2018 Spring and Early Summer Weather Predictions

The cooling of the water in the eastern Pacific ocean known as La Nina is still currently in place but is showing signs of fading, although it will still impact our weather for the next several months.

The temperature and precipitation predictions for Ohio for the March through May planting season calls for near normal temperatures, a higher amount of precipitation and a chance for a later than normal final freeze date in April.

Growers should plan accordingly by taking advantage of dry periods to work the soil and avoiding working soil that is too wet, especially in heavy clay soils.  Season extension techniques like row cover may be needed to protect tender seedlings depending on the final freeze and frost dates.

El Nino/La Nina FAQ’s at climate.gov

C.O.R.N. Agronomic Newsletter

NOAA Seasonal Outlook

2018 Urban Agriculture Grant: Mid-Ohio Foodbank and Urban Farms of Central Ohio

Mid-Ohio Foodbank is pleased to announce the availability of grant funds for urban agriculture projects that will help build sustainable community gardens, urban farms, and small scale agriculture projects within the City of Columbus, Ohio. This includes projects involving the use of high tunnels that will provide residents in low-income neighborhoods with direct access to fresh fruits and vegetables. By making grants from award funds to assist local projects, Mid-Ohio Foodbank intends to further its charitable purpose of ending hunger one nourishing meal at a time.


CLICK Here for Mid-Ohio Foodbank website with details and flyer.

Spring Planting Weather Projection 2018

When I am planning when to start seeds in order to get ready for an upcoming spring or fall planting season.  I take the frost date into account, but then I adjust that date according to the weather projections as that gives me insight into how I can maximize production by using weather data plus season extension.

For example,  the fall frost date in central Ohio is around mid-October.   The fall climate prediction data was for a delayed frost date and a warmer fall.  Once I read about this I planted my fall vegetables using this data in anticipation of a longer fall growing season for summer vegetables.

I planted green beans and zucchini in the first week of August 2017.  Both are about 50-60 day vegetables so they would mature long after the frost date normally, and both do not like frost.

Germination was about a week or so later

Because of the delayed frost date, I was able to enjoy a harvest late into fall and ate green beans and zucchini fresh for Thanksgiving dinner.


Picture taken Mid-October. Notice due to delayed planting their are no cucumber beetles or stink bugs infesting the plants.

This year the climate prediction center states that we will continue to have a February with temperature swings and periods of heavy precipitation.

For the growing season the prediction is for a gradual warm up from March through May with a wetter than normal spring.  Summer is looking like the warm up continues with a drier than normal precipitation forecast.

BIG THANKS TO THE C.O.R.N. Agronomic Newsletter for data assist. 



Make sure you check the prediction models when you are making your plans.  It might save you some time and trouble and might  get you some extra production.

Vegetable Seed Viability

If you are like me you have a box of seed packets,  some open, some not that you have accumulated over the seasons. I am one who sees a new variety of vegetable and feel like I want to try to squeeze that in to see if it grows easy and tastes great.

The problem is that over time these seeds loose their viability and their germination rates decrease.  I hate to waste anything so I end up keeping these seed packets way past their prime, even if I was to thick sow seed.  Most vegetable varieties have a certain amount of years that seed remains viable if stored correctly.   There is not a lot of information based on research out there but I did find a helpful link.

Oregon State Extension Seed Viability Times

I decided to try a simple germination test of three seed varieties.  I  put ten seeds of lettuce, onions, and cucumber in moist paper towel and observed for germination.  I  had always read that allium spp did not last year to year and was curious if true.

While this is not the most overly scientific test in the world, I found my results pretty spot on to the germination times listed.

I had 100% from the cukes, about 70% from the lettuce and none of the onion seeds germinated at all.


Make sure you store seeds in a cool and dry place.  Now is the time of year to sort them,  see what is viable and make a plan for what you will need to purchase.  Seed starting time is rapidly approaching.

2018 Spring Gardening Workshops

I will be doing a series of workshops in Franklin County at several locations with several different local partners.  All workshops are free and open to the public.  Check out dates, times, and locations below.


This series in in partnership with the Charles Madison Nabrit Memorial Garden and Greater Columbus Growing Coalition.

This series is free but asks for registration to plan attendance –>  Click HERE for Registration Link

Click Here to Print the PDF of the Flyer –> CMNMG GCGC Final-21ngo4a


This series in in partnership with the Parsons Area Merchants Association and Faith Missionary Baptist Church.

Click Here to Print the PDF of the Flyer –> SouthSideBuckeyeISA_Flyer-1wew8sq


This series is in  partnership with the Godman Guild and Local Matters.

Click Here to Print the PDF of the Flyer –> Local Matters_ISAflyer_1.8.18-1mz6ah0