Intro to Zoom plus a Look at 2021 in the Garden with The Greater Columbus Growing Coalition on February 4th at 7pm.

The kickoff to the 2021 growing season will be a virtual class held in partnership with the Greater Columbus Growing Coalition to talk a little Intro to Zoom plus review the 2020 growing year and take a look at our 2021 growing year.  It is time to get ready to grow!



The class is free and open to the public so bring your friends and your questions.  Registration to the webinar is required and the link is below.


Hi there,

You are invited to a CarmenZoom webinar.
When: Feb 4, 2021 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Topic: GCGC Virtual Class

Register in advance for this webinar:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Any questions about this webinar should be directed to the webinar organizer.






2021 Virtual High Tunnel and Season Extension School

There will be a Virtual High Tunnel and Season Extension School class series starting January 12th that is free and open to the public.  Registration link is below.  This is applicable for beginner through experienced users.

CLICK HERE to Register for classes.  Sessions are free and you can attend as many as you wish.




The Fall Container Garden

You have heard me say that fall is a great time to grow.  I have a Growing Franklin article on it as well as recorded a webinar if you want to learn more.  My community garden has a growing season from April 1 to November 1 and is now done for the year.  My container garden however has been producing heavily and I used the outstanding weather this weekend to move it to its winter location as well as plant 4 pots for future production.

The summer home for the container garden is on the south face of my house. Right now my neighbor’s house is shading this spot since the sun is lower in the horizon.

It was not easy to move these.  Each weighs about 80-100 pounds and they had to go 30 feet to a different part of the driveway that gets better sun.  Still I love my container garden as it allows me to grow all 12 months of the year.  If you want to learn how to grow in containers,  I did a website post on Growing Franklin as well as recorded a webinar class on it.

Once moved,  I harvested the rest of the lettuce and bok choi.

Got four heads of lettuce and eight baby bok choi. I will start some more lettuce under LED lights to plant in a month.

I then pulled out the roots and amended the soil in four of the pots with a slow release organic vegetable fertilizer.  I planted spinach in two of the pots as I had great success with that last year.  If you want to learn how to Grow Spinach Over Winter  you can read this Growing Franklin website post or you can view the Overwinter Growing recorded webinar I did.  The other two pots got garlic.  One pot hard neck and one pot soft neck to compare how they do in containers.  OSU has an excellent Fact Sheet on Growing Garlic,  so does our BYGL site.

Back row L to R is softneck garlic, hardneck garlic and Lunchbox pepper. Front row L to R is two pots of spinach direct seeded and a bed that will house lettuce transplants soon. I put bird netting on them to keep the squirrels from digging and will put row cover on as needed.

I left the pepper plants alone as they are still in good production and we have a good chance of warmer than normal temps still to come based on the NOAA/NWS prediction model.  They are starting to show some mild yellowing of the leaves and I will need to fertilize with a water soluble fertilizer.  I did cover the plants with row cover during the occasional cold snap that is common in fall.   I will also use the microclimate benefits of black containers on a black driveway to scavenge extra heat.

Still predicting a higher than normal chance of warm weather through January. Great container garden weather.

It is not too late to plant believe it or not.  Make sure to pick cold tolerant varieties and use season extension as needed.

Growing Over Winter Virtual Class Recording

Growing Over Winter is a great way to utilize all four seasons for food production in Ohio.  Making the right choice for cold tolerant plantings as well as the use of season extension will allow the backyard grower, community gardener, teacher educator and urban farmer to harvest all 12 months of the year.

Spinach under cover in January, ready to harvest..

Below is a webinar recorded on 10/6 that discusses the various ways to extend your harvest through the cold months.  Click the link at the bottom of the post for webinar access.

Do not want to watch a whole webinar? NO PROBLEM!  Click here for an informative Growing Franklin post on How to Over Winter Spinach using Low Tunnels that has all the same short videos included.


