Potager Article #7

A series of articles presented by Candy Horton, OSU Extension Clermont County Master Gardener Volunteer

In everything new that we start there are difficulties. The garden is fast changing in that some of the onions that I planted last fall are growing wonderfully and I have been harvesting the asparagus for several weeks now. I have the first batch of radishes, carrots, and two different lettuces growing great and will need to plant the next succession soon. I have cabbage, pumpkins, tomatoes, squash, and lots of flower seeds under lights and ready to start hardening off to plant next week. The downside of the garden is that the cold frame has not been as successful as I had hoped it would be, so I need to go back to the starting point with that project, reread about them to make sure that I am doing things correctly and try again. I will keep working on it and I will not really need it until this fall, so I think, I have plenty of time to work on them and get them working the way that I want.

The weather this week looks to be fantastic, so I am working on the layout of my garden and getting the raised beds marked out and laid out to see if I need to move things around or change the size of some of the beds. I am also looking at where I am going to plant my plants and the combinations of plants. This idea has several names, companion planting or intercropping is just a couple of them. The idea behind companion planting is that by planting certain plants close together they will help each other out and you will have a larger yield, healthier plants, and renewed soil. For example, it is said that by planting basil or parsley in among your tomatoes and pepper plants your plants will be healthier, larger and have a better harvest. It is said that by planting marigolds in among your garden, you will repel harmful insects that would damage your crops.

The history of companion planting is one that can be traced back centuries but cannot be pinpointed to one specific place or time. One that I remember reading about as a child was “The Three Sisters” used by the American Indians. The Indians would plant corn, beans, and squash together in the same spot, providing support for the beans, and shade for the squash. The squash provided a type of mulch to hold in moisture, and weed control for all three plants, while the bean replenished nutrients in the soil that all of them needed. Some of the theories are that some plants will add nutrients back into the soil that helps the others grow. Some plants will have an odor about them that will repel insects, some plants release chemicals into the soil that is beneficial to other plants. Another way to use companion planting is by having sun-loving plants in the same bed as shade loving so that the one will provide shelter for the other. Another combination could be shallow rooted plants in with deep rooted plants where the deep-rooted plants will help reduce compaction, aerate the soil, and loosen it up a bit. However, for me, I will need to do a little bit of trial and error to see which combination of plants together will benefit my garden and which ones will not. I am going to be planning some pepper and tomato plants this week. I will be adding some basil in with them to see what happens. I’m planting carrots, potatoes and radishes in several beds to help break up some of the areas of my garden that have a lot more clay so that when I add the leaf mulch next year, the nutrients from the leaf mulch will move further down into the soil than if I hadn’t planted the root based crops.  I hope this gives you a different perspective on how what you plant, which plants you put together and where you plant your crop does truly affect your garden.

Southwest Ohio Perennial School

… to join us for the Southwest Ohio Perennial School.

The registration price of $50 has been extended to April 7.



Registration Form or call Meghan at 513-732-7070.


  1. Paul Koloszar – Northern Sea Oats and Other Mistakes I’ve Made, Managing Expectations for Natives – Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden
  2. Tim McDermott – Urban Agriculture – OSU Extension Franklin County
  3. Amy Stone – Spotted Lanternfly Update & Scavenger Hunt – OSU Extension Lucas County
  4. Pam Bennett – Pollinator Plants and Gardens: You can Please Everyone – OSU Extension Clark County
  5. Beth Scheckelhoff – Ornamental Grasses – OSU Extension Putnam County


Buckeye Yard and Garden Line

The following articles were compiled during the last 7 days by members of the Buckeye Environmental Horticulture Team to benefit those who are managing a commercial nursery, garden center, or landscape business or someone who just wants to keep their yard looking good all summer.  Access the BYGL website for additional information on other seasonal topics at: http://bygl.osu.edu

To receive immediate email notifications when articles are published by the BYGL writers. Send an email to bygl-alert@lists.osu.edu using the phrase “Subscribe to BYGL ALERTS” in the subject line.   

For more pictures and information, click on the article titles.  To contact the authors, click on their names.

Fruit News

Ohio Fruit News (OFN) was developed by a team of The Ohio State University small fruit and tree fruit State Specialists, Extension Educators and staff, with support from The Ohio Vegetable and Small Fruit Research and Development Program and the Department of Plant Pathology-Fruit Pathology Program.  Ohio Fruit News provides fruit growers with the most current and relevant information for managing diseases, insect pests and weeds affecting all fruit crops produced in Ohio.  To subscribe to the newsletter please contact Melanie Ivey at ivey.14@osu.edu or 330-263-3849.

The March issue of Ohio Fruit News is now posted (and attached).  Thank you to all the contributors this month!

Online at: https://u.osu.edu/fruitpathology/fruit-news-2/


Southwest Ohio Perennial School Registration Extended

You still have time to join us for the Southwest Ohio Perennial School.

The registration price of $50 has been extended to April 7.

  1. Paul Koloszar – Northern Sea Oats and Other Mistakes I’ve Made, Managing Expectations for Natives – Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden
  2. Tim McDermott – Urban Agriculture – OSU Extension Franklin County
  3. Amy Stone – Spotted Lanternfly Update & Scavenger Hunt – OSU Extension Lucas County
  4. Pam Bennett – Pollinator Plants and Gardens: You can Please Everyone – OSU Extension Clark County
  5. Beth Scheckelhoff – Ornamental Grasses – OSU Extension Putnam County

Potager Article #6

   A series of articles presented by Candy Horton, OSU Extension Master Gardener Volunteer

As winter moves into spring, it’s exciting to have more days of warmth to get out into the garden and continue the work that I have started.  I have cleared most of the weeds and I’m starting to build some of the spaces that I have laid out on the design for my potager garden.  The compost bin is set with the first layer of brown material, ready to add green material.  I have pulled out an old cold frame that I had in the barn. I will repair it and get it set in the garden before the weekend.  I have an old cow feeder set in place and have framed out the first bed with edging stone.  Things are moving along, and I will continue to complete the garden plan.

