A Garden Walk @ Mari Sunami Community Garden on Thursday June 27th @ 6pm.

I have been collaborating with Community Development for All People on the South Side for the past several years to increase urban agricultural production by bringing the former South Side Settlement House garden, now named Mari Sunami Community Garden back in to production.  It is an exciting project for me due to the location and the history.  A wonderful, large space with full sun and amazing possibilities.

You are invited to attend a garden walk on Thursday June 27th @ 6pm at Mari Sunami.  We will talk tomato pruning, integrated pest management, and summer veggies. Plus any of your questions.  Hopefully this heat goes away by then! The event is free and open to the public so bring your friends and your questions!

The above picture shows the garden looking north getting ready for spring planting.  Plans include soil amendments and a water line in 2024.

Mari Sunami Community Garden can be a little tricky to find.  The above picture shows its location between Innis and Woodrow on the South Side.  CLICK HERE for the Google map link as well.  The address is 248 Stanaford Pl. Columbus, OH 43207

Tomatoes 101 Class at the Mt. Carmel Healthy Living Center @ 3pm on Tuesday June 18th.

I will be teaching an in-person class on Tomatoes 101 in collaboration with my friends at the Mt. Carmel Healthy Living Center at 3pm on Tuesday June 18th.  The class is free and open to the public, but does require registration,  see the link below.  We will talk fertilization, pruning, and trellising so bring your friends and your questions!

The class is free but does require registration.  CLICK HERE for the link to the registration page for the Tomatoes 101 and other classes.

The Mt. Carmel Healthy Living Center is located at 777 W. State St. Columbus, OH 43222.  Free parking is available on site.  Hope to see you there!


If you cannot make the class,  I have a recorded webinar that you can watch whenever you want to learn more about growing healthy tomatoes.

Summer Vegetable Gardening Class at the Grandview Library on Tuesday May 21st, 2024 at 6:30pm

I will be teaching a class on Summer Vegetable Gardening at the Grandview Heights Public Library on Tuesday May 21st @ 6:30pm.  We will discuss what to plant now, our summer weather projections, fertilization, and what bugs to look out for plus your questions.  The event is free and open to the public so bring your friends and your questions!

 

CLICK HERE for directions to the Grandview Heights Public Library.

 

Food Justice Conversation at Broad St. Presbyterian Church on Sunday May 19th @ 11:30am

Being able to eat good food is fundamental to our wellbeing. Food nourishes us, reflects our families and cultures, and brings us together in community.  Food justice means that good food and enough nourishing food is available to all.  Join us this Sunday, May 19, 11:30 AM at the Broad Street Presbyterian Church for a conversation with Tim McDermott, Assistant Professor and Extension Educator at the Ohio State University and Brian Landers, Food Educator at Local Matters about what is happening and what could happen here in our city and at the Broad Street Food Pantry to cultivate food justice in our community.

Pic credit: BSPC


Directions to Broad St. Presbyterian Church

School Garden Week of May 13th, 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


Thank You Teachers!  You are Awesome!  I have enjoyed this past school year tremendously working with you and seeing the amazing job you are doing with your kiddos.


CCS GTS Teachers!  It is time to get a last harvest and get your growing spaces cleaned and put to rest for the summer. 

With only a few weeks left in the season it is time to think about harvesting and then cleaning up your indoor and outdoor spaces for the summer.  I highly recommend that you do not garden during the summer in your outdoor space unless you need to do that for programming.  Harvest your produce, pull any weeds, and then cover the raised bed with black plastic.  That will prevent weeds and soil loss so that your outdoor agricultural space is ready to go in the fall when school starts back up.  Enjoy your summer! 


Closing Up Your Garden

Please be sure that all of your garden systems are closed up before you leave for the summer. We are getting closer to the last day of the year and now is a good time to engage your students to assist you with garden clean up.  Here is some helpful information from Katie.

Outdoor Raised Bed:

  1. Harvest all of the remaining produce from the outdoor raised bed.
  2. Remove any weeds that are present.
  3. Cover with black plastic and use landscape pins to pin down the ends, middle, and sides of the plastic.
  4. Add some pavers or large rocks on top of the plastic to keep the wind from pulling the landscape pins out.
  5. If there is an issue with vandalism at your site, you may want to take your white hoops off of your bed and store them in your classroom.
  6. The black plastic is important because it will keep your garden free of weeds and pests over the summer.  Then in August, all you will need to do is roll back the plastic, mix up your soil, and you are ready to plant.  Please be sure to fold up this black plastic and store for use the following May.  This item will not be replaced each year. 
  7. Be sure to clean and fold up your fabric row covers and clips and store them for the following year. These items will not be replaced each year.

 

Row Cover Cleaning:

Row cover can be washed by hand in a sink or large tub of hot soapy water and then rinsed a few times in clear water. Or you can wash it in a washing machine on the gentle or delicate cycle. It’s best to dry it in the sun as it will also help disinfect it and brighten it.


Indoor Grow Stations : Cleaning your AeroGarden

Start by dismantling your garden and cleaning out your indoor plants and any leftover roots. Roots can grow into the filter, so be sure to clean it out and reinstall after you’ve finished cleaning the bowl. If the filter looks too worn, replace the filter to prolong the life of your pump. Be careful not to throw away your filter by accident! It’s easy to do when removing plant roots.

After clearing out the roots, you should clean and sanitize your AeroGarden® hydroponics growing system to help prevent the growth of root pathogens that can destroy your live plants. There are various ways to clean your garden:

If you have a dishwasher:

  • Put your grow deck and bowl in the top rack of the dishwasher.
  • Run through a warm or cold water cycle (do not use a hot water or heat dry cycle).
  • Reassemble to start your next round of gardening.

