Seed Starting for Your Spring (and Summer!) Garden Class @ the Mt. Carmel Healthy Living Center on Tuesday February 27th, 2024 @ 2pm.

One of my favorite local partners that I do programming with is Mt. Carmel Healthy Living Center in Franklinton.  I have a class on Seed Starting coming up on February 27th, 2024 @ 2pm at the center.  While the class is free and open to the public, they do ask for registration to ensure enough space.  They offer a ton of other programs as well.

 

Click HERE for the registration link for their classes,  you will need to scroll down a little bit to click on the Seed Starting class.

Bok choi seedlings looking ready to transplant.

 

Here is the address of the center plus contact information if you have questions about the program.

Click HERE for a map to the center,  note the parking garage right next door for easy parking.

Thanks and hope to see you there!

School Garden Week of February 19th, 2024

This is a weekly look at what is happening in the school garden to assist teacher educators engage their students in agriculture.  It can be used by garden students of all ages however!

Send me some pics!  I know we have some growing going on right now!


First up a weather report to get us through the week for planning on our season extension:

Wow!! This looks like some great growing and harvesting weather upcoming.


Outside in the raised beds:

Well that was an unexpected snowfall!  The good news is that the future predictions look pretty darn good for growing.  Once we get to the 50 degree days and the plants start to increase their growth rate, we will need to fertilize using either the Shake and Feed or the pink crystals that mix in with water that you got from Katie, not the Aerogarden fertilizer.  Make sure to follow the label instructions. Check for your fertilizers now, and if you do not have any, then contact Katie.

This week:

  • Monday/Tuesday – looks a little chilly to harvest.
  • Wednesday/Thursday – good days to harvest around mid-day when it warms up.  Make sure to replace the cover when done.
  • Friday – looks a little chilly to harvest.

If you did not get a chance to plant spinach and kale last fall,  you will have an opportunity to plant next week.  I will add that to next weeks email.  If you need spinach and kale seeds please contact Katie. 

Have questions about how your plants are doing or if they are big enough to harvest?  Just send me questions and pictures to mcdermott.15@osu.edu


Inside under LED lights:  

We should have some good growth in the 2″ pots. You may need to start fertilizing your plants under the LED lights.  Add fertilizer to the bottom watering according to the package directions.  Email me or Katie if you have questions. 

 

This month’s seed starting under LED lights is collard greens.   If you and your kiddos really liked the bok choy and you have the space under your lights and have some bok choy seed left then you can plant that as well. It can be a little crowded under the lights right now!  Make sure you have some space to start your collard greens however as they will need started indoors now for a spring harvest.   Email questions to me at mcdermott.15@osu.edu

We have been creating videos to support this project and have 4 done so far at our OSU Extension County YouTube channel.  We get lots of questions about seed starting under the LED lights.  Check out the video below for a super quick, kid-safe (can show in class to your kiddos) seed starting video using the materials you have for the pilot:  The same technique as for kale in the video below works for spinach, collard greens, lettuce, and bok choy.  

 

 

All of the seedlings we are planting now can will be able to be transplanted outside later on, or if you want to let them grow indoors until they are harvested you can do that too.  Collard greens may get too large under the lights so plan on a later transplant date.


Inside in the Aerogarden:

Hopefully your tomatoes are doing great.  Let me know if you have any questions or problems.  CLICK HERE for the Aerogarden planting guide. If you need tomato pods then contact Katie.

Basic Aerogarden Tomato Planting

  • Plant just one tomato pod in the Aerogarden Harvest.
  • Keep the small plastic dome on the pod until germination.
  • Remove the small plastic dome after the seed sprouts.
  • Thin to only one tomato plant in the system.
  • Keep the other holes covered with the black or white plastic caps to keep light from entering into the reservoir with the nutrient system.

 

If you started in January you should have some tomato seedlings coming up.  Make sure to thin to one tomato plant per pod and with the Aerogarden Harvest, it is best to only have one in the system although I have seen some teachers do two.  Keep in mind if you keep two growing, they will use up water twice as fast and you will need to check and add water twice as much!

Here is an Aerogarden Harvest with one tomato right in the middle under the lights looking great. All the rest of the holes are capped.

The Aerogarden website has a tremendous amount of content to assist with maintenance of the units, troubleshooting problems, or how to take care of the plants in the system.  CHECK IT OUT if you are having problems.

