In one of Governor DeWine’s press conferences over the weekend, Dr. Amy Acton, Ohio Department of Health director, 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 eight 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. It 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 1. For additional planting information visit: https://wayne.osu.edu/sites/wayne/files/imce/Program_Pages/ANR/Garden/Planning%20and%20Planting%20%20the%20Garden.pdf.
Many local hardware and farm stores have a variety of seeds 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: https://mastergardener.osu.edu/news/mgvs-horticulture-lunch-and-learn-and-happy-hour-information-and-registration.
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.
Brooke Beam, Ph.D., is an agriculture and natural resources/community development dducator, College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, OSU Extension Highland County.