2024 Vegetable Trials Underway

The 2024 Home Garden Vegetable Trials are now available. It’s hard to believe that it’s already time to start ordering seeds. The trials are open to any home gardener in the state of Ohio. This means you and all of your friends. This is the sixth year of the trials and we have some exciting news. We have added a cut flower trial, a herb trial, and a youth trial (to get the kids excited about gardening). We’ve been listening to feedback and this year we’ve added lots of varieties that can be grown in containers.

The purpose of the trials is to have gardeners grow 2 varieties of a vegetable side-by-side and then give us their feedback through our online reporting site. To learn more details about the trials, you can visit the Vegetable Trials Homepage

There are a total of 13 trials this year. You can select to do from one to five vegetable trials plus the flower, herb, and youth trials. Community Gardens can choose to do all 13, if they would like. The cost of each trial is $3 plus shipping. If you pick up your order at the local Extension Office, there are reduced  shipping charges. To see a description of this year’s trials, visit the 2024 Trials page. The deadline to order is Feb. 16 for guaranteed seeds or March 1 for remaining seeds, When you are ready to order, visit the order site at https://go.osu.edu/veggies2024

The seeds for this year’s trials have been donated by Rupp Seed.

This year we have:

Cool Season veggies

  • Carrots
  • Lettuce
  • Peas
  • Spinach
  • Swiss Chard

Warm Season Vegetables

  • Cucumbers
  • Green Beans
  • Summer Squash
  • Peppers (Bell)
  • Tomatoes


  • Zinnias


  • Basil


  • Gourds

2022 Vegetable Trial Results Released

2022 Trial Results

After a year of crunching numbers, the 2022 Home Garden Vegetable Trials are now available. There were 108 gardeners from 32 counties who participated in the trials with the most coming from Athens and Franklin counties. We had gardeners with all levels of experience from brand new gardeners to those with over 60 years of experience. For the first time, the majority of gardens were planted in raised beds, followed by traditional gardens, and some grown in containers. Twenty five percent of the gardeners chose not to use any fertilizer with an additional thirty three percent depending solely on compost. While two thirds of the trials were successful, another third were failures with the majority caused by wildlife issues. To see the full report, go to 2022 Report

2023 Vegetable Trials Underway

The 2023 Home Garden Vegetable Trials and the photos are starting to come in from around the state. Here are just a few.

One gardener had a little problem with rabbits and deer eating her seedlings last year. This year she added some protection.

All of these are from early in the growing season. Send your photos in to let us know how things are growing.

Freckles Lettuce_T.Burger

Breen Lettuce

Breen Lettuce_T.Burger


Deer and Rabbit protection_T.Burger

Seedling protection_T.Burger





OSU Extension to Host 2023 East Ohio Women in Agriculture Conference

Ohio State University (OSU) Extension will host the 8th Annual East Ohio Women in Agriculture Conference. The conference is planned for Friday, March 24 from 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. at the Shisler Conference Center, 1680 Madison Ave, Wooster, OH 44691. All women and young women (high school age) who are interested, involved in, or want to become involved with food, agricultural, or natural resources production or small business are encouraged to attend.

The conference program features a networking fair and sixteen breakout sessions presented by OSU Extension educators, producers, and partner agencies. Sessions this year are focused around four themes Business & Finance, Plants & Animals, Home & Family, and Special Interest (includes break-out with Ohio FFA State Officers). The conference keynote will be led by Rebecca Miller, Farm and Dairy Editor-in-Chief. Her keynote presentation “Clinging to context in a noisy world: don’t lose sight of the “why” in what you do” will.  Agriculture is often so much more to us than a job, which makes it hard when we face push back — from people around us and from influences outside of our control.  Rebecca will share her path through farming and journalism and how she’s grappled with the questions.  New this year is a Youth Symposium opportunity for high school and college students to present their research, SEA, capstone, thesis, or other study projects. Continue reading

OSU Extension to host Mid-Ohio Small Farm Conference – March 11th, 2023- in Mansfield, Ohio

Ohio State Extension announced plans to host a Small Farm Conference in Mansfield Ohio on March 11, 2023.  The theme for this year’s Mid-Ohio Small Farm Conference is “Sowing Seeds for Success.”

Conference session topics are geared to beginning and small farm owners as well as to farms looking to diversify their operation.  There will be five different conference tracks including: Farm Office, Horticulture and Produce Production, Livestock, Agritourism/ Marketing, Natural Resources.

Some conference topic highlights include: How to purchase our family farm, food animal processing, bee keeping, sweet corn, blueberry and pumpkin production, small ruminant nutrition, agritourism laws, fruit tree pruning and cut flower diseases.

Anyone interested in developing, growing or diversifying their small farm is invited to attend including market gardeners, farmers market vendors, and anyone interested in small farm living.

Attendees will have the opportunity to browse a trade show featuring the newest and most innovative ideas and services for their farming operation. The conference provides an opportunity to talk with the vendors and network with others.

The Conference will take place from 8:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. at the Mansfield OSU Campus in Ovalwood Hall, just minutes from I-71 and US Rt 30.

