aroundkent Magazine Vol 13 2017

Page 55

and naturally, ask the all-knowing Google, “What vegetables should I grow in Ohio?” With growing plants, location is everything. You can grow things in California or Florida that you can’t grow here (like citrus), and there are crops that grow better in Ohio (potatoes for instance) than in warmer places. Location is also important in gardening as different locales have different environments. For instance, Northeastern Ohio soil tends to be mostly clay. While clay has its advantages, like holding water and being nutrient rich, it also has its downsides. Clay compacts easily, so if you walk on it, roots will have a tough time penetrating through. I learned through trial and error that any efforts to turn your soil into a dark rich loam (think potting soil) will be rewarded in better growing vegetables. The secret to doing this? Add lots of organic material (leaves, kitchen scraps, straw, wood chips, newspaper). It will take a few years, but the wait is worth it. So my question for you is, “Do you want to grow vegetables this year?” March is the perfect

time to start your planning and learning. You might not know this, but some vegetables can be planted starting in March. Ohio lore says you can plant peas, potatoes, and onions around St. Patrick’s Day. And this time of year is when we start seeing warmer weather. As a bicyclist, I’ve developed a St. Patrick’s Day tradition of riding as temps seem to always be around 65 degrees. I’m not one of those crazy winter cyclists who go out in below freezing weather. Less than 45 degrees means I’m staying home. If this is the year you start growing veggies, there are plenty of resources for those of us who live and work in Kent (are we called Kentans or Kenters or Kent dwellers?). One great place to learn is the Kent Free Library. Did you know they have a seed library which allows you to check out seeds like you do books? Also, I give gardening talks at the library through my group “Kent Food Not Lawns”. My “Beginning Vegetable Gardening” class is held on April 18th at 6:30pm. Spaces are limited and registration is requested, so please call the library at (330) 673-4414 after March 21st


to reserve your spot. And, of course, there’s my blog——and my recently released book “The Snarky Gardener’s Veggie Growing Guide”, available on Amazon as an eBook or paperback. Useful Internet Links: visit-local-seed-library/

volume 13 | 2017 •