From Across the Field: 8-6-2020

It’s Fair Week

The 2020 version of the Henry County Fair is upon us, and even though this year’s iteration look’s significantly different, the overall mission, I believe has remained the same: promote agriculture and the youth that are the future of Henry County. While spectators will be limited during this week’s Junior Fair, I invite anyone who is interested to check the livestreaming of the livestock shows. More information the livestream and how anyone can participate in the 2020 version of the Jr. Fair Premium sale can be found on our county webpage henry.osu.edu. Also, if looking to support the youth that are exhibiting, check out the Henry County Jr. Fair Buyers Club, as an option. While the fair will be significantly different this year, I anticipate a successful week and wish good luck to all of the youth involved.

On a much different note, this week I was informed that Dr. Steve Culman, soil scientist at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC), in Wooster is looking for farmers who would be willing to let his lab take soil health samples in fields in which the pipeline project from 2017 would have went through. Their goal is to evaluate the impact of the pipeline and it’s long term effects on soil health. Anyone interested should give me a call here in the next couple of weeks, and I will get your information to Dr. Culman.

Along similar lines I read this morning that the new Tri-State Fertilizer recommendations will be available soon, with the summary published this past Tuesday. This is good news as crop producers continue to look at managing input costs and focus on nutrient management.

I have been hearing some great garden stories this year and have seen evidence that even though we have been dry, it has been a pretty good garden year especially for zucchini and cucumbers.

Cucumbers are a warm weather crop that is easy to grow in full sun and in fertile, moist soil. They prefer a soil pH between 6 and 6.5 or slightly acidic. Cucumbers do not like cold weather so direct sow seeds when soil temperatures are above 70F and evening air temperatures do not dip below 60F. Plant seeds 1 – 1.5″ deep, spaced 2″ apart and provide 5 – 6′ between rows so the vines can spread. If seeds are started indoors, take care not to disturb the taproot when transplanting. To thin cucumbers, cut or pinch rather than pulling seedlings which can damage the roots of other plants.

Once in the ground, cucumbers are heavy feeders and the addition of nitrogen fertilizers mid-season is recommended.

Cucumbers come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors and can be eaten raw or pickled. Select the varieties that best suit your garden size and desired use. If you have limited space, try a compact variety such as Salad Bush or Bush-Pickle.

Cucumbers are subject to several pests and diseases so good management practices of rotating crops, spacing plants for good airflow, watching and removing insects as well as good sanitation practices of removing infested plants and destroying old plant material will help increase and extend your harvest.

Next week I will be submitting my last column in the Northwest Signal. I hope that at least someone over the past three and half year found something useful in my writing, or at least entertaining at times. I’ll end this week with a quote from William Shakespeare: “No legacy is so rich as honesty.” Have a great week.

Garth Ruff,

Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Educator

OSU Henry County Extension

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