October is a fine time to be in the garden. Less bugs, less heat, but still some good sunshine, rain, and decent planting windows. Make sure to keep your garden planted either in fresh veggies or by starting your over-wintered cover crop.
I like to say that Ohio is a four season growing environment. I grow and harvest every month of the year including January and February. I recently did a class on Growing Over Winter and many asked if I had a recording of that to view. You are in luck. Check out the Growing Over Winter webinar below.
There is still plenty of time to get seeds in the ground so that you can enjoy some fresh veggies all year long.
We still have some time to grow and harvest. Find out what is happening right NOW in the community garden in two quick minutes.
August 11 is National 8/11 Day, and 811 is the national call-before-you-dig phone number. If you are planning to dig, contact 811 (by calling 8-1-1 or visiting your state’s 811 center website) before digging to request the approximate location of buried public utilities are marked, to help avoid hitting a buried utility.
Check out this engaging two-minute video to see what is happening right NOW in the community garden.
Check out this quick and engaging two minute quick trip through my community garden to see what is happening right now. Hint: Watch out for the bugs!
The second year of the statewide Home Garden Vegetable Trials kicks off during the month of February. Citizen scientists are recruited to contribute to our vegetable trials for Ohio. We look for people excited about growing vegetables in their home or community gardens and then letting us know what they think. Youth and adults are welcomed to participate. Each trial contains two varieties that are grown side by side to compare throughout the season. They can select multiple trials with 5 cool-season vegetables and 5 warm-season vegetables available. For each trial, participants get:
- Seed for two varieties of a vegetable
- Row markets
- A garden layout plan to prepare your rows or beds
- Growing information specific to the crop species you, including planting date, plant spacing, nutrient requirements, etc.
- An evaluation sheet (can be completed online)
Participants may select up to 5 trials. We are now asking you to complete the sign up and send payment. The trial catalog has a description of each variety that will be used this year. On the last page is a registration page that can be printed and filled out by hand for those who do not use computers.
Some seeds are from organic sources, but a few are not. The vegetables are not experimental, but some have been released in the last few years. Others are old favorites being compared to new varieties to see if they still stand the test of time. All seeds are non-GMO (as all vegetable seeds available are non-GMO) Each trial is $3. We have created an online registration site. Please go through the sign-up process and select your vegetables. On the payment page, you can choose to pay by card or check. If you choose check, the details for filling out and sending the check will be displayed. Please send that in as soon as possible. You will also see the $8 charge for home delivery added to your bill. We have had to do this because our Extension Offices have been temporarily closed. You also have the option of registering and paying for more than one person while visiting the site. The deadline for ordering is February 28 for guaranteed participation and March 15 while supplies last.
VEGETABLE TRIALS web site
go.osu.edu/veggies2021 registration site
Are you a local food producer? We are in the process of compiling a list of local food producers by county and want to include you! Use this link to be added to the list.
If you are searching for places to purchase local foods, be on the lookout for our updated list.
For many backyard growers, community gardeners and urban farmers, growing the cucurbits can be a challenge. This vegetable (fruit?) family is affected by a large number of garden insects as well as both bacterial and fungal disease. There are a few tips and tricks that can be used to make sure some harvest makes it to the table or sales booth in 2019.
First thing to do is mind your pollinators. Cucurbits are commonly dependent on pollinators as they have separate male and female flowers. Once the flowers emerge, use of pesticides can damage pollinators and lead to decreased harvest.
Scouting is a very important part of the Integrated Pest Management strategy. I had not seen cucumber beetles in large numbers until the July 4th holiday weekend. Then I started to see them in moderate to large numbers on my summer squash in central Ohio.
These plantings of winter squash, both Waltham Butternut and Buttercup, died over the last weekend in July while the summer squash persisted. Suspects include squash vine borer damage or bacterial wilt from cucumber beetles.
Squash bugs are another common pest of cucurbits that can be present in large numbers in plantings.
One great strategy to get a harvest of summer squash is to plant a summer planting now for a fall harvest. Many of the pests of cucurbits will be transitioning to their over-wintered habitat and become less of a problem in fall.
It is hard to imagine with tomatoes barely starting to ripen that now is the time to start planning and planting for the 2019 fall garden harvest. The backyard grower, community gardener and urban farmer should plan one season ahead to make sure they maximize harvest in the future. Right now is the time to think about filling the spots in the garden that will open up after the spring and early summer plants are removed.
The goal is to make sure the garden is planted with no bare soil the entire year, including winter. That requires planning. First consider crop rotation. To do this you need to know your vegetable families.
Take this opportunity to make sure that you keep your ground planted at all times. There are a number of short term crops that could go into the garden right now that will allow harvest prior to the frost date:
- Green Beans – can be planted every two weeks for the next month. Choose rapid bush type varieties.
- Peas – Sugar Snaps are 70 days until maturity. Germination can be tricky with hot, baked clay soils.
- Summer Squash/Zucchini – plant now or wait until closer to the end of the month in order to miss cucumber beetles for a fall harvest.
- Swiss Chard – plant now for a fall harvest
- Green Onions – plant now for a fall harvest
- Tomato/Pepper – transplants of short season varieties(if you can still find them locally) are possible right now in case the grower has lost plants due to pest damage. Rotate to another spot in the garden.
- Lettuce – can be planted from seed or transplant. May need shade cloth to protect from heat. Start transplants indoor every two weeks for the next three months for a fall and early winter harvest.
- Brassicas – start indoor transplants of broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and Asian greens now to transplant outdoors in late August.
- Radish – wait until later in the season to direct seed.
- Beets – can direct seed in the garden now for fall harvest.
- Carrots – can direct seed in the garden now for fall harvest.
- Herbs – start more basil now from seed outdoors for a late summer harvest to pair with fresh tomatoes.
- Cover Crops – keep your garden planted. Summer cover crops like buckwheat can be planted now, plan on your over wintered space.
Think about the spot that you will use for over-wintered spinach production using low tunnels and row cover.
Make sure to address fertility. Did your most recent harvest take out your nutrition? Address that prior to planting the fall garden.