Spring Gardening Classes at Bexley Community Gardens in May

There will be two classes held in partnership with City of Bexley Community Gardens to assist the backyard grower, community gardener and urban farmer.
Bring your friends and your questions to these informational garden walks to discuss how to improve soil health in your plot as well as talk strategies to combat the weeds that can drive you crazy.

Classes are free and open to the public.

2019 Spring Planting Update for Central Ohio

Our first sunny days in the 50’s and 60’s are here and many backyard growers, community gardeners and urban farmers are looking to get outside to start spring planting.  One important step in this process is to make sure the seed that you are using will have decent germination rates to ensure that you do not start with a crop failure at the beginning.  Check this post on Growing Franklin for vegetable seed viability times. 

Have you soil tested your vegetable garden recently? Making sure that you have enough nutrition present to grow your vegetables is another important step in making sure that you have a productive season.  Contact our office if you wish to purchase a soil test as well as get instructions on how to soil sample.  You may be able to get a free soil test kit from our office if you grow in a community garden or urban farm in the City of Columbus or provide food for those who do live in City limits. (LINK)

The National Weather Service Climate Prediction center has their three month projection for April-May-June for temperature and precipitation.  (LINK)

The three month precipitation prediction calls for a greater than normal chance for increased precipitation.

 

The three month temperature projection calls for a greater chance of warmer than normal conditions.

One very important variable to monitor is soil temperatures.  Since seeds are in primary contact with soil and need that seed-soil contact to germinate, it is more important to monitor soil temperature than air temperature.  Certain seed varieties will need certain temperatures based on what family of vegetable they are in.  Most spring vegetables germinate reliably in cooler soil than summer vegetables.

Currently soil temperatures as monitored by the Columbus Station (Waterman Farm) of the OARDC Weather System are around 40 degrees F at 5 cm and 10 cm soil depth.  (LINK) If you garden in a raised bed, you may have warmer soil than a level garden plot.  This may allow earlier planting than normal.

Make sure that you do not work the soil via tillage if it is too wet, especially with the heavy clay soils common in central Ohio.  This could create a poor growing condition for the entire season if large clumps of compacted soil are created when tilling wet soil.

This community garden was mowed last fall with the residue left on top of the soil. A seed bed was created via tillage a few days ago when the soil was at the right moisture level.

If you have started transplants under grow lights in a seed station, it may be time to transplant them into individual cells.  Check out this video on Growing Franklin that will show how to divide and transplant seedlings into cell packs. 

Good choices for spring vegetables to direct seed into the garden once your soil is above 40 degrees F:

  • Spinach
  • Radish
  • Carrots
  • Lettuce
  • Peas
  • Swiss Chard
  • Cabbage family

Seed potatoes can be planted later this week if the soil is not too wet to work.  If you wish to plant onions but are unsure if you should use seeds vs. sets vs. transplants then click on the Growing Franklin article that goes over the benefits of each type of onion planting.

It will be time to plant transplants in the garden as soon as we get a few more degrees of soil temperature increase.  If you have transplants under the grow lights, it is important that you harden them off for a period to acclimate them to their future outdoor home.  It takes about 3-7 days of gradually introducing transplants to outdoor weather and temperature before they will be adjusted and have success in the ground. Do not forget this step, it is important to do this to minimize transplant shock.

 

 

 

Update on Rain Events for Backyard Growers, Community Gardeners and Urban Farmers.

A recent article in The Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Science news feed gives details that producers at all scale levels may find helpful when planning their site, tillage, drainage and planting plans.

CFAES News, March 13th, 2019, Author Credit: Alayna DeMartini

 

Click HERE to read the full article. 

 

OSU Hydroponics Open House on Saturday April 27th, 2019 from 10-Noon.

There is no cost to attend the open house.  Visitors without a parking pass will need to pay parking fees if taking a vehicle.  Please RSVP to the link provided to get details and register by April 13th

 

 

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

CLICK HERE FOR A LINK TO CAMPUS PARC 

CLICK HERE FOR A MAP OF CAMPUS PARKING LOTS

 

For questions please contact Chieri Kubota at  kubota.10@osu.edu

 

2019 Central Ohio Spring Weather/El Nino Update

A few days ago the National Weather Service updated its 3 month temperature and precipitation forecast to reflect the El Nino formation.  A weak El Nino has formed with a 55% chance to persist through spring.  El Nino can affect our Ohio Valley weather.

What does this mean for central Ohio backyard growers, community gardeners and urban farmers?  Right now the chances are showing that we have the potential for near normal precipitation with slightly warmer temperatures.

A chance for warmer than normal temperature is expected

 

Predictions favor normal amounts of precipitation for the season.

 

Weather predictions are important as a guide for planning and planting.  If these predictions hold true we may have a favorable spring planting season upcoming.