Do you need seeds or seed starter for your project?  Contact Katie.

Any questions about your growing?  Email me at mcdermott.15@osu.edu

School Garden Week of February 12th, 2024

This is a weekly look at what is happening in the school garden to assist teacher educators engage their students in agriculture.  It can be used by garden students of all ages however!

Send me some pics!  I know we have some growing going on right now!


First up a weather report to get us through the week for planning on our season extension:

I am out of the country on my laptop and my snipping tool is not working!  For a look at the ten day for Columbus check out THIS LINK.


Outside in the raised beds:

It looks like the weather is good for growing, but not so much for harvest.  Were you able to get a harvest last week with your kiddos?  If so, send me some pics!!

This week:

  • Monday – Friday:  I recommend unless the weather changes that you keep your beds covered.  We will have a little sun and a little rain, but it gets to freezing overnight so let’s keep the beds covered unless it really improves.

Have questions about how your plants are doing or if they are big enough to harvest?  Just send me questions and pictures to mcdermott.15@osu.edu


Inside under LED lights:  

We should have some good growth in the 2″ pots. You may need to start fertilizing your plants under the LED lights.  Add fertilizer to the bottom watering according to the package directions.  Email me or Katie if you have questions. 

 

This month’s seed starting under LED lights is collard greens.   If you and your kiddos really liked the bok choy and you have the space under your lights and have some bok choy seed left then you can plant that as well. It can be a little crowded under the lights right now!  Make sure you have some space to start your collard greens however as they will need started indoors now for a spring harvest.   Email questions to me at mcdermott.15@osu.edu

We have been creating videos to support this project and have 4 done so far at our OSU Extension County YouTube channel.  We get lots of questions about seed starting under the LED lights.  Check out the video below for a super quick, kid-safe (can show in class to your kiddos) seed starting video using the materials you have for the pilot:  The same technique as for kale in the video below works for spinach, collard greens, lettuce, and bok choy.  

 

 

All of the seedlings we are planting now can will be able to be transplanted outside later on, or if you want to let them grow indoors until they are harvested you can do that too.  Collard greens may get too large under the lights so plan on a later transplant date.


Inside in the Aerogarden:

Hopefully your tomatoes are doing great.  Let me know if you have any questions or problems.  CLICK HERE for the Aerogarden planting guide. If you need tomato pods then contact Katie.

Basic Aerogarden Tomato Planting

  • Plant just one tomato pod in the Aerogarden Harvest.
  • Keep the small plastic dome on the pod until germination.
  • Remove the small plastic dome after the seed sprouts.
  • Thin to only one tomato plant in the system.
  • Keep the other holes covered with the black or white plastic caps to keep light from entering into the reservoir with the nutrient system.

 

If you started in January you should have some tomato seedlings coming up.  Make sure to thin to one tomato plant per pod and with the Aerogarden Harvest, it is best to only have one in the system although I have seen some teachers do two.  Keep in mind if you keep two growing, they will use up water twice as fast and you will need to check and add water twice as much!

Here is an Aerogarden Harvest with one tomato right in the middle under the lights looking great. All the rest of the holes are capped.

The Aerogarden website has a tremendous amount of content to assist with maintenance of the units, troubleshooting problems, or how to take care of the plants in the system.  CHECK IT OUT if you are having problems.

Do you need seeds or seed starter for your project?  Contact Katie.

Any questions about your growing?  Email me at mcdermott.15@osu.edu

2024 Beginning Farmer Series

Are you a beginning farmer trying to nail down all the resources and information you need to be successful? This series is designed to introduce you to some of the most important topics and resources of which a farm should be aware. OSU Extension, USDA and Farm Credit staff will present critical information on each of these topics allowing attendees to build relationships with these critical partners.

 

This series of events is free and open to the public but we do ask for pre-registration for planning purposes.  You can click the QR in the flyer or THIS LINK to register.

Click here to view, print, or download the flyer –> 2024 Beginning Farmer Series

School Garden Week of February 5th, 2024

This is a weekly look at what is happening in the school garden to assist teacher educators engage their students in agriculture.  It can be used by garden students of all ages however!

Send me some pics!  I know we have some growing going on right now!