How to Over Winter Vegetables Virtual Class Event in partnership with Franklinton Farms on Tuesday October 6th, 2020 @ 7pm.

There will be a free virtual class on How to Over Winter Using Season Extension and Low Tunnels held in partnership with Franklinton Farms on Tuesday October 6th, 2020 @ 7:00 pm.  This class is free but registration is required, see the link below, so bring your friends and your questions.


Hi there,

You are invited to a Zoom meeting.
When: Oct 6, 2020 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Register in advance for this meeting:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Can You Dig It! Fall Gardening Series Class #6: How to Over-Winter Spinach and Kale, Wednesday September 30th, 2020 @ Noon

The Can You Dig It! Fall Gardening Series that is a partnership with OSU Extension Franklin County and OSU University Libraries continues on Wednesday September 30th @ Noon to talk about planting over-wintered crops using season extension.  What could be better than harvesting your own fresh vegetables in February?  The class is free but registration is required (link below) so bring your friends and your questions.



There is Still Time for Fall 2020 Planting

Fall is a great season for planting and harvesting fresh local produce.  I did a Fall Planting Virtual Class Webinar recently that has all the details.  Here is an update on where we are right this mintue and what you can still plant for a later harvest.  The one month shows an average chance for temperature or precipitation away from normal.

One month climate predictions for September

I also use the three month climate predictions when I do my planning.  It shows that we have a decent chance of some warmer weather deeper into fall.  That will be great for a longer harvest of both summer and fall season vegetables.

Three month climate predictions through November

So what can you still plant?  Lots of stuff,  especially if you can do some season extension.  Remeber seeds are cheap, vegetables cost money. 

Do you have a seed start station?  Then you can start transplants indoors to get them ready for fall planting later when you have space open up.  Want to learn more about seed starting?  Check out Growing Franklin for a Seed Starting Video or a Seed Starting Virtual Class Webinar.  (or both!).

I will be starting lettuce and bok choi every 2-3 weeks under the lights for transplants out in my community garden and container garden.

My fall growing is more in my container garden.  Container gardening really exploded in popularity this year as more people wanted to get into growing.  I love my container garden and it is my primary garden starting in fall as my community garden gets mowed on November 1st.

L to R: Bok Choi seedlings, last planting of basil, a dozen heads of Salanova lettuce that will be harvested in rotation to allow the rest to expand and last about 2-3 weeks of lettuce.

Want to get a container garden started for fall growing,  Check out No Garden, No Problem – Container Gardening Website Post as well as Container Gardening Virtual Class Webinar for all the details on getting your container garden up an going this fall.

While it is too late to start broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage from seed, contact your local nursery or greenhouse to see if they have some for sale. I started these cauliflower seedlings around August 1st and transplanted them next week for a fall harvest.

So what can you still plant outside?  There are lots of choices, especially if you can season extend with row cover. All these can go in direct seeded in your garden right now.

  • Lettuce
  • Radish
  • Turnips
  • Leaf brassicas like kale, collards, mustards and bok choi
  • Arugula
  • Green onions
  • Carrots
  • Beets

Row cover is a spun fabric that is permeable to air and water. It provides frost protection to allow a crop to grow longer in cool weather.

What about spinach?   Looking at the soil temps it is a little too warm this minute to plant spinach,  They like cool soil temps for good germination.  You can try a little bit for a later harvest but spinach is really cold tolerant.  I will wait until later.

Once we get closer to October 1st I will get planting on my Overwintered Spinach Under Row Covers.  Do not forget to continue to harvest and manage your current crops!  We have weeks of great growing weather ahead.

CLICK HERE to check out the NOAA Climate Prediction website.


How to Grill Sweet Corn

My OSU Extension Franklin County colleague, Jenny Lobb, and I have been working on a project that pairs our two program areas( Agriculture and Natural Resources with Family and Consumer Sciences) together for a little social outreach.  Plus we both really like sweet corn.

We will be working on more videos featuring growing and cooking with fresh seasonable produce so be sure to check back.