Using Warm Season Cover Crops Class at Wallace Community Garden

OSU Extension, Franklin County,  will be partnering with City of Grandview Heights, Parks and Recreation, to host a class for backyard growers, community gardeners and urban farmers on the use of Warm Season Cover Crops.   The class will start with a brief lecture on cover crop basics and varietal selection in the McKinley Field Shelter House and then move over to next door Wallace Community Garden for an on-site demonstration of several varieties of warm season cover crops.

The class is FREE and open to the public.  Parking is available at McKinley Field, at Wallace Community Garden and on street on Goodale Boulevard, Broadview Avenue and Urlin Avenue.  The class starts at 6:30 pm on Wednesday June 20th.

Come learn how you can integrate warm season cover crops into your food growing system to address challenges such as weed management, increased fertility, soil compaction and soil erosion.


Mid-May 2018 Grower’s Report

Here are several topics of interest to backyard growers, community gardeners and urban farmers for Mid-May planting and planning.

Weather Update:

The weather predictions from the last grower’s report of a warmer May were spot on in accuracy.  Many growers that were unable to get spring plantings in the ground early find that they are now maturing cool weather spring vegetables in hotter than ideal temperatures.   This can affect the flavor of the cool season crops and in some cases induce bolting of the plants into seed production.   An application of mulch or the use of shade fabric or shade micro-climate may buy the grower a few more days of production.

A shade micro-climate exists underneath the lettuce heads due to spacing that is keeping the roots cool. Mulch would have a similar benefit. Shade cloth over the PVC hoops would also be beneficial to shade and cool the lettuce heads to prolong harvest and prevent bolting.

The projections for the rest of May and into June are for warmer than normal temperatures and variable moisture.  That has been evident this week as while heavy rains have been forecast, many locations received none, while some locations have been flooded.   The projections for July and August have been for warmer than normal temperatures and drier than normal precipitation

CORN Agronomic Newsletter. 

Planting Update:

We are at the approximate time for the central Ohio frost free date.  Many growers have taken advantage of the warmer May to start planting of summer vegetable crops.   Soil temperatures in central Ohio as measured by the OARDC research station on 5/15 measured 67 degrees F at both 5 cm and 10 cm depth.  Soil temperature is a better indicator for planting than air temperature as it affects both germination and root growth.  With a 15 day projection for central Ohio of warm weather, it is OK to plant summer vegetables at this time.


Integrated Pest Management Update:

Cucumber beetles have been spotted in central Ohio.  These are likely overwintered adults looking to lay eggs at the base of cucurbit family plants.   Start scouting and prevention measures now.  FACT SHEET – Cucumber Beetles.  The goal is to prevent infestation and support young plants and seedlings.

When working the soil, the grower may encounter weeds or pests that should be removed to prevent future problems.    The grubs and bindweed growth were encountered when planting and were removed.

Grubs from Green June Beetles. These beetles can feed on the roots of desired vegetable, fruit or herb plantings and are also a problem in lawns.

The bindweed was not added to compost as it might continue growth and become a problem in future plantings.

Field Bindweed Management Factsheet

Ohio Perennial and Biennial Weed Guide


If you encounter pests, weeds or disease problems feel free to contact the Extension office with your concerns as well as send pictures to assist in identification to email

Garden Planning Class in Linden on Tuesday May 29th at 6:30

There will be a FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC class on Garden Planning, Methods and Strategies at The Gye Nyame Center in Linden on Tuesday May 29th.  Bring your friends and your questions.  No registration needed.  Contact me with any questions.

Click HERE for a printable Flyer –> Linden ISA Garden Planning Class flyer

Directions to Gye Nyame Place 2830 Cleveland Ave.

Crop Rotation and Vegetable Families

One of the most important components of an Integrated Pest Management program for the backyard grower, community gardener or urban farmer is the use of crop rotation.  This was the topic of the second round of educational training to support the Buckeye ISA program.   Crop rotation means not growing a plant from the same family in the same spot year after year with a targeted goal of at least three years between planting the same family in the same spot.  Since families of vegetables share similar pests and diseases as well as can be affected by weeds in similar ways, rotating different plant families every three years can assist in breaking the life cycle of many of the pests and diseases shared.

Here is a list of vegetable families and some common varieties of vegetables in those families:


  • This is the Nightshade family,  some members are poisonous.
  • Vegetables – Tomatoes, Peppers, Eggplant, Potatoes


  • These are the alliums, it is a large family with long roots in agriculture.
  • Vegetables – Onions, Leeks, Chives, Garlic


  • This is a very large family – also called the cruciferous vegetables.
  • Vegetables – broccoli, cauliflower, cabbages, brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, turnips, rutabaga, mustards, collards, kale, radish, asian greens


  • Lettuce, artichokes
  • This also contains flowering plants such as coneflower, sunflower and dandylion.


  • Beets
  • Swiss Chard
  • Spinach


  • This is another very old family with many members.
  • Vegetables – winter squash, summer squash, zucchini, cucumber, watermelons and other melon fruit, pumpkins, mouse melon, gourds


  • These are the nitrogen fixing legumes.  The plant does not actually fix nitrogen, it is accomplished via a symbiotic relationship with rhizobia bacteria.
  • Vegetables – Peas, beans, soybeans, fava beans


  • This family is vast.  It has many vegetables as well as herbs.  Many members of this family are poisonous.
  • Vegetables – carrot, celery, parsnip, fennel
  • Herbs – parsley, dill, cilantro, chervil


  • This family contains the cereal grains.  This is important if cover crops from this family are used, they need to be factored in for crop rotation as a vegetable family
  • Corn, winter rye, oats


A good way to track your garden year after year is by taking a picture with your phone.  Most smart phones will take high quality pictures that are date and sometimes even location stamped.  Having an accurate record of plantings during the year will assist in future garden planning for crop rotations.

Integrated Pest Management Fact Sheet

Crop Rotation in the Vegetable Garden Fact Sheet