Growing Garlic

Garlic and Vampires

Growing up many of us learned that the best way to avoid Vampires was to wear garlic around our necks. And it’s interesting that Garlic planting season is close to Halloween! But what kind of garlic should you plant?

Garlic is a member of the Allium family which includes onion, shallot, leek, and chives.  There are two basic kinds of Garlic:  softneck and hardneck.  Softneck garlic often grows smaller bulbs and is better suited for warmer climates.  Hardneck garlic produces larger bulbs but also has fewer cloves. Additionally, hardneck garlic will form a scape in the late spring. This scape is actually a flower stalk but should be removed to allow energy to focus on the bulb.  Don’t feel you are losing anything by removing the scapes, they are edible! Hardneck garlic is best grown in cooler regions.

The Master Gardener Volunteers have decided to grow garlic this year in a strawbale in the Demo Garden. Thank you to Laura and Carol for providing the conditioning of the bale.  As with any of the strawbales, this was a 12-day process of watering and adding fertilizer.

Today the bale was ready to plant. Susan and Deb prepared the garlic by breaking loose individual cloves. These cloves were placed, point up, into the bale approximately 2 inches deep at 6-inch intervals. A checkerboard pattern was used to maximize planting. The bale was then topped with a few inches of potting soil which was watered to hold it in place. This bale will be watered during the winter as needed. It should be noted that sometimes the cloves will sprout early but this is normal and not a problem.

Garlic is harvested in the early summer when the bottom third of the leaf stalks begin to yellow.

If you come by our Demo Garden in the next couple of weeks, know that you are protected from Vampires if you stand by the Garlic Strawbale.

—Deb Garner, OSU Extension Master Gardener Volunteer, Clermont County

Happy pollinators

Strawbale of garlic

Sleepy pollinators

Strawbale mushrooms showing proper decomposition

Garden Seminars


Third Thursday of the month 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Brown County Education Service Center

9231-B Hamer Rd, Georgetown, OH 45121


  • November 18, 2021 Gathering Local Wild Edibles Christine Taylor
  • January 20, 2022 Raising Monarchs Denise Bollinger
  • February 17, 2022 Straw Bale Gardening Susan Givler
  • March 17, 2022 Greasy Beans Louis Mays
  • April 21, 2022 New Plant Varieties Sue Federico

All classes are free and open to the public.
To pre-register: Call 937-378-6716 or email


Master Gardener Volunteer Demonstration Garden Update

Susan Grodecki, OSU Extension, Master Gardener Volunteer, reporting week of September 16

The Demo Garden was full of activity Tuesday. The flowers look beautiful in both the Demo and Sensory Gardens with many pollinators buzzing about. The tomatoes seemed to be ripening on the vine in front of my eyes and I harvested them (10#) along with green beans (.45oz), thyme (1.6oz), and parsley (4.3oz). There are still many more tomatoes, as well as blooms on the plants. They definitely love the straw bales and that location.

Between the wind, the hot sun, and the high temperature, the plants were quite dry. The water was on out by the bales, though it did not appear to be by the Sensory Garden. The Sensory Garden looks fantastic and the plants have really filled in the space nicely.  (photos 1-6)

Wednesday it rained so I didn’t visit the Demo Garden, and when I returned Thursday the rain gauge indicated almost 2” of rain had fallen and no watering was necessary..

As pictured, there are also peppers of all varieties that are on the plants, and I picked each type Thursday; though there are quite a few green peppers that were not yet ready to pick. Many of the seeds are ready to harvest … sunflower, chives, zinnia, and dill are ready, and basil will be very soon.

Thursday’s harvest and a copy of my journal entries are pictured in photos 8 & 9 below.

Barbara, you may want to bring a bag to collect the harvest. There are many cherry (grape?) tomatoes that are continuing to ripen and I found they can be quite elusive if you try to hold them in your hands along with the rest of the items. I also had pruners in my car and found them to be helpful for the herbs.

Barbara Mustoe-Monteith, OSU Extension, Master Gardener Volunteer, reporting week of September 18

There was 2″ of rain in the rain gauge, but some bales still seemed dry, so I watered. Harvested 3 pounds of tomatoes and 8 ounces of green beans. It was 82 degrees and sunny on Saturday, September 18. Watered the entire garden thoroughly. No harvest today, but should be ready for some more producing tomorrow.

