Starting Fall Seeds Indoors

Ohio is a four season growing state.  Fall is a great season to grow in as the weather improves with the heat decreasing, rain comes back and there is still plenty of light outside for vegetable production.

The weather projection is looking decent for a warm fall, which means we may get a little extra time for growing down the line.  I use the NOAA weather prediction as a guide for my planting throughout the year.

Right now it is looking like a greater chance of a warm fall and an equal chance for normal precipitation.  That is making me plant a few more summer vegetables for fall harvest.  I can always throw row cover over it for an overnight frost.

Right now there is still time to plant lots of vegetables.  I will start the cucumber, yellow squash, and zucchini under the lights as my heavy clay impedes germination when it dries out.

I also started lettuce, cauliflower, broccoli raab, bok choi and a last little bit of basil.  The cool season crops will germinate and mature indoors then go out later in September when it cools down a bit.  I will do multiple plantings of lettuce indoors and at least one more of bok choi.

If you want to try your hand at seed starting I have lots of links on Growing Franklin to share.

Outdoors right now there is still time to plant summer cucurbits, beets, carrots, swiss chard, most brassica greens plus green beans in terms of summer crops.  I will hold off on outdoor cool season plantings of spinach, arugula, lettuce, turnips and radishes for now and wait until closer to Labor Day.

The goal is to have harvest all the way through Thanksgiving dinner and it is almost always possible.

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

If you have some free space in your garden I recommend you take advantage of the time left for planting.  With a little planning and some frost protection you can extend your harvest deep into the fall and even into the Winter.

Fall Gardening Class Series in Partnership with The CFAES Alumni Society Board

Feel free to share!  bring your friends and your questions to these free lunch and learn gardening classes held in partnership with the OSU College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Alumni Society Board.



Click to view the August 6th Virtual Class Event – Planting the Fall Garden

Click to register for the September 10th Virtual Class Event – End of Season Gardening

Here are the questions and answers for the September 10th class that were submitted prior — > End of Season Gardening Questions CFAES Class #2

Click to register for the October 8th Virtual Class Event – Winter Gardening



Can You Dig It! Gardening Series – Class #4: Fall Seed Starting Virtual Class Event on Wednesday July 29th @ Noon

The final class of the Can You Dig It! gardening webinar series in partnership with OSU Extension Franklin County and OSU University Libraries will be held this Wednesday July 29th at Noon.  This class is free, but does require registration for the zoom link, so click below and bring your friends and your questions!

Arugula is a fine choice to plant for a fall harvest.

CLICK HERE for the registration page.

2020 Master Urban Farmer Workshop Series

Registration is now open for the 2020 Ohio Master Urban Farmer Workshop Series.  For all questions contact Mike Hogan at

Click HERE to view, download or print the flyer –> 2020 MUF_Brochure

Spring Garden Planning Virtual Class Event is now Online!

A Spring Garden Planning Virtual Class Event was held this past Friday and recorded so that you can view this as needed to get background information on garden planning, site selection, soil health, raised beds, organic matter and fertility.   Feel free to share as needed.

Does your group want a virtual class?  Check out this Growing Franklin LINK.  There may be one already scheduled with another group that you can join in as well.



Looking for a great fact sheet on Getting Started in Gardening, just click this link.

There are also virtual class events on:

Can You Dig It 2020 Spring Gardening Series of Virtual Classes with OSU Thompson Library

There is a series of virtual class events held in partnership with OSU Extension Franklin County and OSU Thompson Library that are free and open to the public.  See registration information below.  Bring your friends and your questions about starting the 2020 garden season.

Click Image to Register

Can You Dig It? Virtual Gardening Series

Time to Start Your Garden Class #1

Wednesday, April 22

Noon – 1 p.m.

Container Gardening Class #2

Wednesday, May 20th

Noon – 1 p.m.

Join OSU Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator Tim McDermott as he equips you with great tips for the upcoming growing season including gardening techniques, soil preparations, seed starting and more. Please register by filling out this short Qualtrics form. (This is for Class #2 on May 20th)

This virtual event is sponsored by the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences and University Libraries.

Be sure to also SAVE THE DATE for additional virtual gardening series sessions on May 20 and June 10!

Here are the questions sent in prior to the class answered and upload for access.  

CLASS NUMBER #1 – Spring Garden Planning:

CLICK HERE for the PDF of answers to view, download or print –> Virtual Gardening Q&A






Seed Starting Virtual Class

This is a Seed Starting Virtual Event done to support the Franklinton Farms community liaison of the Buckeye ISA.  The class is designed to introduce those new to gardening and want to learn how to start their own seeds to the basic equipment and technique needed.

Does YOUR ORG, TEAM OR DEPARTMENT  Want a Virtual Class?




Their were portions of two videos referenced in the class.  Both can be found hosted here on Growing Franklin:

Would You Like a Virtual Gardening Class?

There has been a resurgence of people who wish to raise their own food for personal and family food security, both with produce and with poultry.  Growing your own food is a healthy activity that maintains social distance and provides for personal and family food security.

I HIGHLY recommend subscribing!  I will be adding digital content as we are keeping social distancing and food production is a great outdoor activity for health and wellness  BUTTON ON THE RIGHT — >

Does your department, organization or group want to learn more about growing your own fresh, local, healthy produce?  I am happy to work with you on a class.

Some formats include lunch and learn,  specific topic, or just a Q and A session to address seasonal concerns or questions.

Topics include:

  • Garden Planning – great for new gardeners or a refresher. 
  • Weeds, Pest and Disease
  • Seed Starting
  • Container Gardening
  • Seasonal Question and Answer
  • Backyard Poultry Production
  • Any other topic you want to learn!

