Straw Bale Gardening is Back!

Last year the Clermont County Master Gardener Volunteers were able to donate 275 lbs. of produce to the community from the straw bale garden at the Clermont County fairground.  This year we have increased the number of bales and have added some new crops and different varieties of vegetables.  Some of the new additions are acorn squash, pie pumpkins, blue potatoes, peanuts, gourds, Roma, Korean long, early doll, bush, celebrity, and big beef tomatoes.

One of the raised beds will not have straw bales but will trial two varieties of green beans and cucumbers this growing season.  The varieties were selected by the Athens County, College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences-Extension, The Ohio State University.

The Speedway and Raider cucumber varieties will grow side by side to compare throughout the growing season. The same is true for Savannah and Aldrin green bean varieties.

The following information and data will be collected and submitted in the fall to the agricultural program to assist home gardeners in Ohio to select the best vegetables for their home gardens:

  • Soil type
  • Fertilizer used
  • Date planted
  • Date first harvested
  • Factors that may have prevented a good crop
    • Human error ( timing, watering, and site location)
    • Insects or diseases
    • Wildlife issues
    • Weather

A comparison  of the  2 varieties of cucumbers and green beans will be based on

  • Germinated best
  • Had healthier plants
  • Produced first
  • Produced higher yields
  • Had more attractive fruits/plants
  • Tasted better

The Clermont County Master Gardener Volunteers will keep you informed of the progress and recommend which cucumber and green bean varieties rank the highest comparing the above factors.

Presently, the cucumbers have a net over them to prevent cucumber beetles and squash bugs from infesting the early plants.  After rabbits have nibbled on the green beans, a 2-foot fence was constructed around the bed.  A mixture of egg and cayenne was applied to the leaves to ward off deer.  We will let you know if this is effective.

Straw Bale and other Gardens at the Fairground

It was a hot week, and the plants appreciated the heavy rain on Tuesday.  In the straw bales, the cucumber beetles have discovered the pumpkins and squash.  NEEM oil was applied and the following day the number of bugs had decreased.  The application is only good until the next rain.  The marigolds planted with the cucumbers seem to have deterred this pest.

There are green tomatoes hanging on the Early Girl and Early Doll plants.  Summer squashes are growing quickly, and some are about 3 inches long. Pepperoncini peppers are the only pepper plants with peppers. We were busy removing suckers off the tomatoes and trimming leaves resting on the soil.  Twine, hair clips, and string were used to tie plants to stakes.

Outside the 4-H Hall, the Master Gardener Volunteers have 2 additional gardens.  The Sensory Garden is for children to explore using taste, smell, and sight.  There is a birdhouse, birdbath, and chimes.  Some of the plants include basil, stevia, apple mint, eyeball plant, sunflowers, hens, and chicks-just to mention a few.

The Container Garden has a variety of peppers and tomatoes tied to a metal fence plus a variety of herbs-oregano, thyme, and borage.  The first planting of pickler cucumbers didn’t come up in one container.  Maybe the seeds were too old but with new seeds and a replant, the new cucumbers have emerged.

You are welcome to visit these gardens at any time.

Early Doll Tomato in straw bale Straight Neck squash in straw bale Container Garden Sensory Garden

Ticks and tick-vectored diseases are major concerns

Ticks and tick-vectored diseases are major concerns to humans, companion animals, and livestock in Ohio.  We have gone from one medically important tick twenty years ago in Ohio to five now, adding two in the past couple of years.

There is also a new fact sheet on the Asian Longhorned tick that can supplement this programming.

Contacting 811 before gardening – is it necessary?

For many, the excitement of the gardening season is on the horizon. New fences, landscaping, and plans for fruit and vegetable gardens are underway. As shovels and trowels are taken out of storage it’s important to make sure gardeners are protecting themselves and the buried assets supplying energy to their neighbors and community. A quick, free-to-call 811 allows utility operators to inform gardeners if there are utilities in the project area. Even non-invasive digging methods can cause damage.

Some utilities may only be located a few inches underground. Erosion and terrain modifications can change utility depth over time, and utilities don’t always run in a straight line. Utility locators have a duty to identify if a gas, water, electric, or telephone line is in your digging area. Don’t take the risk, contact 811 and make sure your gardening fun isn’t interrupted.

