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.


What to Plant NOW for Your Fall Garden Webinar Recording

This virtual class event was held in partnership with the Growing and Growth Collective on 8/27.  We still have lots of time to grow food and fall is a dynamite season for growing.  The bugs start to leave,  the heat improves and the rain comes back.  Click on the link to learn what you can plant NOW for fall.



Some other supportive webinars and links referenced in the Fall Garden Class to support your fall growing. 

Seed Starting Webinar

Seed Starting Video

Container Gardening Webinar

No Garden? No Problem! Container Gardening Informative Post


What to Plant NOW for Fall Virtual Class Event in partnership with the Growing and Growth Collective on Thursday August 27th @ 6:30pm

There will be a virtual class event held on Thursday August 27th @ 6:30 pm to talk about what you can plant to get a harvest into fall.  This will be held in partnership with the Growing and Growth Collective.  The class is free, but registration is required, so bring your friends and your questions!


You can follow them for great garden pics and updates on Insta or Facebook.

Hi there,

You are invited to a Zoom meeting.
When: Aug 27, 2020 06:30 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.



Virtual Summer Garden Walk at Family Farms on Tuesday August 25th @ 6:30pm

There will be a virtual summer garden walk class event held in partnership with the south side urban farm Family Farms.  This event is free, but does require registration.  Bring your friends and your questions as we virtually visit Family Farms on Tuesday August 25th @ 6:30 pm.

Hi there,

You are invited to a Zoom meeting.
When: Aug 25, 2020 06:30 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.


See you at the (virtual) farm!

Talking Tomatoes and Panzanella in the Veggie Trials Garden with the OSUMC James Mobile Kitchen Team

With the restrictions for in person education due to COVID-19 impacting our programming, we have moved into the virtual world to continue to support backyard growers, community gardeners and urban farmers.  The Ross Heart Hospital Community Garden was unable to get their plots planted for production, education and outreach but when Chef Katie and Chef Stephanie contacted me a couple months ago about co-teaching to provide the Ross Heart Hospital clients with an option for virtual learning I jumped at the opportunity.

Chef Stephanie on the left, Chef Katie on the right

The original plan was to stream the class from the demonstration kitchen at my office at the Kunz Brundige Franklin County Extension building, but the weather was too nice to not take advantage of the Veggie Trials Garden.


No possible better evening for teaching.  We set up right in the middle of the garden.


After I was done talking tomatoes, it was time for the Panzanella cooking demonstration

CLICK the image to watch the Tomatoes and Panzanella video


It was as delicious tasting as it was looking.

After the cooking demonstration we took the attendees on a virtual tour of Veggie Trials with a question and answer session so that they could talk about what they had growing at home. Panzanella uses a tremendous amount of vegetables that are being harvested right now and is a delicious way to enjoy your harvest in a heart healthy way.


Nutrition Information (per ¼ recipe):

Calories: 330   Fat: 11 g   Carbs: 45 g    Protein: 12 g     Fiber: 11 g   Sodium: 440mg


Would you like to view, print, or download the Panzanella recipe?  CLICK HERE –> Panzanella – Ross Garden

A huge thanks to Chef Katie and Chef Stephanie for their expertise and  including OSU Extension Franklin County in their outreach.  Next months class will be sweet corn, hopefully out in the garden again!


Can You Dig It! Fall Gardening Series Class #5: Late Summer Walk in the Community Garden Virtual Class Event on Wednesday August 26th @ Noon

The Can You Dig It! virtual gardening series, a partnership between OSU Extension Franklin County and OSU University Libraries, continues with our 5th class of the year,  a virtual late summer garden walk to talk weather, harvest, fall planning, pests, weeds, disease and answer your questions about your own gardens.  This class is free, but registration is required so bring your friends and your questions.

Wallace Community Garden, original Victory Garden remnant.


CLICK HERE to register for the zoom link.  There is no cost for the class, but registration is required.  Hope to see you all in the garden!

Free Fall Vegetable Garden Seed Distribution on Sunday August 16th and Monday August 17th

There will be a free fall vegetable garden seed distribution at the Kunz Brundige Franklin County Extension building at the dates shown below at the listed times.

For questions contact Mike

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.

Pests in the Garden Webinar Recording

This is the webinar recording for the Pests in the Garden presentation held on July 29th in partnership with Franklinton Farms for those who wish to re-watch the virtual class or were unable to attend.  Feel free to share.  We discussed Integrated Pest Management techiques to deal with the insects, disease and weeds affecting garden production.


Click on the link below to access the webinar using the provided password.

Topic: IPM Franklinton Farms
Start Time : Jul 29, 2020 06:43 PM

Meeting Recording:

Access Password: Zn*c9H*@