First up a weather report to get us through the week for planning on our season extension:

Wow!

 


Outside in the raised beds:

It is Harvest Week!!  We have great weather to get outside with your kiddos and take a harvest.  Make sure that you try to do this around mid-day,  do not try to open the cover if it is frozen underneath so it does not rip, and then replace the cover when you are done.

If you were unable to plant any kale or spinach seeds outside in the fall, you can try sowing some this week.  Make sure to water the seeds after you plant and then consider one more watering before the end of the week, especially if the rain chances decrease that are predicted.

This week:

  • Monday – too cold today to harvest,  good chance later in week.
  • Tuesday – potential harvest around mid-day,  make sure cover is not frozen.
  • Wednesday – potential harvest around mid-day,  make sure cover is not frozen.
  • Thursday and Friday – looking like they may be great harvest days!

Have questions about how your plants are doing or if they are big enough to harvest?  Just send me questions and pictures to mcdermott.15@osu.edu


Inside under LED lights:  

This month’s seed starting under LED lights is collard greens.   If you and your kiddos really liked the bok choy and you have the space under your lights and have some bok choy seed left then you can plant that as well. It can be a little crowded under the lights right now!  Make sure you have some space to start your collard greens however as they will need started indoors now for a spring harvest.   Email questions to me at mcdermott.15@osu.edu

We have been creating videos to support this project and have 4 done so far at our OSU Extension County YouTube channel.  We get lots of questions about seed starting under the LED lights.  Check out the video below for a super quick, kid-safe (can show in class to your kiddos) seed starting video using the materials you have for the pilot:  The same technique as for kale in the video below works for spinach, collard greens, lettuce, and bok choy.  

 

 

All of the seedlings we are planting now can will be able to be transplanted outside later on, or if you want to let them grow indoors until they are harvested you can do that too.  Collard greens may get too large under the lights so plan on a later transplant date.


Inside in the Aerogarden:

Hopefully your tomatoes are doing great.  Let me know if you have any questions or problems.  CLICK HERE for the Aerogarden planting guide. If you need tomato pods then contact Katie.

Basic Aerogarden Tomato Planting

  • Plant just one tomato pod in the Aerogarden Harvest.
  • Keep the small plastic dome on the pod until germination.
  • Remove the small plastic dome after the seed sprouts.
  • Thin to only one tomato plant in the system.
  • Keep the other holes covered with the black or white plastic caps to keep light from entering into the reservoir with the nutrient system.

 

One tomato pod in an Aerogarden Harvest centered in the middle to get the most light, with the rest of the holes capped off.

 

If you started in January you should have some tomato seedlings coming up.  Make sure to thin to one tomato plant per pod and with the Aerogarden Harvest, it is best to only have one in the system although I have seen some teachers do two.  Keep in mind if you keep two growing, they will use up water twice as fast and you will need to check and add water twice as much!

Here is an Aerogarden Harvest with one tomato right in the middle under the lights looking great. All the rest of the holes are capped.

The Aerogarden website has a tremendous amount of content to assist with maintenance of the units, troubleshooting problems, or how to take care of the plants in the system.  CHECK IT OUT if you are having problems.

Do you need seeds or seed starter for your project?  Contact Katie.

Any questions about your growing?  Email me at mcdermott.15@osu.edu

School Garden Week of January 29th, 2024

This is a weekly look at what is happening in the school garden to assist teacher educators engage their students in agriculture.  It can be used by garden students of all ages however!

I hope everyone had a safe and restful break.  Welcome Back!!

Send me some pics!  I know we have some growing going on right now!


First up a weather report to get us through the week for planning on our season extension:

 


Outside in the raised beds:

We have had a tremendous amount of rain lately.  That means we do not need to water outside right now.

We did have some serious cold for quite a long time so we may have some replanting to do. 

If your plants did not make it then do not worry!  We will be able to still plant and get a harvest in other ways. Let Katie know if you do not have any more spinach or kale seed but still need to plant spinach and kale.  We will be watching for a planting time outside in the raised bed.

If you still are getting your raised bed set up, let me know so we can talk about an individual plan for you at your school.

Otherwise keep the row cover on top of the raised bed and only check when temperatures get close to or above 50 degrees.