April is National Safe Digging Month and a great time to share safe digging messages like this one!

Southwest Ohio Perennial School – Register by April 1

Speakers and topics:

  • Brandon George, University of Kentucky Extension – Perennial Plant Sociability Metrix: How Do Plants Get Along in the Landscape
  • Jim Jasinski, Ohio State University Extension – IPM with backyard plants, raised beds and Spotted Lantern Fly update
  • Susan Givler, OSU Master Gardener Volunteer – Strawbale Gardening
  • Kathy Smith – Ohio State University Extension, School of Natural Resources – Unwanted non-native plant removal, encouraging native plant growth and planting natives in the understory
  • Gigi Neal – Ohio State University Extension – Edible Landscape

Get registered today!

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

Southwest Ohio Perennial School ’22

Speakers and topics:

  • Brandon George, University of Kentucky Extension – Perennial Plant Sociability Metrix: How Do Plants Get Along in the Landscape
  • Jim Jasinski, Ohio State University Extension – IPM with backyard plants, raised beds and Spotted Lantern Fly update
  • Susan Givler, OSU Master Gardener Volunteer – Strawbale Gardening
  • Kathy Smith – Ohio State University Extension, School of Natural Resources – Unwanted non-native plant removal, encouraging native plant growth and planting natives in the understory
  • Gigi Neal – Ohio State University Extension – Edible Landscape

Get registered today!

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

Butler County Home Horticulture Series

2022 Butler County Home Horticulture Series

Spring Classes for the Home Gardener

 

 

Dates & Topics:

  • Tuesday, April 5, 2022: Maximizing Sustainable Garden Productivity
    • Ian Zeglin, Manager of Garden Operations, Greenacres Foundation
  • Tuesday, April 12, 2022: Manage your Lawn & your Stormwater Footprint
    • Ashlee Widener, Water Resource Specialist, Butler SWCD
  • Tuesday, April 19, 2022: Purchasing Quality Grass Seed & Spring Lawn Seeding
    • Justin Curley, ANR Educator, Purdue Extension, Jay County
  • Tuesday, April 26, 2022: Trees & Electric Lines, Proper Planning & Planting
    • J.T. Benitez, ANR Educator, OSU Extension, Butler County

Cost: $5 per class (Pay at Door)Time: 7:00 PM
Location: OSU Extension, Butler CO. 1802 Princeton Road, Hamilton, Ohio 45011
RSVP up to 1 Day before each session by 4 PM to: J.T. Benitez, ANR Educator @ (513) 887-3722 or benitez.6@osu.edu

CFAES provides research and related educational programs to clientele on a nondiscriminatory basis. For more information,visitcfaesdiversity.osu.edu. For an accessible format of this publication, visitcfaes.osu.edu/accessibility.

2022 Soil & Water Conservation Plant Sale – Now taking orders!

It’s time once again! The Clermont SWCD is offering tree and shrub seedlings, as well as a few native perennials at discount prices. This program offers the opportunity for individuals to develop small areas of reforestation, wildlife enhancement, or additions to home landscaping.

Mail-in order form attached in the newsletter or visit store.clermontswcd.org to pay by credit card.

Mail-In Order Deadline: April 15, 2022

Website Orders Will be Taken Until May 3rd OR Until Stock Runs Out

NEW Pick Up Dates:

Thursday, May 5, 2022 Noon – 6:30 pm

& Friday, May 6th, Noon – 4:30 pm

2022 Southwestern Ohio Beekeeper School

The 2022 Southwestern Ohio Beekeeper School is returning as an in-person event on Saturday, March 26 at the Oasis Conference Center in Loveland, OH. Registration is now open for the school at warren.osu.edu. We are limited to the first 350 people who register, so sign up early. The cost is $40 per person which includes a continental breakfast and lunch. This school is designed to provide education for new and moderately experienced beekeepers. Class descriptions are available on the website. There is a series of classes available for new beekeepers which takes them from buying equipment to bee biology to managing their hives during the first year. For more information, contact Greg Meyer at meyer.213@osu.edu or by phone at (513)695-1311.