If you don’t have a dishwasher:

  • Fill the bowl with either water and a ¼ cup of chlorine bleach OR 5 cups of distilled white vinegar (no need to use water if you’re using the vinegar). Vinegar also helps prevent and clean up mineral deposits in your garden.
  • Let the water pump or aerator circulate the solution for 5 minutes.
  • Empty the solution, rinse well, and then fill with clear water (no bleach).
  • Allow the pump or aerator to circulate the clear water for 5 minutes.
  • Empty and rinse once more to ensure that all solution is rinsed from the bowl.

Cleaning the Grow Deck:

Sometimes roots will grow through the nozzles on the grow deck and prevent proper water flow. Separating and cleaning the grow deck of any stray roots can help keep the water flowing efficiently. The grow deck can be separated on almost all AeroGarden® models.

First, remove the grow deck from the bowl of your AeroGarden® and place it upside-down on a flat surface. Locate the tabs on the underside of the deck and push the tabs inward and down. The tabs are flexible and designed to be separated. Use a scrub brush or similar cleaning tool to remove the roots and any other debris from the grow deck. Snap back together in place.

 For your LED light and seed starting trays: 

  1. Clean trays and potting cups with soap and water (they are also top shelf dishwasher safe).
  2. Remove the sides of the LED light and place back into the box with the light panel.
  3. Store all of the potting cups, the timer, plug, and extension cord, trays and lights in a cabinet or storage tote.  If you have any extra potting mix, fertilizer, or seeds please store them with these other supplies.

CLICK for a PDF of the CLOSING THE GARDEN instructions –> Closing Up Your Garden


Harvest Time!

I know that many of you have harvest festivals and taste testing at school.  Make sure that you follow safe harvesting techniques.  Here is a video to guide you.

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

School Garden Week of May 5th, 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 you keep using the season extension garden cover as we have some cold weather this weekend potentially!
  • Friday  – Make sure you water well on Friday if we do not get lots of rain this week.

 


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.

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.


Harvest Time!

I know that many of you have harvest festivals and taste testing at school.  Make sure that you follow safe harvesting techniques.  Here is a video to guide you.

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

Growing and Using Herbs Class at the Urban Farm Church on Wednesday May 8th @ 6pm

Jenny and I will be co-teaching a class at the Urban Farm Church on Growing and Using Herbs on Wednesday May 8th @ 6pm.  The class is free and open to the public but UFC does ask for registration so they know how much snacks to make!  Bring your friends and your questions.  If the weather is OK, we can do a walking tour of their amazing farm.

Click here to view, print, or download the flyer –> May 8 flyer

Click here for directions to the Urban Farm Church.

Register using the QR code, the go link at   –>    go.osu.edu/herbsworkshop

OR Click HERE to register.

Hope to see you there!

School Garden Week of April 22nd, 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, especially on Wednesday and Thursday.  Check to see if you need to water.
  • Make sure you keep using the season extension garden cover as we have some cold weather this week!
  • 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. Wait until the weather warms up on Wednesday before putting your plants outside.
  • 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 not supposed to have lots of rain this week so 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.

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

Gardening with Children: Growing more than vegetables.

I want to share an article written by my OSU Extension colleague, Jenny Lobb, Family and Consumer Sciences that I think will be of interest to many of you, especially those who have or work with kiddos. Originally posted on the Live Healthy Live Well Blog.

Gardening with Children: Growing more than vegetables

When my son was two years old, we planted our first vegetable garden together. We had so much fun planting, caring for, playing in, and exploring our garden that we have planted more vegetables together every year since. Our garden has not been entirely successful in regard to the vegetable harvest, but that’s okay! Research shows that when kids are involved in growing fruits and vegetables, they are more likely to try a greater variety and eat more of them, and the benefits of gardening don’t end there. Even without a successful vegetable harvest, the activity of gardening can help kids engage their curiosity, explore their senses, learn delayed gratification, gain self-confidence, and develop a sense of responsibility. For young children, playing in a garden can help with their physical and mental development. For all children – and adults, too – gardening is a physical and mental activity with benefits for our overall health and wellbeing.

Gardening with children, especially little ones, can be messy. It’s quite common for kids to want to dig and play in the dirt! If possible, designate a “dig zone” where children can play without disturbing the seeds or plants. Reduce your stress and get ahead of any possible mess by:

  • Wearing shoes and clothes you don’t mind getting dirty
  • Preparing an outdoor handwashing station with soap, a bucket of water and a towel
  • Having a towel and change of clothes handy

These tips, and more, came from the children’s book How to Say Hello to a Worm: A first guide to outside by Kari Percival. In the supplemental information included in this book for parents and caregivers, Percival acknowledges that although gardening with young children can be messy, the benefits of gardening outweigh the challenges.

For more information on gardening, including how to grow and harvest vegetables with your family year round, check out the Growing Franklin blog or contact your local Extension office.

Written by Jenny Lobb, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension Franklin County

Reviewed by Beth Stefura, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Mahoning County

Sources:

Butcher, K. & Pletcher, J. (2017). Gardening with young children helps their development. Michigan State University Extension. https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/gardening_with_young_children_helps_their_development

Moore, M. & Ellis, E. (2022). Kids in the Garden: A Nutritious and Fun Experience. Kids Eat Right. https://www.eatright.org/food/nutrition/eating-as-a-family/kids-in-the-garden-nutritious-and-fun

University of California Master Gardeners of Butte County (2021). Children in the Garden. The Real Dirt Blog. https://ucanr.edu/blogs/blogcore/postdetail.cfm?postnum=46188

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