Gardening tips: It’s time to start thinking about planting vegetables

It’s getting close to the time we can start planting vegetables in the garden! As soon as the soil dries, (will it ever?) I will start my lettuces, spinach and peas.

In the meantime, if you want to learn more about vegetable gardening techniques, join me for our Fourth Annual Backyard Vegetable Garden Workshop on March 17, from 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. at Springfield High School.

We have a lineup of great speakers on a variety of topics focused to inspire and help you to succeed.

One of my favorite researchers in the field of vegetables is Dr. Celeste Welty, from The Ohio State University. Her research is outstanding and assists growers around the Midwest when it comes to pest problems.

Celeste will address one of the most commonly asked questions in her talk, “How to Manage Insect Pests with Minimal Use of Chemicals.”

Several years ago, Celeste and a team of researchers conducted a study at our demonstration gardens at my office. They tried various alternative methods for controlling insects and weeds. She will be sharing some of these results.

Coming from northeast Ohio, Master Gardener Volunteer Rudy Moyer will be talking about a very popular vegetable gardening topic, “Heirlooms: the Good, the Bad, and the Tasty.”

Heirloom vegetables are those considered old-time varieties that are open-pollinated and have been handed down over multiple generations. Their taste is generally exquisite.

I am excited to have Dave Andre on the program this year, talking about “Composting for the Backyard Gardener.” David is going to be opening an odor-free food scrap composting facility in Springfield. I can’t wait for the finished product.

Ohio State University Extension Clark County Family and Consumer Educator Kathy Green will teach us how to preserve the bounty we grow. She will focus on techniques to preserve vegetables but also safe processes to prevent foodborne illnesses.

Kathy is teaching an increased number of thee classes due to the growing interest in freezing and canning.

Finally, I am going to teach you “How to Eat Your Landscape.” Edible landscapes are very popular now and I’ll share with you ways to be successful as well as challenges in having an edible landscape.

The cost for this entire day is $30, and includes a lunch prepared by Season’s Bistro from Springfield. You can register online or print the registration form and mail to our office with a check. Deadline is March 8.

For more information and to register for the Backyard Vegetable Garden Workshop go to:

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