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.

Potager Article #5

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






As the winter has progressed, you would think that there’s not much to do in the potager garden.  Its cold out, it’s wet and dreary, but I have made it a point to go out into the space to see exactly what is happening.  I mean, nature doesn’t stop just because it’s cold, wet and dreary.  It’s a very busy place.  I see the weeds breaking down, I see all of the leaves that fell in my yard slowly disappearing into the soil and I see some of the onions that I’m trying to over winter slowly growing taller and greener.

What I noticed the most are that the grasses, weeds and other plants growing in that area are breaking down into rich nutrients that the worms and other micro sized critters are slowly taking back into the soil and enriching it for next year’s crops.  That got me to thinking about composting and how this natural process is so important in growing healthy plants.  Healthier plants resist diseases and grow healthier fruits and vegetables.   Composting is the natural process of plants, leaves, paper, and other organic material decomposing.  I will be able to reuse my garden waste of plants, straw, weeds, twigs, and grass clippings.  I can add to that kitchen scrapes, cardboard, and paper.  When I add these ingredients together in the right proportions and let it sit, nature will take over and create wonderful compost.  There are several different methods of composting, such as quick “hot heaps” and the slower “cool heaps”.  You can have a worm compost system, leaf mold, composting bins or buy compost from your local garden store.  The methods that I am choosing to use are leaf mold and cool heaps with an open wooden bin that I have built out of scrap wood and some old fence posts. I have built it with three sections.

The first section of my compost bin will be used for a form of compost that is called leaf mold.  I have about 16 trees in my upper yard section and each year I either rake all of those leaves up or I mow them over.  This is free compost that saves me money with a little bit of planning.  Leaf mold is very simple to make, it just takes time.  You set aside space in your yard or garden.  Then you build a bin out of wood or wire, and fill it full of leaves, then let it sit.  I took 4 t-posts, posted them in the ground and then took some old chicken wire and wrapped it around the t-posts and have had leaf mold for several years now. It’s best to let this sit for about two years to fully decompose.  If I mow the leaves over and gather them up, this will chop the leaves up into smaller pieces, which help them to decompose faster.  I can then use this as top dressing in the spring or mix it under in the fall.

The other two bins will be used for a natural cool heap compost process.  This process is simple too but takes a bit more planning.  The process or recipe I will be using is to start with about 3” of what is called brown material (ex: leaves, paper, straw), then I will build on that with about 1 to 6” of green materials (ex: kitchen scraps, plant debris, grass clippings), then about ¼ to 1” of soil.  I will then continue to repeat these layers until the bin is full.  I will need to make sure that it stays moist and has good air ventilation to aid in the decomposing.  I will let it sit until next spring.  At the beginning of next spring I will turn it over into the second bin.  Let it sit for another year and start a new pile in the third bin.  At the end of that second year, I will have a bin full of compost to add to the garden and I will turn the third bin over into the second bin that I emptied into the garden.  It seems like it will take a long time to get through the first two years, but once I have that system going, I will have a continual supply of good compost.  There are other methods that are quicker than this and the Lorrain County OSU Extension has a really great outline of the composting process on their website titled “Home Composting”.   Composting can be a very inexpensive way to bring health to your garden and to help the environment all at the same time.  Next time, we will be talking about planting for this first year.

Potager Dream-Soil Health

A few years ago, I would never have imagined myself reading, studying, and taking lots of notes over the subject of soil health.  I started looking through the seed catalogs that have begun to arrive at my home.  I have a list started of what I think I want to grow in my potager garden.  Some”new to me” plants, some plants that I want to add, plants that I want to experiment succession planting with, and some seeds for the fall and winter seasons.  As I was creating this list, I realized that I missed something very important.  I plan to have my potager garden be as close to what it would have been like when they were a common household staple.  I want to use organic practices or what I remember as “old time” methods as much as possible.   I want to use nature itself to fertilize, add back nutrients, attract pollinators and provide spaces that encourage life at all levels.  The benefit that I and my family will receive is with healthy food, a lot of diversity, and spaces that feed us both physically and mentally.

Taking a moment to step back and learn how I can do this is oddly enough, the first step.  The foundation of any garden is its soil.  If my soil isn’t healthy, then my food, the living insects, animals, and space won’t be healthy.  I may even be damaging my soil by guessing what it needs and randomly adding in nutrients without understanding what’s already there.  Understanding what I have to start with tells me what I need to do next.    I took random samples of my soil from the areas that I am going to be building garden beds.  I gave the samples to my extension office and for a small fee they sent it off to a lab for testing.  The results that I received back were fantastic.  The results confirmed that I have clay soil and if I want to grow flowers, I have advice on what I need to add into my soil to be successful with that.  I have a different set of advice for vegetables and for fruits as well.

From the test results I found that I’m not too far off of where I want to be.  For vegetables, out of 5 main elements, two are a bit high, two are right about in the middle of where I want to be and one is on the lower side of good.  For flowers, out of the five, three are a bit high, one is on the high side of good and one is on the low side of good.  For example, if I want to grow vegetables in this space my pH levels are good, but for flowers, it’s a bit too high.  For both types of growing I will need to work on the magnesium levels because it’s a bit high and I will want to bring that one down.  The calcium levels are good for both, but on the low side of good so I want to bring it up just a little.  With this information in hand, I have decided that by using a crop rotation plan, cover crops and composting I think I should be able to get the levels where I want them to be.  It will take time, soil health isn’t something that you can put an additive in immediately and have an instant fix.  I will have to give my garden time and then I will test my soil again in a couple of years to give my efforts time to show a difference.

My question however is, is there something that I can do right now, in the middle of winter, to start helping my soil?  And as I have discovered, there is… I can start on the composting.  I have built a compost bin and next time, I will delve into the world of the natural process of compost.


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