This week:

  • I do not recommend you do much outside with your beds this week.  If your bed is in a protected area, it is not frozen, and it warms up a bit, then you can pop the top for a harvest.  Looks like Thursday is our best chance to do that.  Just make sure it is not too cold, and the fabric is not frozen, or it will tear when you try to open it.  Make sure to replace the cover after.

Have questions about how your plants are doing or if they are big enough to harvest?  Just send me questions and pictures to mcdermott.15@osu.edu


Inside under LED lights:  

This month’s seed starting under LED lights is lettuce.  If you did not get a chance to plant spinach or kale you can seed start them as well this month.  If you and your kiddos really liked the bok choy and you have the space under your lights and have some bok choy seed left then you can plant that as well.  If you do not have space to plant all of those,  and remember that we will be planting collard greens in pots in February (on pg. 3 on the GTS manual it states broccoli in March,  but we start collard greens in February and I will remind you all of that) so we need to plan on a little space for them.  Prioritize spinach and kale if you do not have any outside in the raised bed since the kiddos will be tasting them in the next two months. Email questions to me at mcdermott.15@osu.edu

Here is a planting example:

Example: There are 32 pots in the tray.  You could plant 8 lettuce, 8 kale, and 8 spinach now.  Then plant 8 collard greens in February.  Or substitute some bok choy or collard greens in for some of the kale and spinach.  Let me know if you have questions. 

We have been creating videos to support this project and have 4 done so far at our OSU Extension County YouTube channel.  We get lots of questions about seed starting under the LED lights.  Check out the video below for a super quick, kid-safe (can show in class to your kiddos) seed starting video using the materials you have for the pilot:  The same technique as for kale in the video below works for spinach, kale, lettuce, and bok choy.  

 

 

All of the seedlings we are planting now can will be able to be transplanted outside later on, or if you want to let them grow indoors until they are harvested you can do that too.


Inside in the Aerogarden:

This month we are planting tomatoes in the Aerogarden.  If you planted herbs in the Aerogarden last semester you will need to clean out the unit before you plant your tomatoes so you can start fresh with a clean Aerogarden.  Follow the instructions for tomato planting carefully.  CLICK HERE for the Aerogarden planting guide. If you need tomato pods then contact Katie.

  • Plant just one tomato pod in the Aerogarden Harvest.
  • Keep the small plastic dome on the pod until germination.
  • Remove the small plastic dome after the seed sprouts.
  • Thin to only one tomato plant in the system.
  • Keep the other holes covered with the black or white plastic caps to keep light from entering into the reservoir with the nutrient system.

 

One tomato pod in an Aerogarden Harvest centered in the middle to get the most light, with the rest of the holes capped off.

The Aerogarden website has a tremendous amount of content to assist with maintenance of the units, troubleshooting problems, or how to take care of the plants in the system.  CHECK IT OUT if you are having problems.

Do you need seeds or seed starter for your project?  Contact Katie.

Any questions about your growing?  Email me at mcdermott.15@osu.edu

Urban Agriculture Critical Infrastructure Grant RFP Due Soon! Apply by February 1st!

I want to remind everyone that the newly established Franklin County Urban Agriculture Critical Infrastructure grant is accepting applications until February 1st!

To apply for the grant or to get more information (e.g. application questions, scoring criteria, and eligibility requirements), please visit Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District’s website. Additionally, Franklin Soil & Water Conservation District posted the Grant Info Session recording on YouTube!

This grant aims to address a significant funding gap that small growers face when looking to scale up their operations. The current City-County Community Garden Grant continues to be very successful in its purpose, however, the total request amount for this existing grant is capped at $3,000 per applicant and it is only available for nonprofits – so another source of support is needed for local growers who have outgrown the Community Garden Grant and want to scale up their operations. Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District will also provide technical assistance, education, and key third party connections to grantees while ensuring equitable support for socially disadvantaged growers, including BIPOC growers, women growers, and low income growers.

 

 

CLICK HERE to learn more about the grant. 

School Garden Week of January 22nd, 2024.

This is a weekly look at what is happening in the school garden to assist teacher educators engage their students in agriculture.  It can be used by garden students of all ages however!

I hope everyone had a safe and restful break.  Welcome Back!!

 

First up a weather report to get us through the week for planning on our season extension:

 


Outside in the raised beds:

Hopefully everyone’s plants made it through the holiday break under season extension garden cover.  Make sure to do a visual inspection of your outside bed, but do not remove the cover until later in the week.

