fertilizer applied to the farmer’s crops that can be requested by the Ohio Department of Agriculture. If an applicator does not have a fertilizer license and needs one, they can attend a three-hour training to become certified or study the fertilizer manual and take a test on their own.

A license must be renewed every three years. A farmer can meet this requirement by completing three hours of approved pesticide continuing education anytime during the three year period and one hour of fertilizer continuing education during the same three year period. Recertification training emphasizes effective management strategies that enhance crop productivity, encourage responsible use of products, and promote safe practices for applicators, the public, and the environment. OSU Extension offices are currently offering recertification programs to fulfill the three hours of the pesticide continuing education requirement and additional one hour of the fertilizer continuing education requirement for license renewal. An applicator may also choose to retest every three years to renew a private pesticide or fertilizer license in place of recertification training.

Hardin County Pesticide and Fertilizer Recertification programs will be offered Monday, March 6 at the Plaza Inn Restaurant in Mt. Victory. The pesticide recertification session will begin at 9:00 am and end at 12:00 pm. This session is for private applicators and will consist of Core, Grain and Cereal Crops, Forage Crops and Livestock, and Fumigation. A lunch option will be made available at the Plaza Inn Restaurant for additional cost. The fertilizer recertification will start at 1:00 pm and end at 2:00 pm. Farmers need to call the Extension office at 419-674-2297, or stop by at 1021 W. Lima Street, Suite 103 in Kenton to pre-register. An option to pre-register online is available at Further information regarding make-up or specialty recertification in other areas can be obtained by contacting the Extension office by March 24.

Both pesticide and fertilizer recertification for make-up and/or specialty categories will be offered on March 28, from 9:00 am – 2:00 pm at the Extension office in Kenton. Pre-registration is required by calling the Hardin County Extension office. Be sure to include pesticide categories needed and whether fertilizer recertification is needed. On March 28, pesticide recertification will begin at 9:00 am for three hours, followed by an hour of fertilizer recertification at 1:00 pm. Seating is limited to 25 people at the Extension office.

Training dates for commercial pesticide applicators can be found at Training dates for Private Pesticide Applicators for other counties in Ohio may be found at The commercial and private applicator licenses are a way that commercial pesticide applicators and farmers show good stewardship in caring for our land and producing our food in a sustainable and environmentally responsible manner.

Beef Quality Assurance Training

Hardin County – Join Hardin County OSU Extension for a Beef Quality Assurance certification training scheduled for Tuesday, February 28 from 6:30-8:00 pm at the Extension office located at 1021 W Lima Street in Kenton. Beef Quality Assurance training is for beef cattle producers, needing to recertify or certify to sell cattle at auctions and other markets. Many of the major beef processors, auctions, and other markets began requiring producers to have a BQA certificate at the beginning of 2019. Beef Quality Assurance certification is for a period of three years and was previously held in Kenton in December 2018, February 2021 and May 2022. Several local producers need to recertify in addition to any cattle producers who need to gain BQA certification for the first time.

Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) does more than just help beef producers capture more value from their market cattle. BQA also reflects a positive public image and instills consumer confidence in the beef industry. When producers implement the best management practices of a BQA program, they assure their market steers, heifers, cows, and bulls are the best they can be. Today, the stakes are even higher because of increased public attention on animal welfare. BQA is valuable to all beef and dairy producers because it demonstrates commitment to food safety and quality; safeguards the public image of the beef industry; upholds consumer confidence in valuable beef products; and improves the sale value of marketed beef cattle.

Training enhances herd profitability through better management. Ohio State University Extension, in cooperation with the Ohio Beef Council, the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association, and Ohio’s cattle auction markets, is working to offer Ohio’s cattle producers several opportunities to become Beef Quality Assurance Certified. Certification can also take place online at Register for this Kenton training at or call 419-674-2297. Registration is required and space is limited for this local no cost in-person training that is good for both initial BQA certification or recertification.

Spring Garden Seminar

Hardin County – This week’s warm weather has reminded us that work in the spring garden is coming. Believe it or not, spring is around the corner and so is the OSU Extension spring garden seminar. “Something Old, New, Tried & True in the Garden” is the planned seminar being offered by the Hardin County OSU Extension Master Gardener Volunteers this year. Get your seat reserved while you can. Plenty of topics are on the agenda for this event which will get your thoughts turned to gardening and away from the cold weather that has been with us for the past few months.

This year’s spring garden seminar will feature four expert speakers. Nora Hiland will speak on ‘Exotic Invasive Plants.’ What are they? Why are they a problem? Rapid growth, high productivity rates, and lack of natural controls have helped non-natives displace native species. Why are some of your favorite landscape plants a problem in natural areas? Nora Hiland earned a B.S. in Ornamental Horticulture from California State University in Fresno. She worked as a research assistant in horticulture then earned a teaching degree and taught biology and general science in grades 7-12. She has been a Master Gardener in Delaware County since 2009 and a member of Ohio Invasive Plants Council since 2005.

