School Garden Week of April 15th, 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!


Guess what?  The online modules to support Growing Teachers Throughout the Seasons are LIVE!! You can access them HERE, or check out the go link  –> go.osu.edu/GTS


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

 


Outside in the raised beds:

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.

With the warm weather and fast growth,  make sure you are watering as needed, once to twice per week, check and water on Fridays before the weekend!

This week:

  • All the days this week are good for harvesting, watering, and fertilizing your plants.  Make sure to allow the beds to warm up before you pop the top open.  Around mid-day is best.  Check to see if you need to water.
  • The planting recommendations are based on temperature.  Stay inside and safe if there are thunderstorms outside.  Do not harden off plants if there is heavy rain and wind.  Watch they do not dry out in this heat!
  • Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday – If you have transplants that need to be planted outside, these days are good for hardening off your plants.  Check out the video below for tips.
  • Thursday- A good planting and harvest day.  Water your beds if we do not get lots of rain. Make sure to cover your beds before you leave.
  • Friday  – A good planting and harvest day. We are supposed to have lots of rain this week, but if we do not, make sure to water before you leave for the weekend.
  • Make sure you have your season extension garden cover over your plants, we may have a frost on Sunday night!

Here is a video that details how to harden off your plants prior to transplanting, to minimize transplant shock.

Once the warmer weather gets here, plus the extra sunlight, we anticipate fast growth of the outdoor veggies.


Since we are in great harvest weather, make sure you are following safe harvesting procedures.  Check out this video for some safe harvesting tips.

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:  

CCS Teachers – Try to plant all of your transplants outside in your raised beds as soon as they are ready to go and have been hardened off.  Great growing weather ahead. 

Here is the transplant video if you need a refresher on transplanting:

 


Inside in the Aerogarden:

Hopefully your tomatoes are doing great and you are getting a harvest with your kiddos.  Let me know if you have any questions or problems.  CLICK HERE for the Aerogarden tomato 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.

 

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.

This yellow cherry tomato looks great! Well pruned, fertilized, and pollinated and producing lots of tomatoes.

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

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

We Grow Scientists on May 1st, 2024: Part of COSI SciFest!

The College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences will host “We Grow Scientists” on May 1, 3-7 p.m., at Waterman Farms. This day of hands-on activities will showcase the many STEM fields CFAES has to offer, including a look at the Controlled Environment Agriculture Research Complex. This free event is a part of the COSI Science Festival.

Check out the flyer below for more information.

CLICK HERE for the link to learn more about the event including food, parking, and more.  Hope to see you there!

School Garden Week of April 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!

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


Guess what?  The online modules to support Growing Teachers Throughout the Seasons are LIVE!! You can access them HERE, or check out the go link  –> go.osu.edu/GTS


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

 


Outside in the raised beds:

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:

  • All the days this week are good for harvesting, watering, and fertilizing your plants.  Make sure to allow the beds to warm up before you pop the top open.  Around mid-day is best.  Check to see if you need to water.
  • The planting recommendations are based on temperature.  Stay inside and safe if there are thunderstorms outside.  Do not harden off plants if there is heavy rain and wind. 
  • Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday – If you have transplants that need to be planted outside, these days are good for hardening off your plants.  Check out the video below for tips.
  • Thursday- A good planting and harvest day.  Water your beds if we do not get lots of rain. Make sure to cover your beds before you leave.
  • Friday  – A good planting and harvest day. We are supposed to have lots of rain this week, but if we do not, make sure to water before you leave for the weekend.

Here is a video that details how to harden off your plants prior to transplanting, to minimize transplant shock.

Once the warmer weather gets here, plus the extra sunlight, we anticipate fast growth of the outdoor veggies.


Since we are in great harvest weather, make sure you are following safe harvesting procedures.  Check out this video for some safe harvesting tips.

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:  

CCS Teachers – Try to plant all of your transplants outside in your raised beds as soon as they are ready to go and have been hardened off.  Great growing weather ahead. 

Here is the transplant video if you need a refresher on transplanting:

 


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 tomato planting guide. If you need tomato pods then contact Katie.

I have heard that some schools have tomato plants that are growing very slowly.  If you have a slow growing tomato plant, gently lift up the tray of the Aerogarden to check on root growth.  Take a picture of the roots to email to me and Katie, then gently replace the tray back onto the Aerogarden. We are trying to investigate why some tomato plants are growing slower than others.  One other thing to do is make sure that you shake your fertilizer bottle before you add fertilizer so that the fertilizer is mixed before you add some to the reservoir. 