We have lots of rain in the forecast which will be beneficial to the plants. We did have some serious cold for quite a long time so we may have some replanting to do. 

If your plants did not make it then do not worry!  We will be able to still plant and get a harvest in other ways. Let Katie know if you do not have any more spinach or kale seed but still need to plant spinach and kale.  We will be watching for a planting time outside in the raised bed.

If you still are getting your raised bed set up, let me know so we can talk about an individual plan for you at your school.

Otherwise keep the row cover on top of the raised bed and only check when temperatures get close to or above 50 degrees.

This week:

  • Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday – I recommend leaving the cover in place.  If you do want to check, make sure temperatures are approaching 50 degrees and pop the cover off closer to mid-day when it is warmer.  Replace cover when done.
  • Thursday – stay dry, but this is a good day to potentially check your spinach and kale.
  • Friday – another chance to check under the cover when it gets close to 50 degrees.  Make sure to replace cover before leaving for the weekend.

Have questions about how your plants are doing or if they are big enough to harvest?  Just send me questions and pictures to mcdermott.15@osu.edu


Inside under LED lights:  

This month’s seed starting under LED lights is lettuce.  If you did not get a chance to plant spinach or kale you can seed start them as well this month.  If you and your kiddos really liked the bok choy and you have the space under your lights and have some bok choy seed left then you can plant that as well.  If you do not have space to plant all of those,  and remember that we will be planting collard greens in pots in February (on pg. 3 on the GTS manual it states broccoli in March,  but we start collard greens in February and I will remind you all of that) so we need to plan on a little space for them.  Prioritize spinach and kale if you do not have any outside in the raised bed since the kiddos will be tasting them in the next two months. Email questions to me at mcdermott.15@osu.edu

Here is a planting example:

Example: There are 32 pots in the tray.  You could plant 8 lettuce, 8 kale, and 8 spinach now.  Then plant 8 collard greens in February.  Or substitute some bok choy or collard greens in for some of the kale and spinach.  Let me know if you have questions. 

We have been creating videos to support this project and have 4 done so far at our OSU Extension County YouTube channel.  We get lots of questions about seed starting under the LED lights.  Check out the video below for a super quick, kid-safe (can show in class to your kiddos) seed starting video using the materials you have for the pilot:  The same technique as for kale in the video below works for spinach, kale, lettuce, and bok choy.  

 

 

All of the seedlings we are planting now can will be able to be transplanted outside later on, or if you want to let them grow indoors until they are harvested you can do that too.


Inside in the Aerogarden:

This month we are planting tomatoes in the Aerogarden.  If you planted herbs in the Aerogarden last semester you will need to clean out the unit before you plant your tomatoes so you can start fresh with a clean Aerogarden.  Follow the instructions for tomato planting carefully.  CLICK HERE for the Aerogarden planting guide. If you need tomato pods then contact Katie.

  • Plant just one tomato pod in the Aerogarden Harvest.
  • Keep the small plastic dome on the pod until germination.
  • Remove the small plastic dome after the seed sprouts.
  • Thin to only one tomato plant in the system.
  • Keep the other holes covered with the black or white plastic caps to keep light from entering into the reservoir with the nutrient system.

 

One tomato pod in an Aerogarden Harvest centered in the middle to get the most light, with the rest of the holes capped off.

The Aerogarden website has a tremendous amount of content to assist with maintenance of the units, troubleshooting problems, or how to take care of the plants in the system.  CHECK IT OUT if you are having problems.

Do you need seeds or seed starter for your project?  Contact Katie.

Any questions about your growing?  Email me at mcdermott.15@osu.edu

School Garden Week of January 8th, 2024

This is a weekly look at what is happening in the school garden to assist teacher educators engage their students in agriculture.  It can be used by garden students of all ages however!

I hope everyone had a safe and restful break.  Welcome Back!!

 

First up a weather report to get us through the week for planning on our season extension:

 


Outside in the raised beds:

Hopefully everyone’s plants made it through the holiday break under season extension garden cover.  Make sure to do a visual inspection of your outside bed, but do not remove the cover.