Timothy McDermott’s presentation will focus on ‘What is Compost.’ It is the soil amendment of choice to improve soils with organic matter. Learn about the composting process, what nutrients are present in compost, and how you can build your own compost pile to maximize your harvest. Timothy McDermott, DVM, is an OSU Assistant Professor and has been an Extension Educator in Agriculture and Natural Resources for the past seven years. He lectures locally as well as internationally on Local Food Systems and Veterinary Sciences where he spent 20 years in private practice.

‘Planting Container Gardens’ will be the topic discussed by Candi Scheiderer. Gardening in smaller spaces and with less time. Instant results to achieve plant color around your home and garden. Easily change containers for each season. What containers to use, what plants to choose, how to put together complementary color schemes, and what to use for filler and interest. Candi Scheiderer has always loved making someone’s day. From her career as a critical care nurse to her life as co-owner of Scheiderer Farms, Candi finds that nurturing, whether it’s people or plants, is the common thread to having a joyful life.

Bradley Allen will speak on ‘Growing Hydrangeas.’ Learn about all the different types of hydrangeas, including new varieties. How and when to prune, how to turn flowers blue, the planting, care, pests/diseases, folklore, and breeding of hydrangeas. Bradley Allen found a home in the world of plants in the last 5 years. He earned a degree in Landscape & Turf Management from Owens Community College. He got a job at North Branch Nursery as a laborer before being asked to be an assistant grower with a short-term goal of becoming head grower. Life took on a whole new meaning while battling cancer in 2022. Plants remain his major focus.

“Something Old, New, Tried & True in the Garden” will be held March 9 at the Mid-Ohio Energy Cooperative Community Room, 1210 W Lima Street in Kenton. The seminar is open to the public, no matter how much gardening experience you have. The cost is $50, which includes a continental breakfast, lunch, handouts, and door prizes. For active OSU Master Gardener Volunteers, the fee is $40. Doors open on the day of the event at 8:15 am, the program starts at 9:00 am and ends at 4:00 pm. The registration deadline is February 23 with a limited class size. For more information about this event, call Kim Thomas 419-674-8012.

Cover Crop Management Seminar

Hardin County – Cody Beacom and Jim Hoorman are the headline speakers for a Cover Crop Management three-hour morning program presented by the Ohio No-Till Council, Hardin County OSU Extension, and The Nature Conservancy. The event will be held at the Plaza Inn Restaurant, 491 S Main Street, Mt. Victory, starting at 9:00 am on Friday, February 10. Coffee and cake will be provided by Wingfield Crop Insurance Service starting at 8:30 am.

Cody Beacom, Bird Agronomics, will explain the basics of cover crops, from the selection of the best mix for summer or fall seeding to managing in the spring, whether using a burndown herbicide, “planting green”, or using a roller crimper.

A cover crops expert panel consisting of Jan Layman, Hardin County farmer and president of the Ohio No-till Council; Cody Beacom, Bird Agronomics; and Matt Burkholder, Farmer Advocate for Conservation; will answer questions and concerns from the audience.

Jim Hoorman, Hoorman Soil Health Services, will present details regarding the nutrient and soil health benefits of cover crops.

Lunch will be provided at noon by The Nature Conservancy and the Farmer Advocate for Conservation program.

The program is free and limited to 50 participants. Pre-registration is required at or by calling OSU Extension, Hardin County at 419-674-2297 by February 3.

Fertilizer Applicator Certification Training in Kenton

Hardin County – A three-hour fertilizer certification program will be held in Kenton for any private or commercial applicator who needs to obtain fertilizer certification for the first time. This training will be held at the Hardin County OSU Extension office, 1021 W Lima Street, Kenton, Ohio on Friday, February 10. The class will begin at 1:00 pm and end at 4:00 pm. There is a $30 class fee payable to OSU Extension for this training.

Please arrive early so that materials can be distributed, and the program can start on time. This training will meet the fertilizer certification requirements for those with or without a pesticide license. Pre-registration is required by calling the Hardin County OSU Extension office at 419-674-2297 or register online at no later than a week before the training.

Agricultural fertilizer applicator certification is required in Ohio for farmers who apply fertilizer to more than 50 acres of agricultural production grown primarily for sale. This requirement was signed into law in June 2014, and also requires certification for commercial agricultural fertilizer applicators. Farmers who have their fertilizer applied by co-ops or custom applicators are not required to be certified if they do not side-dress their own corn.

Applicators who are a Certified Crop Adviser (CCA) or Certified Livestock Manager (CLM) are not required to attend the training. Fertilizer is defined for the regulation as any substance containing nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, or other plant nutrient in a dry or liquid formulation. All application types such as broadcast, side dress, sub-surface, knifing and other are included in the certification requirement. Lime and limestone are not included as fertilizer for the certification and farmers who only use starter fertilizer in their planter boxes are exempted.

The agriculture fertilizer certification is not required for manure applications as these are currently regulated, unless farmers are applying livestock or poultry manure from a Concentrated Animal Feeding Facility (CAFF). In this case, they would need to have either the CLM or Ohio Fertilizer Certification.