For conference and registration call OSU Extension Morrow County 419-947-1070, or OSU Extension Knox County 740-397-0401. Please follow this link to register for the conference: https://go.osu.edu/2023osusmallfarmconf

New Master Gardener Training Course Being Formed

It’s time for another Master Gardener Volunteer Training class. This year we are excited to announce that we will be joining with Hocking County for classes. The class will be held as a hybrid class. This means that there will be online learning modules to complete each week. In addition, we will meet on Zoom each Wednesday night at 7 PM. We will have a time of discussion, meet the rest of the class and other Master Gardeners, and answer your questions. Finally, there will also be several hands-on labs throughout the course. The cost of the class is $120.

Important dates include:

  • January 8, 2022 – application deadline
  • January 19 – In-person orientation
  • January 19 – April 6 Class

To learn more about what it means to be a Master Gardener Volunteer and complete the application, visit our Master Gardener page on this site.

2021 Home Garden Vegetable Trials

This marks the second year of the statewide Home Garden Vegetable Trials.

Be a citizen scientist and contribute to our vegetable trials for Ohio. We are looking for people excited about growing vegetables in their home gardens and then letting us know what they think. Youth and adults are welcomed to participate. Each trial contains two varieties that you will grow side by side to compare throughout the season. You can select multiple trials. For each trial you will get:
• seed for two varieties
• Row markets
• A garden layout plan to prepare your rows or beds
• Growing information specific to the crop species you selected, including planting date, plant spacing, nutrient requirements, etc.
• an evaluation sheet

You may participate in up to 5 trials. Select from Cool-season vegetables and Warm-season vegetables.
Now we are asking you to complete the sign up and send payment. Below is a list and description of each variety that will be used this year. Some are from organic sources, but a few are not. The vegetables are not experimental, but some have been released in the last few years. Others are old favorites being compared to new varieties to see if they still stand the test of time. All seeds are non-GMO (as all vegetable seeds available are non-GMO)
Each trial is $3. We have created a payment site. Please go through the sign-up process and select your vegetables. On the payment page, you can choose to pay by card or check. If you choose check, the details for filling out and sending the check will be displayed. Please send that in as soon as possible. You will also see the $8 charge for home delivery added to your bill. We have had to do this because our Extension Offices have been temporarily closed. You also have the option of registering and paying for more than one person while visiting the site. The deadline for ordering is February 28 for guaranteed participation and March 15 while supplies last. Visit the trial website for ordering information.

2021 Trial website

Events in February offers something for Everyone

Programs and Events include

  • Farm & Home
  • Forestry
  • Gardening
  • Farm Management
  • Specialty Crops

Farm & Home

2021 Tree and Wildlife Packet Sale

The Athens Soil and Water Conservation District is taking orders for the 2021 Tree and Wildlife Packet Sale! Orders will be taken until Friday, February 12, 2021. Tentative order distribution date is the last Friday in March. A postcard or email will be sent to confirm exact pick up date, location, and times. Be sure to include the number of packets ordered and your correct address and telephone number on the order form. Please complete the order form and mail it with your payment to: Athens SWCD 69 S. Plains Road The Plains, Ohio 45780.

Tree and Wildlife Packet Sale Brochure 
Ohio Pollinator Seed Mix and Ohio Pollinator (No Grasses) Seed Mix Information
Wildflower and Grass Seed Mix Information


Registration is now open for “Advice from the Woods” a Q&A session with professional foresters and wildlife biologists (February 12- 10 am)

Registration is open for our 2nd Virtual A DAY in the WOODS program for 2021,   “ADVICE from the WOODS”.

“ADVICE from the WOODS” will take place from 10 AM to noon on Friday, February 12 in the form of a Virtual question and and answer session with professional foresters and wildlife biologists including Stephanie Downs (ODNR-Division of Forestry), John Morton (ODNR-Division of Wildlife) and Dave Apsley (OSU Extension).  Other foresters and NR professionals will be recruited to assist depending on expertized needed to answer questions submitted in advance.

The program will be offered via ZOOM Webinar.  Click here to register!

Submit your forestry, wildlife and other natural resources related questions to Dave Apsley ( apsley.1@osu.edu) on on before February 5, 2021.


Backyard Wildlife – Backyards play an increasingly important role in wildlife conservation. Learn to help reduce the negative effects of habitat loss on birds, bees, butterflies, and other wildlife species in your area by creating a favorable landscape.

Marne Titchenell is a Wildlife Program Specialist with OSU Extension. She works to provide a variety of educational programs, workshops, conferences, and publications centered on wildlife ecology and biology, habitat management for wildlife, and managing nuisance wildlife species.  Continue reading

Ohio’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)

EQIP is a voluntary conservation program which helps producers make conservation work for them. NRCS provides agricultural producers with financial resources and one-on-one help to plan and implement improvements, or what NRCS calls conservation practices. Using these practices can lead to cleaner water and air, healthier soil and better wildlife habitat, all while improving agricultural operations. Through EQIP, you can voluntarily implement conservation practices, and NRCS co-invests in these practices with you. Together, NRCS and producers invest in solutions that conserve natural resources for the future while also improving agricultural operations.

Financial assistance is now available in a variety of agricultural categories such as cropland, pasture operations, and organic.  Several special projects are also available which address water quality, forestry management, improving pollinator populations and wildlife habitat, pasture improvements and many more.  Friday, January 15, 2021, is the deadline to submit applications Continue reading