Presentation on Urban Ag Resources for Franklin County Producers – Wednesday November 6th, 2019 at 6:30 pm.

Come learn what new resources are available to pick up where the Mid-Ohio Food Bank Urban Ag grant left of to continue providing urban agricultural infrastructure support.

 

Click here to view, download or print the flyer –> High Tunnel Urban Ag

Gardening Year Round Class at Grandview Heights Public Library on Thursday October 10th, 2019

The backyard grower, community gardener and urban farmer can keep the harvest going year round through a combination of indoor and outdoor plantings.  Bring your friends and your questions to this free class in partnership with Grandview Heights Public Library.

Click here to view, download, or print the flyer –>  Year Round Gardening GView Lib 2019

Keep the Garden and the Harvest Alive Over Winter – Free Class on the South Side on Thursday October 3rd, 2019

Ohio is a four season growing environment.  Come to this free class to learn how the backyard grower, community gardener and urban farmer can keep the harvest going as well as build on soil health over winter.

To view, download or print the flyer click here –>  Over Wintered Planting at 1200

What to Plant NOW For Your Fall Garden: Class at The Bronzeville Growers Market on Thursday August 8th @ 4pm.

The backyard grower, community gardener and urban farmer in Ohio can harvest all year long in our four season growing environment.  Learn what to plant now for a fall harvest at this class at the Bronzeville Growers Market.  The market is open for fresh produce sales from 3-6 with a class at 4 pm.  The class will be outdoors at the market and participants are encouraged to bring chairs if needed.  Bring your friends and your questions to this free class.

Click HERE to view, download or print the flyer –> Bronzeville Fall Garden Class

Planning and Planting Start Now For Your 2019 Fall Garden Harvest

It is hard to imagine with tomatoes barely starting to ripen that now is the time to start planning and planting for the 2019 fall garden harvest.  The backyard grower, community gardener and urban farmer should plan one season ahead to make sure they maximize harvest in the future.  Right now is the time to think about filling the spots in the garden that will open up after the spring and early summer plants are removed.

The goal is to make sure the garden is planted with no bare soil the entire year,  including winter.  That requires planning. First consider crop rotation.  To do this you need to know your vegetable families.

Take this opportunity to make sure that you keep your ground planted at all times.  There are a number of short term crops that could go into the garden right now that will allow harvest prior to the frost date:

  • Green Beans – can be planted every two weeks for the next month.  Choose rapid bush type varieties.

Beans were planted August 1st. Row cover may be needed overnight for frost protection. Uncover when temperatures warm to facilitate pollination.

  • Peas – Sugar Snaps are 70 days until maturity.  Germination can be tricky with hot, baked clay soils.
  • Summer Squash/Zucchini – plant now or wait until closer to the end of the month in order to miss cucumber beetles for a fall harvest.

Picture taken Mid-October. Notice due to delayed planting their are no cucumber beetles or stink bugs infesting the plants. Planting date was August 1st

  • Swiss Chard – plant now for a fall harvest
  • Green Onions – plant now for a fall harvest
  • Tomato/Pepper – transplants of short season varieties(if you can still find them locally) are possible right now in case the grower has lost plants due to pest damage.  Rotate to another spot in the garden.
  • Lettuce – can be planted from seed or transplant.  May need shade cloth to protect from heat.  Start transplants indoor every two weeks for the next three months for a fall and early winter harvest.
  • Brassicas – start indoor transplants of broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and Asian greens now to transplant outdoors in late August.

    Start many types of greens indoors now and repeat every two weeks. . Can be transplanted outside later in the season when the weather cools down.

  • Radish – wait until later in the season to direct seed.
  • Beets – can direct seed in the garden now for fall harvest.
  • Carrots – can direct seed in the garden now for fall harvest.
  • Herbs – start more basil now from seed outdoors for a late summer harvest to pair with fresh tomatoes.
  • Cover Crops – keep your garden planted.  Summer cover crops like buckwheat can be planted now, plan on your over wintered space.

Buckwheat is an excellent summer cover crop for developing soil health, suppressing weeds and providing for pollinators.

Think about the spot that you will use for over-wintered spinach production using low tunnels and row cover.

Winter is Coming.

 

Make sure to address fertility.  Did your most recent harvest take out your nutrition?  Address that prior to planting the fall garden.

Feel free to join us at a Garden Walk at Worthington Community Garden on Thursday July 25th to talk about the fall garden plus many more garden topics.  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.

 

 

 

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 Early Spring Weather Predictions and Planting Guide

Here are the climate map predictions from NOAA/NWS for the period through April.

Prediction for precipitation shows a chance for drier weather through April

 

Temperatures are forecast to be slightly cooler through April

 

What does this mean for the backyard grower, community gardener or urban farmer?  This means a fair chance for some early spring growing and an early harvest, especially when using season extension.  I would not put all my eggs in one basket due to the lower temperature percentage, but the choice of cold tolerant crops may pay off.  If the model would have predicted warmer weather for this period I would have considered a full scale up in spring vegetable planting.  Right now I will sow regular amounts for the season.

 

Those growers who planted spinach under low tunnels using row cover, be mindful of any good chance to break the micro-climate and get a harvest.  The 66 degree Sunday we had recently was just such a day.  Very soon the increased amount of sunlight will cause a surge in rapid growth. 

 

If you have not already started, now is a good time to start seeds of several vegetable varieties under the lights of your seed start station.  If you are using seed that is from a prior year,  Check Out the Seed Viability Post on Growing Franklin.

Seeds that can be started indoors now:

  • Lettuce
  • Brassicas – cabbage, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, Asian greens, etc
  • Onion family, including leeks
  • Artichokes – get a short season variety

This planting time will have the lettuce ready to go into the ground in early March.  There is a chance of poor weather that may prevent planting.  Still the risk is worth it.  Follow up with serial plantings of lettuce and Asian greens every two weeks for the next two to three months for a continuous harvest.

 

Small Farm Conference and Trade Show in Piketon on March 29th and 30th

Come visit the Small Farm Conference and Trade Show at OSU South Centers in Piketon on March 29th and 30th.  A wide variety of educational tracks will be offered.   See the class listings below.  This is a great opportunity for the urban farmer or producer to learn about a number of topics related to production.

Click the image below to enlarge.

 

CLICK HERE for registration details, event brochure and details of class listing.