Bill Dolle, OSU Extension, Master Gardener Volunteer, reporting week of September 23

Cardinal Flower is evidence that flowers are still blooming in the Sensory Garden.  The straw bale garden is also still producing, but the produce is not as pretty as earlier in the summer.  There are still green beans, green peppers (pictured), jalapeno peppers, one cucumber, several different herbs, and tomatoes.  Red tomatoes, yellow tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes (all pictured), and 3 lbs. of cherry tomatoes (not including the split ones I ate).  Also spotted a Monarch Butterfly passing through on its way toward Mexico.

Susan Givler, OSU Extension, Master Gardener Volunteer, reporting week of October 2

The cherry tomatoes just don’t stop producing along with the beans and peppers.  One surprise this week was the discovery of carrots among the tomatoes- a nice companion vegetable. This is all happening in the straw bales, but I would like to put some focus on the container garden.

There were two potatoes popping their heads out in one container, after more digging 15 nice-sized potatoes were harvested -total weight was over 4 pounds.  With further investigation, the rosemary and lemon thyme was overwhelming their pots. Hopefully, these can winter over.  The sage also looks healthy. All vegetables were donated to Owensville Commons senior apartment complex.

Daffodils, irises, and rose of Sharon bushes were planted in the sensory garden near the 4-H hall. A watchful eye will be kept on the weather and the threat of frost as we will need to harvest all vegetables and break down the bales and prepare all gardens for winter. We will continue to gather flower seeds.


Demonstration Garden Update

Reported by Carol Stephenson, OSU Extension Clermont County, Master Gardener Volunteer – September 1, 2021


I had a lovely evening working in the gardens, and thought I’d show some of my critter pictures!  Lots of pollinators despite the strong breeze and some curious geese came over briefly to see what I was doing, then retreated to

the infield area.   Lots of tomatoes still forming, and I think there will

soon be many hot peppers– I react to things like that, even to touch, so I won’t pick them, so if someone else loves and knows them, feel free!  I left what I gathered in the kitchen tonight.  If I can figure out how to share my slow-motion video of some of the pollinators I’ll share those later.  I am fairly sure the cat is a swallowtail larva– cool!  The others were various kinds of “skippers”, some waspy types, and lots of bumblebees.  No European honeybees were seen at all which surprised me as I know there are beekeepers in the area.

Reported by Johanna Goode, OSU Extension Clermont County, Master Gardener Volunteer – September 11, 2021

I was at the garden in the morning to the early afternoon this week and the temp ranged from 61-74 degrees, so it is definitely getting colder at night. There was no significant rainfall. I weed-whacked and it made many of the beds more accessible. There is a new hose. It is WAY better than the old one but there is a little spray where the nozzle is, so expect to get a little wet.

I saw a couple of stink bugs Carol mentioned, Bees and Monarch Butterfly on zinnia, and Swallowtail Caterpillar on dill.

Many plants are on their way out. Tomatoes, peppers, and beans will still be ready for harvest this week. Dill, chives, and zinnia seeds can be collected soon. I took some dill and zinnia into Gigi, but not many. This week Susan and I harvested 8 lbs 4 oz of potatoes and 2 oz of onions. I also harvested 8 lbs 9 oz of tomatoes, 1 lb of purple and green beans, 2lbs 7 oz of assorted peppers, and 6 lbs of horseradish.

When I was watering the Sensory Garden this morning I noticed that multiple people had pulled their cars right into the garden. So, next year we might want to put up some kind of rope or visual barrier.

MGV Demonstration Garden Update 9.5.2021

Update provided by Carol Pelfry, Clermont County Master Gardener Volunteer

I brought the weed wacker to cut weeds down around the bale garden, but it was too wet.  It wouldn’t cut.

The garden is beginning to look pretty straggly.  You can definitely tell fall is coming.

As we have already discussed, we definitely need to put the bales further apart next year and use fewer plants per bale, although it is kind of fun to dig around in the plants to see what is hiding.

Harvested a few herbs for the girls to use in their cooking.

Here’s today’s harvest.

Beans – 1 pound

Tomatoes – 4 pounds

Peppers – 1-1/4 pounds

Herbs – 2 ounces

(The beans I picked for our dinner weighed 5.8 pounds)



Even though beans were small, I picked them anyway because they are getting really buggy.