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!

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.

 

Hopefully you have some good tomato growth in your Aerogarden. Once the yellow flowers open up, have your kiddos pollinate them according to Aerogardens instructions.

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

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

Gardening for Conservation Webinar Series with The Nature Conservancy

I will be partnering with The Nature Conservancy for the third consecutive year for some gardening education and outreach.  We have expanded the webinar series to SIX topics of interest.  All are free and open to the public, but do require registration to get the link, so bring your friends and your questions!  I will be talking about ticks, growing your own food, and composting with both my OSU colleagues and TNC friends co-hosting! Registration links are below. 

 

 

CLICK HERE for the event page with more information plus registration or register for the individual classes below!


Registration Link for 4/24


Registration Link for 5/22


Registration Link for 6/26


Registration Link for 7/24


Registration Link for 8/28


Registration Link for 9/25


 

You can also click on the QR to register as well!

Hope to see you there!

School Garden Week of March 25th, 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!


Guess what?  The online modules to support Growing Teachers Throughout the Seasons are LIVE!! You can access them HERE, or check out the go link  –> go.osu.edu/GTS


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


Outside in the raised beds:

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:

  • All the days this week are good for harvesting, watering, and fertilizing your plants.  Make sure to allow the beds to warm up before you pop the top open.  Around mid-day is best.  Check to see if you need to water.  We have not had a lot of rain in the past week and your raised bed plants might need a drink.
  • Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday – If you have transplants that need to be planted outside, these days are good for hardening off your plants.  Check out the video below for tips.
  • Thursday- good planting and harvest day.  Water your beds if we do not get lots of rain on Tuesday. Make sure to cover your beds before you leave.
  • Friday  – Spring Break for CCS!

Here is a video that details how to harden off your plants prior to transplanting, to minimize transplant shock.

Once the warmer weather gets here, plus the extra sunlight, we anticipate fast growth of the outdoor veggies.


Since we are in great harvest weather, make sure you are following safe harvesting procedures.  Check out this video for some safe harvesting tips.

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:  

CCS Teachers – Try to plant all of your transplants outside in your raised beds and then thoroughly water them deeply before you leave for spring break!  Cover your beds with season extension garden cover after you water. 

Here is the transplant video if you need a refresher on transplanting:

 


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 tomato planting guide. If you need tomato pods then contact Katie.

I have heard that some schools have tomato plants that are growing very slowly.  If you have a slow growing tomato plant, gently lift up the tray of the Aerogarden to check on root growth.  Take a picture of the roots to email to me and Katie, then gently replace the tray back onto the Aerogarden. We are trying to investigate why some tomato plants are growing slower than others.  One other thing to do is make sure that you shake your fertilizer bottle before you add fertilizer so that the fertilizer is mixed before you add some to the reservoir. 

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!

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.

 

Hopefully you have some good tomato growth in your Aerogarden. Once the yellow flowers open up, have your kiddos pollinate them according to Aerogardens instructions.

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 March 11th, 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!


Guess what?  The online modules to support Growing Teachers Throughout the Seasons are LIVE!! You can access them HERE, or check out the go link  –> go.osu.edu/GTS

We will have printed guides available in the next couple of weeks.  We have two professional development opportunities to sign up to learn how to get GTS into your school. Both will be at my building, 2548 Carmack Rd. Columbus, OH 43210. (SEE MAP)  Both require registration as space is limited.

CLICK HERE for April 2nd, 4:30 – 6:30pm

CLICK HERE for April 11th, 4:30 – 6:30pm


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

 


Outside in the raised beds:

This is a good week to both harvest some produce, and fertilize.  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 – Friday look pretty good to get outside to harvest or harden off transplants for planting.  If you start Monday or Tuesday, you should be able to plant by Friday.  See the video below!
  • Friday – Make sure your beds are covered before you leave for the weekend, it looks like some overnight cold is expected.

If you did not get a chance to plant spinach and kale last fall,  you will have an opportunity to plant this week.   If you need spinach and kale seeds please contact Katie. 