For this week, I recommend leaving the cover on undisturbed. No need to water when using season extension garden cover as the water passes right through it and we are getting plenty of precipitation plus the plants are growing slowly. If you are using plastic consistently, you may need to water on a day when the temperatures approach 50 degrees. 

If your plants did not make it then do not worry!  We will be able to still plant and get a harvest in other ways. Let Katie know if you do not have any more spinach or kale seed but still need to plant spinach and kale.  We will be watching for a planting time outside in the raised bed.

If you still are getting your raised bed set up, let me know so we can talk about an individual plan for you at your school.

Otherwise keep the row cover on top of the raised bed and only check when temperatures get close to or above 50 degrees.

Have questions about how your plants are doing or if they are big enough to harvest?  Just send me questions and pictures to mcdermott.15@osu.edu


Inside under LED lights:  

This month’s seed starting under LED lights is lettuce.  If you did not get a chance to plant spinach or kale you can seed start them as well this month.  If you and your kiddos really liked the bok choy and you have the space under your lights and have some bok choy seed left then you can plant that as well.  If you do not have space to plant all of those,  and remember that we will be planting collard greens in pots in February (on pg. 3 on the GTS manual it states broccoli in March,  but we start collard greens in February and I will remind you all of that) so we need to plan on a little space for them.  Prioritize spinach and kale if you do not have any outside in the raised bed since the kiddos will be tasting them in the next two months. Email questions to me at mcdermott.15@osu.edu

Here is a planting example:

Example: There are 32 pots in the tray.  You could plant 8 lettuce, 8 kale, and 8 spinach now.  Then plant 8 collard greens in February.  Or substitute some bok choy or collard greens in for some of the kale and spinach.  Let me know if you have questions. 

We have been creating videos to support this project and have 4 done so far at our OSU Extension County YouTube channel.  We get lots of questions about seed starting under the LED lights.  Check out the video below for a super quick, kid-safe (can show in class to your kiddos) seed starting video using the materials you have for the pilot:  The same technique as for kale in the video below works for spinach, kale, lettuce, and bok choy.  

 

 

All of the seedlings we are planting now can will be able to be transplanted outside later on, or if you want to let them grow indoors until they are harvested you can do that too.


Inside in the Aerogarden:

This month we are planting tomatoes in the Aerogarden.  If you planted herbs in the Aerogarden last semester you will need to clean out the unit before you plant your tomatoes so you can start fresh with a clean Aerogarden.  Follow the instructions for tomato planting carefully.  CLICK HERE for the Aerogarden planting guide. If you need tomato pods then contact Katie.

  • Plant just one tomato pod in the Aerogarden Harvest.
  • Keep the small plastic dome on the pod until germination.
  • Remove the small plastic dome after the seed sprouts.
  • Thin to only one tomato plant in the system.
  • Keep the other holes covered with the black or white plastic caps to keep light from entering into the reservoir with the nutrient system.

 

One tomato pod in an Aerogarden Harvest centered in the middle to get the most light, with the rest of the holes capped off.

The Aerogarden website has a tremendous amount of content to assist with maintenance of the units, troubleshooting problems, or how to take care of the plants in the system.  CHECK IT OUT if you are having problems.

Do you need seeds or seed starter for your project?  Contact Katie.

Any questions about your growing?  Email me at mcdermott.15@osu.edu

Urban Agriculture Critical Infrastructure Grant Information Session on Monday December 11th @ 5pm

I have been working with local partners on a great opportunity for urban producers to capacity build.  This is applicable for both profit and not-for-profit producers.  There will be an information session for potential grant awardees to learn more about the grant and get questions answered on Monday December 11th @ 5pm. It will be recorded as well.

 

CLICK HERE to learn more about the grant. 

 

Info Session for Urban Agriculture Critical Infrastructure Grant

Monday, December 11, 2023
5:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Please join us virtually for info-sessions related to the upcoming Urban Agriculture Critical Infrastructure Grant! (https://www.franklinswcd.org/urban-ag-grant) If you are interested in applying for the grant and have questions, this event is for you! You can access this info session via the Teams link below. This session will be recorded and posted publicly for anyone who cannot make it. If you have any questions or need accommodations, please reach out to Annabel Spranger at aspranger@franklinswcd.org .

Join on your computer, mobile app or room device

Click here to join the meeting

Meeting ID: 229 915 886 363
Passcode: HShq3y