Lawns in Poor Conditions; Why, and What Now!

– Joseph Rimelspach & Todd Hicks / The Ohio State University – Dept. of Plant Pathology

Thin, weak lawns throughout Fairfield County and across Ohio are commonplace this spring!

Many lawns are coming out of winter in poor condition. A number of different factors are involved. The thin or dead turf will pose challenges this season especially with achieving acceptable weed control. The following are some observations seen in Ohio this spring.

Much of the damage seems to be associated with the very wet conditions last fall and winter followed by extensive “heaving” of the turf plants. Frost heaving occurs when wide temperature fluctuations, with repeated cycles of freezing and thawing, cause the water in the soil to expand and contract. This can cause the plant crowns to become elevated. If roots are exposed to cold temperatures and drying winds there can be decline or death of the plants. Lawns with this condition may benefit from Continue reading

Fruit and Vegetable Production Facts Sheets from OSU Extension

With gardening season upon us, you might find the Ohio State University Extension Fact Sheets linked below helpful. These recently updated and released fruit and vegetable production Fact Sheets may also be found on Ohioline:

Growing Apples in the Home Orchard

Downy Mildew of Blackberry

Growing Blueberries in the Home Garden

Pruning Blueberry Bushes in the Home Garden

Growing Broccoli in the Home Garden Continue reading

Get Your New Garden Started Off Right

Wanting to have a garden in a new space this year and not sure exactly how to get it started? If so, this 13 minute video will walk your through the process.

What Vegetables to Plant, When, and How Many

Ever grow too many of the vegetables that your family doesn’t really care that much for? Or, not enough of those garden crop they do enjoy?

If you’re struggling to decide exactly what, when and how many vegetable crops to plant in your garden, this 10 minute video along with this excerpt from the retired yet still relevant OSU Extension Bulletin 287 will offer valuable considerations for making those timely decisions.

Now is the perfect time to be planning for the perfect garden in 2019!

Avoid the temptation to apply mulch too early!

March is WAY too early for applying mulch!

Each year homeowners spend hundreds – and, in some cases many hundreds – of dollars on mulch for the landscape. When properly applied at the right time, mulch has its place. A thin layer of perhaps 1.5 to 2.5 inches of mulch can enhance the color of the landscape, aid in preventing weed germination, retain moisture in the soil, and moderate soil temperatures in the root zone of the plants being mulched. As mulch decomposes it also adds organic matter to the soil’s surface.

However, if applied to cold soil in the very early spring, mulch will prevent the warming of the soils in a timely fashion, reducing early season plant growth. And, if applied too early to wet and cold soils, problems are often Continue reading

Understanding GMOs; Genetically Modified Foods

There is a significant gap in the opinions of scientists compared to the general public about the safety of consuming GM foods

Genetically Modified Organisms or GMOs, especially those related to foods, may be one of the most talked about, yet misunderstood sciences in the world today. This OSU Extension Fact Sheet addresses much of the mystery surrounding GMOs:

Understanding Genetically Modified Foods

Choosing a Pesticide Product

You can find important information in the pesticide label booklet.

Garden stores and online retailers often offer a variety of pesticide products for gardeners. How do you choose an appropriate product for your particular situation?

This recent OSU Extension Fact Sheet answers that question and more:

Choosing a Pesticide Product

Ticks; No longer just your occasional summer annoyance!

Ticks are no longer just an occasional annoyance for those who enjoy a venture into the woods . . . if you go outside your home any time of year, you need to be aware of the potential health concerns ticks now offer humans, pets and livestock.

Diseases vectored by ticks to gardeners, farmers, livestock and companion animals have dramatically increased in the past several years. New invasive tick species have been discovered and existing species are moving into previously unknown host ranges. In fact, in recent years Fairfield County has seen a significant increase in lyme disease resulting from infected ticks.

This presentation gives an update on the state of tick species and the diseases they vector. Viewers will learn how to develop a personal protective plan for your family, livestock and companion animals. Presented by Dr. Tim McDermott, DVM, and Extension Educator in Franklin County.

Understanding Pesticides in Organic and Conventional Crop Production Systems

In conversations about pesticides, certified organic agriculture, conventional production, and backyard gardening, questions are often raised concerning which pesticides can be used, where pesticides come from, and associated risks to people, pollinators, and the environment. This very recent Fact Sheet from OSU Extension will answer those questions and more:

Understanding Pesticides in Organic and Conventional Crop Production Systems

If you have concern for protecting pollinators, this Fact Sheet may also prove helpful:

Protecting Pollinators While Using Pesticides

A Soilborne Disease Management Alternative for the Backyard Gardener

One of the steps of soil disinfection is irrigation, during which soil pores are filled with water, reducing available oxygen in the soil.

We all know that crop rotation is the best way to mange soilborne diseases. We also realize that in a small, backyard garden environment, there may not be enough space to efficiently rotate all the crops one might wish to grow. Anaerobic soil disinfestation (ASD) is a method of soilborne disease management that the backyard gardener might find to be affordable, and effective against a wide range of soilborne pathogens, including bacteria, fungi and nematodes .

This recent OSU Extension Fact Sheet explains the process and Continue reading