My goal for this year is to start year round planting, growing, and harvesting produce in my garden.  With this plan I have to change how I garden.  To be successful with year round gardening in Ohio, I will need a couple of extra tools to make this a possibility.  I will need a cold frame or two, depending on how much I want to grow.  Or I can use row covers, tunnels, or a greenhouse.  I am going to try my hand with the cold frames and row covers this year.   A cold frame is usually a square or rectangular frame that has a glass top as a sort of lid and no base.  It sits directly on the ground and is filled with wonderful, healthy soil.  The glass lid allows the sun to shine in and heat up the frame.  If I don’t “vent” the frame properly during the days, the heat inside can burn the soil and my plants.  During the night the frame holds the heat inside creating a microclimate with a temperature as much as 20 degrees warmer than outside.  This is what allows these cold hardy plants to grow.  The cold frame is used to protect the plants from the snow, not the colder temperatures.  The row covers, tunnels and green houses all basically do the same thing, just in their own way.

I will then look at the plants that I want to grow and determine if they are cold hardy or will need really warm growing time frames.  Cold hardy plants are those that their best growing times are during the colder temperatures rather than the warmer season.  These plants if planted in the warmer time frames can have a bitter or sharper taste to them, but if grown during the cooler temperatures will have a very sweet and flavorful taste to them.  There are a lot of cold hardy plants that I can choose from that will keep me going all year.  For example, I can plant spinach in the cold frame in September and harvest fresh spinach all winter.  I can do the same with carrots and lettuce, too. There are lots of cold hardy plants to choose from.

Since I will be continuously planting, I am going to plant fewer plants at a time.  Through the year, I should grow the same amount that I would have last year or maybe more and they will be fresh.  For this spring, I have lettuce seedlings that once I get my cold frame repaired and in place this weekend, I will be putting these plants in the cold frame to start growing.  In a month I will direct sow lettuce and radish seeds into the old feeder to start growing.  Gathering data from the seed packages I will be able to know how long it will take from planting to harvest.  This will help me determine when I need to plant the next batch of seeds so that I will have a continual harvest of lettuce and radishes.  For the winter planting, I will then move exclusively to the cold frames for my winter crops.  I can’t wait to see how this works.

For more details and guidance on year round growing in Ohio, Dr. Tim McDermott, OSU Extension Educator for Franklin County has a lot of information on the subject.   The link is A Full Year of Growing Classes and Videos | Growing Franklin (osu.edu).  He has instructional videos, articles and a lot of good advice.   I believe that he will be talking at the Southwest Ohio Perennial School on April 13, 2023 at OSU Extension Clermont County.

Southwest Ohio Perennial School Registration is Open

It is time to get registered for the 29th Southwest Ohio Perennial School on April 13, 2023 at OSU Extension Clermont County, 1000 Locust Street, Owensville, OH.

Featured Speakers include, in no particular order:

  • Amy Stone – Spotted Lanternfly Update & Scavenger Hunt
    • OSU Extension Lucas County
  • Paul Koloszar – Northern Sea Oats and Other Mistakes I’ve Made; Managing Expectations for Natives
    • Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden
  • Tim McDermott – Urban Agriculture
    • OSU Extension Franklin County
  • Pam Bennett – Pollinator Plants and Gardens: You can Please Everyone
    • OSU Extension 
  • # 5 TBD
    • Stay Tuned for More Details

Get registered today!

$50 before April 1; $60 after April 1

Lunch will be catered by Chef Michael Scudder, owner of “Taste of the Good Life“.


My Daffodils have been in bloom for several days now. These are in one of my front gardens in full sun. Daffodils do best in full sun, though they will grow in partial shade. They’re usually not picky about their soil, but good drainage is key. If kept too wet, their roots could rot. Planting on hillsides or in raised beds is ideal.

The Daffodil symbolizes rebirth and new beginnings, which makes perfect sense since it’s one of the first flowers to bloom at the end of winter. Depending on the variety of plants, they can bloom as early as late February, like mine, or as late as May. They typically flower from six weeks upto six months, depending on where you live and what variety you grow. When finished blooming, the leaves will stay green while the bulbs are rebuilding for next year’s regrowth. There’s no need to tie or band the leaves, once leaves turn yellow and dry, you can cut them back. Enjoy them because they’ll be gone before we know it.

Kandy Riley

MGV, Clermont County

2023 SWOH Bee School Registration is Still Open!

March 25, 2023

Oasis Conference Center
Loveland, OH

Registration is open at https://warren.osu.edu/program-areas/agriculture-and-natural-resources/2023-southwestern-ohio-beekeeper-school

Registration Information
Registration includes a continental breakfast and buffet lunch.

Registration Cost: $40

  • Registration is limited to the first 350 pre-registered participants. When the school reaches that number, the school will be closed, and no additional registrations will be accepted.
  • No walk-ins or late registrations will be accepted. There is no waiting list available.
  • Unless the conference is canceled, no refunds will be given for this conference. We have to pay for your food whether you show up or not.