Start Your Garden


Brooke Beam, PhD

Agriculture and Natural Resources/Community Development Extension Educator

Ohio State University Extension, Highland County


March 31, 2020


In one of Governor DeWine’s press conferences over the weekend, Dr. Amy Acton, director of health for the Ohio Department of Health, discussed the benefits of starting a garden. Gardening can be a good way to spend more time outside, learn more about vegetable production, and the final results will provide delicious, fresh food for your table.

The first step is to establish the available space for your garden and how large you would like it to be. Starting small is a good idea if you are inexperienced with gardening, as the care of the garden can become a chore. Selecting a location for your garden that provides a minimum of 8 hours of sunlight is best. Try to avoid structures that produce shadows, trees, vines, or other obstacles. Another consideration is keeping your garden close to a water source.

Before you plant, you will want to be sure there are no buried power or gas lines. Call 811 or 1-800-362-2764 to contact the Ohio Before You Dig call center. They will be able to identify if there are any buried lines to avoid or not. Raised garden beds are also another option you can use.

If you are wanting to start to plant soon, you can plant carrots, swiss chard, collards, kale, lettuce, mustard, onions, parsley, parsnips, peas, potatoes, radishes, spinach, and turnips starting on April 1st. Additional planting information:

Many local hardware and farm stores have a variety of seed available and can assist you with your planting needs and supplies.

There will be a series of horticulture and gardening related webinars offered over the upcoming weeks. Topics include bees, microgreens, and cut flowers. You can see the full list of webinars and register via:

For more information about Extension programming, contact the OSU Extension office in Highland County at 937-393-1918. Visit us on Facebook and Twitter for daily posts and links to webinars and online resources.



Highlights of Highland County Agriculture Virtual Reality Video

For those of you who were unable to attend the Highland County fair, below you will find the virtual reality video that was shown. The video highlights several Highland County farms and a variety of agricultural production practices, as well as a prominent community event.

Special thanks to White Clover Farm, Karnes Orchard and Starlite Dairy for allowing their farms to be recorded for the project.

White Clover Farm near Hillsboro, Ohio.

Dr. James Linnie owns and operates White Clover Farm, a grassfed beef operation located outside of Hillsboro, Ohio. Dr. Linnie started the farm in 2005 while he was working part-time as a gastroenterologist. Today, Dr. Linnie’s business consists of a herd of 100 percent grassfed beef that are rotated every few days to fresh pastures. The scene shown in the VR video is of Dr. Linnie moving his cattle from one section of the pasture to another. If you compare the two pastures in the video, you can clearly see the difference between which pasture the cattle have been grazing and the pasture they are going to be grazing. In fact, the cattle had only been gazing in the previous pasture for 24 hours.

Karnes Orchard

The Karnes family has a history of having an orchard on their family farm since 1876. In March of 2012, the Karnes family replanted 2,200 fruit trees and in 2013 planted an additional 2,000 trees for a wider selection of fruits. Karnes Orchard now raises over 30 varieties of apples, pears, plums, peaches, and cherries. In addition to fresh fruits, fresh apple cider is available in the Karnes Orchard Market seasonally. The scene filmed in the VR video shows picking Honey Crisp apples in the orchard as well as the washing, sizing, and packaging process.

Starlite Dairy

Starlite Dairy is owned and operated by Tom and Janet Shawhan near Marshall, Ohio. At Starlite Dairy, the cows are milked twice a day. During optimal weather conditions, a cow can produce an average of 80 pounds of milk a day. The milking parlor at Starlite Dairy holds 16 cows at a time and it takes between 6 to 8 minutes to complete the milking process.