Found these guys on the sunflowers – Brown Marmorated Stink Bug 

“The insect has a broad range of plants that it feeds on, and so it’s definitely a pest of agricultural and horticultural crops,”

They are a pretty cool-looking bug.

Not much activity in the garden.  Everything is pretty wet from the rain.  No bees out.








Scarlet runners are blooming and are so colorful.


Horseradish looks healthy.  May be ready to dig roots.

Monarch in the Sensory Garden.


Clermont County Master Gardeners Demonstration Garden Update

It’s time for Clermont County Master Gardeners Demonstration Garden weekly update. Last week brought high humidity with temperatures in the 80’s and 90’s all week. The pollinators in the gardens were busy. There were many varieties of butterflies spotted in the gardens as well. Lots of produce was harvested from the gardens last week. Last weeks produce was used for OSU canning classes and the rest is being donated to the Owensville Senior Center. The following is as list of produce and their weights harvested from the gardens last week and updated pictures of the gardens:


Yellow tomatoes – 3 lbs. 7oz.

Red Tomatoes – 4 lbs.

Cherry Tomatoes – 1 lb. 8.9 oz.

Cucumbers – 8.6 oz.

String beans – 4.7 oz.


1 little zucchini – 4.2 oz.

3 small cucumbers –  7.6 oz.

9 small Mangos – 1 lb. 14.4 oz.

15 Dark green peppers – 11.6 oz.

16 Banana peppers – 5.6 oz.

16 jalapeños – 9.4 oz.

Pepperoncini – 7.3 oz.

37 Tomatoes – 10.lbs 11.8 oz.

Cherry Tomatoes – 3lbs. 6.3 oz.

3 Pumpkins – 9.lbs 8.5 oz. (Pumpkin 1) 8.11 oz. (Pumpkin 2) 20 lbs. (Pumpkin 3)


Tomatoes – 3lbs 6.4 oz.

Clermont County Master Gardener Demonstration Gardens Update

It’s time for a Clermont County Master Gardener Volunteer Demonstration Garden update! The Master Gardeners had this to say about the gardens, “All the gardens look very healthy.  There are pollinators everywhere! They love all the flowers and the blooms on the garlic chives. Vegetables continue to flourish.  There are still many green tomatoes and the peppers are accumulating.  Cucumbers and squash are scarce.  There are still green beans and several pumpkins.  Potatoes aren’t ready yet. The team has done an incredible job with watering, weeding, and harvesting and scouting for bugs.” Enjoy pictures from the Clermont County MGV Demonstration Gardens.

Tell us what makes you a Women in Agriculture!

Get your video on! Tell us why you are a woman in agriculture….educator, lawyer, business owner, farm owner or operator, veterinarian, pharmacist, researcher, community gardener, etc.

Hold your video device horizontal and tell/show us in 30 seconds or less your story. This will be used at Farm Science Review and other women in agriculture events throughout OSU Extension. Upload your MP4 video at this link Save the file as your first and last name and town. Ex. Gigi_Neal_Georgetown .

Video submissions are needed by September 3!

Pre-sale Farm Science Review Tickets Available Now!

SEPTEMBER 21, 22, & 23 2021

Tuesday and Wednesday 8:00 am to 5:00 pm and Thursday 8:00 am to 4:00 pm

Presale tickets are available for $7 from your local OSU Extension Office now through September 20th and support your local Extension Office.  Children 5 and under are free.

Tickets at the gate are $10 each.

For more information about this years review, visit this link.


Butler County Starts in September 2021




To Become a Master Gardener:

  • Complete 50 hours of training in the area of soils and fertilization, annuals and perennials, fruit and vegetable production, etc.
  • Volunteer 50 hours of horticulture assistance to the County in which you hold membership, on approved projects. ie. Take the class in Butler and volunteer in Clermont

Application Deadline: August 25, 2021

  • Note: $50 non-refundable deposit required with application.


  • $150 ($50 paid with application, $100 due by the first class), plus the cost of a web-check fingerprint background check.

Mandatory Orientation Meeting:

  • August 25, 2021 from 9:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m.

Class Schedule:

  • Classes will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
  • Class Dates • Monday, September 20, 2021 (First Class)
  • Tuesdays, starting September 28, 2021, to November 16, 2021.

Class Location:

  • OSUE, Butler County, 1802 Princeton Road, Hamilton, OH 45011