You organize your group and we find a time to meet online.

Email me at to get started.

April 2020 Growers Report – Central Ohio

Greetings!  I hope you are all staying healthy.  So a couple quick notes before we get into the April 2020 Grower’s Report.   You and your family are supported by me in your growing.  I assist backyard growers, community gardeners, urban farmers in all phases of production.  Send me an email with questions to  or call to 614-292-7916 and while I cannot come visit,  a picture is a welcome way to show me what the problem is or describe a situation.  Feel free to contact me at any time, I check email seven days a week.

Looking for a positive activity that benefits your health and wellness while you are maintaing social distancing?  Gardening is an outstanding family friendly activity with major health and wellness benefits including a source of fresh, local produce.

I HIGHLY recommend subscribing!  I will be adding digital content as we are keeping social distancing and gardening is a great outdoor activity for health and wellness  BUTTON ON THE RIGHT — >

Also, I have gone through the pages that are linked in the horizontal bar at the top of the website under my lettuce pic and they are all active LINKS AND INFORMATION FOR GROWERS.  Lots of great information there on fact sheets for fruits and veg, season extension, garden planning, etc.  Make sure to take a look up there for lots of information,  all is free and available to the public.

First update is the weather:

While we are still seeing predictions for warm and wet going forward in the three month,  this week has some temperatures in the 30’s overnight.  Depending on your microclimate you may want to cover any seedlings or transplants in the ground.

Row cover is a spun bonded fabric used to provide frost protection but still let air, sunlight and water move through the fabric. It comes in multiple weights with heavier weight fabric providing the most frost protection but letting in the least amount of sunlight.

If you do not have row cover you can cover your seedlings and transplants with a sheet or a tarp.  Just make sure that you prop the cover up off the plants so it does not touch the leaves and then remove it the next morning to allow sun to get to the plants.

CLICK HERE for NWS/NOAA Weather prediction center.   Cool nights until this weekend upcoming.

Second update is the container garden:

My plants are probably OK due to the microclimate in the container garden in terms of extra frost protection.

They are in black pots, next to the house on my driveway.  All of those contribute heat to the area.  I will still likely cover them just to be sure.

The lettuce enjoyed the rain we had over the weekend followed by some great sun.

I need to make sure that with the heavy rain we get that I address the fertility needs of my plantings.  I am working on a container garden post to have ready soon.

Third update is the seed start station:

I have decent germination from my peppers and eggplant and have moved all the lettuce plus the broccoli raab outside into containers after a few days of hardening off the plants to acclimate to the weather.  While checking on my seedlings I noticed this predator on my swiss chard.

A brown marmorated stink bug found its way to my seedlings. No doubt happy to stay inside and still have a meal. It was removed.

Never to early to start your Integrated Pest Management and scouting for parasites and predators.

Next up will be to start more lettuce transplants.  I will use the Seed Start station to put another dozen seeds into soilless mix for transplanting in 3 weeks or so.

Tomatoes will get stared in the next couple days under the lights.

Have you started planting yet?  Feel free to reach out with questions and I can help you get started.

Now is the Time To Start Summer Transplants (plus a spring vegetable garden update)

Looking for a positive activity that benefits your health and wellness while you are maintaing social distancing?  It is time to start planting summer vegetables!

I HIGHLY recommend subscribing!  I will be adding digital content as we are keeping social distancing and gardening is a great outdoor activity for health and wellness  BUTTON ON THE RIGHT — >

I try to get my summer vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and tomatillos started in the Mid-March to April 1st time period.   I do not rush them into the ground as they like to go into warm soil so my target is about Memorial Day to plant.

I started peppers and eggplant first.  They grow slower initially and I do not have a ton of space under lights right now due to working from home.  The technique is demonstrated in the Seed Starting Video.

My kitchen counter is my new seed starting work area while working from home.

I will start seeds in 4″ and 2.5″ pots and then transplant them in to cell packs later.    They could be started in cells or smaller pots right off the bat, but I have limited space under lights at home.

This four inch pot is gridded with pepper seeds every 3/4th of an inch or so. I will thin as needed but hope to get about a dozen plants out of this small pot when I transplant them into cells.

CLICK HERE to see a Transplanting Video to demonstrate how I will seperate them into individual cells in the next couple of weeks once they germinate and get a little growth.

I lightly covered the planted pots with plastic wrap to maintain humidity since the cells were on a heat mat and that would rapidly dry them out.

I check every day although I do not expect germination any faster than about a week.  I will start my tomatoes and tomatillos in the next few days once I get some space under my lights by putting some more transplants out in my container garden.

Container Garden Update:  From Last Weeks Post on Planting Spring Seeds

I had wrapped up the container garden with double row cover after also adding a layer of bird netting.  I bird netting keeps out the squirrels who would eat all my produce instantaneously.  The row cover was for frost protection as we had some nights in the 20s this past weekend.

I was a little worried about the lettuce, it is cold tolerant but not tremendously hardy. It came through like a champ.


The spinach I was not worried about at all with temperatures in the 20’s. I harvested a bowl about 5 days ago and it looks like it is getting ready for another harvest.

I will replace harvested produce with more transplants that are under the lights right now.  That will free up space to start the tomatoes.

I start a small amount of lettuce for my home garden every two weeks or so in season so that I have a constant stream of lettuce instead of a large harvest all at once.

Hopefully my community garden will get plowed on time this season.  It will depend on the rainfall as wet clay soil cannot be worked without creating problems.  Then I can get more seeds as well as the transplants under the lights in the ground.