We have been getting some questions about hardening off seedlings.  Check out this video that discusses the process.  Lots more great videos in the GTS Online modules at THIS LINK

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. Here is a bottom watering video to guide you if you have questions. 

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 tomato planting guide. If you need tomato pods then contact Katie.

I have heard that some schools have tomato plants that are growing very slowly.  If you have a slow growing tomato plant, gently lift up the tray of the Aerogarden to check on root growth.  Take a picture of the roots to email to me and Katie, then gently replace the tray back onto the Aerogarden. We are trying to investigate why some tomato plants are growing slower than others.  One other thing to do is make sure that you shake your fertilizer bottle before you add fertilizer so that the fertilizer is mixed before you add some to the reservoir. 

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!

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.

 

Hopefully you have some good tomato growth in your Aerogarden. Once the yellow flowers open up, have your kiddos pollinate them according to Aerogardens instructions.

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

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

Online Fruit Pruning School on Thursday March 14th, 2024

There is an upcoming webinar on pruning that should be of interest to growers of fruit trees, grapes, and raspberries.  The event is free but requires registration to access the zoom link.

 

Click HERE to register. 

Click here to view, download, and print the flyer –> Pruning 2024

Please direct questions to sherman.1473@osu.edu

School Garden Week of March 4th, 2024 plus GTS is LIVE!

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!


Guess what?  The online modules to support Growing Teachers Throughout the Seasons are LIVE!! You can access them HERE, or check out the go link  –> go.osu.edu/GTS

We will have printed guides available in the next couple of weeks.  We have two professional development opportunities to sign up to learn how to get GTS into your school. Both will be at my building, 2548 Carmack Rd. Columbus, OH 43210. (SEE MAP)  Both require registration as space is limited.

CLICK HERE for April 2nd, 4:30 – 6:30pm

CLICK HERE for April 11th, 4:30 – 6:30pm


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

 


Outside in the raised beds:

This is a good week to both harvest some produce, and fertilize.  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/Wednesday/Thursday – Great rainfall for growing.  Good days to take a harvest if it is not too stormy outside.
  • Friday – Make sure your beds are covered before you leave for the weekend, it looks like some overnight cold is expected.

If you did not get a chance to plant spinach and kale last fall,  you will have an opportunity to plant this week.   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. 

 

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 tomato planting guide. If you need tomato pods then contact Katie.

I have heard that some schools have tomato plants that are growing very slowly.  If you have a slow growing tomato plant, gently lift up the tray of the Aerogarden to check on root growth.  Take a picture of the roots to email to me and Katie, then gently replace the tray back onto the Aerogarden. We are trying to investigate why some tomato plants are growing slower than others.  One other thing to do is make sure that you shake your fertilizer bottle before you add fertilizer so that the fertilizer is mixed before you add some to the reservoir. 

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!

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.

 

Hopefully you have some good tomato growth in your Aerogarden. Once the yellow flowers open up, have your kiddos pollinate them according to Aerogardens instructions.

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

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

Spring Gardening Basics Class at The Urban Farm Church on Wednesday March 20th, 2024 @ 6pm

Spring Gardening is here!  We are getting some sun and some nice weather.  Right now is the time to start thinking about planning and planting.  What seeds can we put outside and what do we need to start indoors under lights for transplanting?  What about soil testing? What can we do right NOW! All this will be addressed at The Urban Farm Church on 3/20 at 6pm.  This class is free and open to the public but does require registration (so they know how many snacks to make!) so bring your friends and your questions!  If the weather is nice we can do a little garden walk too!

CLICK HERE to Register

It is leafy green and brassica time!

You can also use the QR code to Register

You can learn more about The Urban Farm Church HERE plus find directions to the class (lots of free parking!) HERE

School Garden Week of February 26th, 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:


Outside in the raised beds:

What an odd Ohio weather weekend.  Snow on Saturday, Sun on Sunday!  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.

Make sure you do not try to open your season extension garden cover if it is frozen! It will tear and decrease its ability to protect the plants.

This week:

  • Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday – Great rainfall for growing.  Good days to take a harvest if it is not too stormy outside.
  • Wednesday night – gets cold again,  make sure your raised beds are covered up tight.
  • Thursday/ 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 tomato 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!

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.

 

Hopefully you have some good tomato growth in your Aerogarden. Once the yellow flowers open up, have your kiddos pollinate them according to Aerogardens instructions.

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

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