Is It A Pine, Spruce, or Fir?

Originally posted on the Buckeye Yard and Garden OnLine

By: Amy Stone and Curtis Young

White Fir, Photo Credit: Curtis Young

Everyone has probably struggled with plant identification at some point in their life. While some of us may still be learning – it can be on ongoing process, others may have mastered the skills involved in identifying plants in the landscape, woodlots or streetscapes.

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5 Reasons Why Soil Biology Matters on the Farm

Jeff Goodwin, Conservation Stewardship Leader and Pasture and Range Consultant
(Previously published with Noble Research Institute; March 13, 2019)

Success and long-term viability for most agricultural enterprises ultimately hinges on the health of their soil. This is true for beef operations in the Southern Great Plains to row crop farms in the Midwest.

For decades, the agriculture industry has focused, studied, and ultimately understood the physical and chemical characteristics of our soil resource (e.g., soil texture, soil pH, etc.). However, until the past few years, little emphasis has been placed on the biological constituents and their importance in a healthy, functional soil.

 

 

 

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What to Plant in the Fall Season

The nights are cooler. The days are shorter. Vegetables in the garden are looking peaked, and summer flowers are turning brown.

 It’s prime time for some planting.

“A typical consumer looks at it as, ‘Oh, winter is coming, let’s give up gardening.’ That’s not necessarily so,” said Daniel Struve, an Ohio State horticulturalist emeritus. In fact, he recommends fall for planting many trees, shrubs, grass and flower bulbs and even fall flowers for some late color.

Sean Barnes, a horticulturist at Ohio State’s Chadwick Arboretum & Learning Gardens, agrees — noting that trees and shrubs benefit from a chance to get their roots established before the stress of a hot, dry summer.

They shared their tips for making the most of fall planting.

Are you planting trees and shrubs?

Warm fall soils promote root growth. “They really are active; you just can’t see it,” Struve said.

There are exceptions.

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Knox County Master Gardener Volunteers WANTED

Share your love of gardening while giving back to the community! 

Learn: Master Gardener trainees receive University level training in horticulture from The Ohio State University Extension in the areas of botany, soils, trees, flowers, lawns, fruits and vegetables, entomology, pest management, and diagnostic skills. Trainees complete a minimum of 40 hours of training.

Give: After training, new volunteers will work with each other in various activities in Knox County to complete 50 hours of service in the first year. Opportunities include: answering horticultural questions, educating local gardeners on plant selection and care, helping community members within the community gardens and more. There are numerous ways to be involved in the community and you can be a part of it!

Grow: Master Gardeners enjoy the social aspect of learning together, volunteering together, and helping other in out county.

Join: If you are interested in gardening, want to help your community grow, and want to learn more, the Ohio State University Master Gardener is for you!

For more information or to obtain an application contact Sabrina Schirtzinger at 740-397-0401 or schirtzinger.55@osu.edu. 

Spring Vegetable Climate Predictions for Planting 2018

Originally posted in the VegNet Newsletter

By: Tim McDermott, Extension Educator Franklin County

When I am planning when to start seeds in order to get ready for an upcoming spring or fall planting season.  I take the frost date into account, but then I adjust that date according to the weather projections as that gives me insight into how I can maximize production by using weather data plus season extension.

For example,  the fall frost date in central Ohio is around mid-October.   The fall climate prediction data was for a delayed frost date and a warmer fall.  Once I read about this I planted my fall vegetables using this data in anticipation of a longer fall growing season for summer vegetables.

I planted green beans and zucchini in the first week of August 2017.  Both are about 50-60 day vegetables so they would mature long after the frost date normally, and both do not like frost.

Germination was about a week or so later

Because of the delayed frost date, I was able to enjoy a harvest late into fall and ate green beans and zucchini fresh for Thanksgiving dinner.

 

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

This year the climate prediction center states that we will continue to have a February with temperature swings and periods of heavy precipitation.

For the growing season the prediction is for a gradual warm up from March through May with a wetter than normal spring.  Summer is looking like the warm up continues with a drier than normal precipitation forecast.

BIG THANKS TO THE C.O.R.N. Agronomic Newsletter for data assist. 

CLICK HERE FOR THE LINK FOR THE CLIMATE DATA FROM NWS/NOAA

 

Make sure you check the prediction models when you are making your plans.  It might save you some time and trouble and might  get you some extra production.

2018 Knox County Beekeepers Association Beekeeping Classes

2018 Knox County Beekeepers Association Beekeeping Classes

Beginners Beekeeping Class 1 Beginner Beekeeping Class 2
Date: February 10, 2018 Date: February 24, 2018
Cost: $45 per person Cost: $45 per person 
*Lunch will be provided *Lunch will be provided
*Book included: “First Lessons in Beekeeping” *KCBA Advanced Manual included
*Free membership to Knox County Beekeepers Association
*Free one-year membership to the Ohio State Beekeepers Association

Classes Location: Hunter Hall, 211 South Main St., Mt. Vernon, OH 43050
Mount Vernon Nazarene University, Hunter Hall and The location of the Happy Bean Coffee Shop
PLEASE REGISTER BY: February 5, 2018 to Jeff Gabric: 515-450-1359
Students are free but must register.

Beginners Beekeeping Class ONE                                                  Beginner Beekeeping Class TWO
February 10th, 2018                                                                             February 24th, 2018
8:00 to 9:00 Registration Coffee and Donuts                                       Registration Coffee And Donuts
9:00 – 9:15       So You Want to Become a Beekeeper?                        Hive Inspections
9:15 – 9:45       What You Need to Get Started                                        Hive Management       
9:45 – 10:00     Hive Parts and Accessories                                           Over-Wintering Bees
10:00 -10:15    Break                                                                                Break
10:15 -10:45    Where to Get Bees                                                              Honey Bee Biology
10:45 -11:00    How to Install Bees                                                            Dealing with Varroa Mites and SHB
11:00 -11:30    How to Begin Working with Bees                                Re-queening a Colony
11:30 -12:30    Lunch                                                                                 Lunch
12:30 -12:45    Choosing a Location.                                                        Making Increases and Nucs
12:45 -1:00      Sources of Bees                                                                   Swarm Prevention
1:00 – 1:30      Honey Bee Biology                                                             Honey Production       
1:30 – 1:45      Break                                                                                  Break
1:45- 2:45        Now What? Putting it all Together                              Laying Workers and Merging
2:45 – 3:00       Round-table discussion                                                 Feeding Bees

SEE US AT: www.knoxbees.com

2018 Southern Ohio Specialty Crop Conference

Southern Ohio Specialty Crop Conference, February 6, 2017

This is an excellent conference for specialty crop growers. We have held a grower school in Southwest Ohio for over 30 years, but a few years ago we changed the location and expanded the course offering. There are 25 different class options to choose from and private pesticide re-certification credits are available for core, 3 and 5. Fertilizer re-certification credits are also available. The conference web page is http://go.osu.edu/swohfvsc. The cost is $50 and includes a continental breakfast, a buffet lunch and a USB memory stick with all of the available conference handouts. Registration closes February 4th.