Gardening season almost here

OSU Extension can offer help

By Juliane Cartaino - For The Times-Gazette

With winter soon turning into spring, thoughts of planting come to the minds of local green thumbs. But Dr. Brooke Beam of the OSU Extension Office in Highland County said that gardening is a fun and rewarding activity that anyone can do and tips and advice can be accessed by its Master Gardeners.

Beam said that a resource for experienced or aspiring gardeners that she recommends is the Ohio Line website.

Since the information contained therein is presented under the auspices of the Ohio State University Extension Office, Beam said that it is all, “peer-reviewed.”

“If you want to grow tomatoes, there’s a fact sheet on that,” she said. “If you want to grow lettuce, there’s information specific to that. If there’s any diseases, it’ll tell you how to identify them and treat them.”

Beam said that if gardeners are not able to access the needed information on the website, “They can come to our office and we can help them with that.”

Beam recommended that beginning gardeners start small, perhaps with, “a window box that doesn’t take much time to maintain,” and to grow their garden as they become more experienced with time.

Pat Lawrence of Hillsboro has participated in gardening that has brought her recognition and acclaim. She said that moving to the region from the arid Texas climate has given her a newfound appreciation for gardening and the biodiversity and potential for flourishing foliage afforded by the area’s weather.

“When I moved to West Virginia, I discovered spring,” Lawrence said. “I had a small yard, but everything grew and bloomed and came back the next year. Plus the peonies.”

Lawrence said that inspired by a neighbor, she took a Master Gardener class in West Virginia. She said that her love of gardening, and her myriad plants which included peonies as well as her “true love”, hosta, is something she brought with her when moving from Parkersburg, West Virginia to Hillsboro.

Lawrence’s dedication to gardening has not gone unnoticed. The Hillsboro Garden Club, in 2021, recognized Lawrence’s as a winner in its residential landscaping category.

Morgan Campbell, a SNAP educator with the OSU Extension Office in Highland County, said that there are all kinds of reasons why gardening is a great idea for the whole family.

He discussed the economic and nutritional advantages of growing a garden and said that gardening is a great activity.

“You’re outside more,” Campbell said.

For more information about the Ohio Line website access

For more information about the OSU Extension Office in Highland County, access their website at

Juliane Cartaino is a stringer for The Times-Gazette.

OSU Extension can offer help

By Juliane Cartaino

For The Times-Gazette