Winter sowing, to fend off the winter blues!

For most folks, winter tends to be a quiet time for the garden but it doesn’t have to be! With many struggling with winter blues and seasonal depression, working in our garden and prepping for the spring can be such a help to get us out of the winter slumps.

There are so many crops we can winter sow due to the seed needing to have a stratification process that you are only limited to how much seed you have and how many milk jug( Or similar) containers you have.

Check out the provided websites and video links for more information on winter sowing and get started!

https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/garden-how-to/propagation/seeds/milk-jug-winter-sowing.htm

https://www.almanac.com/winter-sowing-milk-jugs-5-easy-steps

 

What’s up with Raised Bed Gardening?

By Carrie Brown, Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator, OSU Extension Fairfield County

How have you used your Victory Garden seeds? Perhaps, you planted them in your backyard or community garden plot. Or if space is limited, you may have decided to plant into containers kept on your patio, balcony, or doorstep. Another popular option is raised bed gardening. Let’s take a quick look at the pros and cons of this planting method.

There are many advantages to utilizing raised beds. First, raised beds can be built to fit your space. This can be helpful in overcoming poor site conditions, such as the compacted soils of an urban lot, and it allows you to maximize limited garden space. The beds can even be built at varying heights too allow for accessibility to all gardeners. Beds also give the grower the ability to create their own growing substrate. This can be very useful if you are trying to overcome poor soil conditions such as rocky soils or sites with high clay content. Because many raised beds can be easily adapted to include mini hoop tunnels or row covers, they can be used to extend the planting season. This applies especially to cold hardy plants such as onions, lettuce, and cole crops (broccoli, cabbage, kale, etc.).

While there are many reasons to utilize raised beds, there are also a few things to keep in mind. In effort to utilize all of the space in the bed, it is easy to overpack plants in raised beds. When vegetables are planted too densely, it can reduce air flow and trap moisture. This can result in increased insect and foliar diseases, so regular scouting is essential. Additionally, while most of our vegetable crops are fairly shallow rooted, bed depths can limit root crops such as carrots, parsnips or turnips. This can be overcome by incorporating sufficient depth when designing your raised beds. Increased drainage afforded by raised beds can be good for plants, but it also means that they tend to dry out quicker than in-ground gardens. Establishing a plan for consistent irrigation is a must. Finally, the initial cost of construction can vary considerably depending on what materials are used. There are a variety of framing methods to choose from including lumber, timbers, concrete blocks, and pavers. Take into account both the cost and lifespan of the materials used when designing beds. Of course, mounded dirt without a frame is an option too.

Raised bed gardening is unique in that it can be made accessible to all who are interested in getting their hands dirty, and it is a great way to enjoy fruit and vegetable production for years to come. Find out more about raised bed gardening in A Complete Approach to Raised Bed Gardening, available for purchase through OSU Extension Publications or at your local OSU Extension office.

Photo captions:

Fig. 1 – Raised bed gardening using cinder blocks in an urban lot. Photo credit: Bo Riley

Fig. 2 – Beds can be made to be portable, such as those constructed from watering troughs.

Fig. 3 – Gardens can be constructed to be a variety of heights. These raised beds allow for gardeners to stand while they work. Photo credit: OSU Extension, Franklin County

Fig 4 – A Complete Approach to Raised Bed Gardening publication

Survey & Raffle – win FREE gardening tools!

Thank you to all counties that have finished distributing seed sample kits for 2023! It’s been another great year for growing, but it’s not over yet. We need more participants to fill out our survey to enter the raffle for a chance to win a free toolkit. This survey will help give us information to support our Victory Gardens program and and allow us to continue to grow and expand all across Ohio!

Locations, Dates and Times for Public Distribution are FINALIZED!

Howdy Gardeners!

The Ohio State University Extension offices have finalized their distribution locations, dates and times! Please check out the locations page HERE!

Some counties will recommend that you call. Their phone numbers are provided under that counties section.
Please also check out our FAQ page to answer all of your questions!

The “Locations” Page is getting updates!

Howdy Gardeners! The Ohio State University Extension offices are starting to post their distribution locations and dates! Please check out the locations page HERE!

Please also check out our FAQ page to answer all of your questions!

!!Happy Gardening!!!

Winter is the time for planning!

Although it is still winter, right now, we can prep mentally and physically for spring/gardening time! Want to plan out a new garden space? Buy new tools? Try out new crops? It’s not a bad idea to figure things out now so you don’t have to when spring weather is officially here!

Cold temps? No Problem!

With these cold temps and frosts occurring its easy to think that your garden is done for the year. Well, I am here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be! You can find out more details, via the links below, on what to plant in the fall and what can be planted right now even with the frost looming over head!

Planting a Fall Vegetable Garden

Fall Vegetable Crops for your Garden

Check out this “Frost Tolerance of Fall Vegetables” chart to see what you can still grow right now!