The Ohio Department of Agriculture is the agency issuing the certification for agriculture fertilizer applications. Once an applicator completes the fertilizer training, the ODA will bill them $30 for their fertilizer certificate unless the applicator currently holds a pesticide applicator license.

The Ohio Department of Agriculture website has information regarding the regulation at For more information about other training sessions or general materials for the agriculture fertilizer certification, visit or contact Mark Badertscher, Hardin County OSU Extension at

Master Gardener Volunteer Training Offered

Hardin County – The Hardin County OSU Extension Master Gardener Volunteers will host a Master Gardener Volunteer training course for new Master Gardener Volunteers this winter. The Ohio State University Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program provides intensive training in horticulture to interested Ohio residents who then volunteer their time assisting with educational programs and activities for Ohio residents through their local Ohio State University Extension county office. Volunteers are not required to have gardening skills or knowledge; but a passion for learning about gardening and sharing this knowledge with others is a must!

Training will be a combination of a self-paced online course combined with in-person classes held at the Hardin County Extension office beginning with orientation on Monday, February 13 from 9 am – 12 pm. Other scheduled in-person classes will be held according to availability of those who enroll. Additionally, new interns will gain hands-on training working alongside current Master Gardeners at the Friendship Gardens in Kenton. Spring garden seminars will be an option for meeting training requirements. The training course is open to interested volunteers from any county with the volunteer commitment to be completed in the volunteer’s home county program.

Specialists from the Ohio State University Extension and experienced Master Gardener Volunteers will be teaching sessions along with some local experts. Some topics include botany, soils, entomology, plant pathology, plant propagation, herbaceous and woody ornamentals, lawns, vegetables, herbs, fruit, pollinators, integrated pest management, pesticide safety, backyard wildlife, houseplants, and therapeutic horticulture.

The cost of the training is $150.00 and includes the training manual and materials for the class. There is also a requirement for a background check at the volunteer’s expense. The program requires 50 hours of classroom training and a commitment of 50 hours volunteer time to become a certified Master Gardener Volunteer. Registration deadline is January 30.  More information is available at or by calling Mark Badertscher at 419-767-6037 at Hardin County OSU Extension. For more information about the Hardin County OSU Extension Master Gardener Volunteers, visit their Facebook page.


Conservation Tillage Club Breakfast Series Planned

Hardin County – The 2023 Conservation Tillage Club breakfast program series will begin on Thursday, January 12 at the Plaza Inn Restaurant in Mt. Victory. Each session will start at 7:30 am with a complimentary buffet breakfast followed by the program at 8:00 am. Other sessions will be held on January 26, February 9 and 23.

On January 12, the program will feature James Uphaus, Chair and Assistant Professor, Agriculture Technology, Rhodes State College. Uphaus will present information about Using Precision Ag Data. Uphaus will share examples about how farmers can take the data from their combine, planter, and sprayer monitor information about their fields’ soil variation and associated cropping practices to create prescription maps from field-based results with a goal to increase agriculture product sales and return on investment.

The January 26 program will feature Amanda Matheny, Grain Origination Specialist with Cargill who will present a program on the Grain Marketing Outlook and the new soybean crush plant being built in Sidney. Matheny will provide information to help crop producers successfully market their soybean and corn commodities based on global supply and demand with an emphasis on market trends. Cargill is the largest soybean extractor in North America and will increase their local capacity with an additional 20 million bushels that will be needed to run the new plant being constructed in Sidney. Upon completion in the summer of 23, the operation will have capability to dump 60 soybean trucks in an hour and draw territory will include over 35 counties in Ohio and Indiana.

February 9 OARDC/OSU Extension Corn Disease Specialist Dr. Pierce Paul will return to the Conservation Tillage Club breakfast program to provide an update on corn diseases in Ohio. Recently, the area has experienced vomitoxin issues in corn, brought about by Gibberella Ear Rot. Tar Spot has also infected corn in Hardin County for the first time in 2021, and with a later season appearance in 2022. He will speak about how to identify these diseases in the field, discuss their disease cycle, and how to manage these issues both in the field and how to prevent problems with grain storage. Discussion will include selecting for disease resistance, weather influence on spore development, scouting for infections, and proper use of fungicides.

The February 23 program will feature both Megan Burgess, District Conservationist, USDA-NRCS Hardin County and Leisha Billenstein, District Conservationist, USDA-NRCS Logan County speaking about the Farm Bill Programs available to local producers in 2023. Information shared will include programs, benefits, who is eligible, how it works, how to apply, along with more information about cost sharing and payment rates. Since these are federal programs, information provided will be based on what is available at the current time for Ohio and surrounding counties. Additional information can be found on the USDA website.

The Conservation Tillage Club breakfast program series is jointly sponsored by OSU Extension and the Soil and Water Conservation Districts of Hardin, Logan, and Union Counties, and in cooperation with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. Breakfast is courtesy of the generous support from agricultural lenders and agricultural businesses. All events are open to the public and no advance registration is required. Continuing education credits for Certified Crop Advisers is pending.