Friday, August 30, 2019
By PAM BAYTOS
OSU Ext. master gardener volunteer
On behalf of the OSU Extension master gardener volunteers, I’d like to thank The Vindicator for giving us the opportunity through the Valley Grows page to reach readers who are interested in gardening, landscaping, inviting and co-existing with wildlife and finding answers to plant and pest problems.
When we started, we thought it was a grand challenge. We found out, however, it was never a challenge to share our love of gardening and extending our gardening knowledge to others.
Over the past seven years, we’ve covered topics A through Z and everything in between. We’ve written more than 1,000 gardening and nature-related articles in that time.
Not only have we been able to inform Vindicator readers, but we have also learned from each other’s articles and have gained valuable knowledge by researching topics for our articles.
The Vindicator has also been a great supporter in announcing upcoming master gardener events, including our coffee-with- master classes, garden art series, garden seminars, etc.
The judges at our Master Gardener Volunteer Conference and awards program also agreed this was a wonderful project as we were awarded with Outstanding Project of the Year for Valley Grows. This has been a great example of everybody wins.
We are not the only ones who will miss this version of The Vindicator, as many people have told not only me but other master gardeners they have enjoyed and will miss not only the Valley Grows page, but the newspaper as a whole. It’s like losing a friend who joined us every morning with our coffee.
I guess in life everything at one time will stop growing, unfortunately this has happened to The Vindicator, and now we must put our “garden” to bed.
Putting your garden to bed in the fall helps you ready your landscape for spring. Think of your fall cleanup as the start of next year’s garden. Cutting back perennials will assure you next year’s garden will provides something new.
As for this fall, you’ll find us in the garden. We’ll still be giving advice and sharing the good and bad of our own gardens.
That reminds me; take time to do your fall garden clean up. Harvest everything above ground in your vegetable garden and clean up under your fruit trees. Leaving vegetables and fruits out during winter will attract animals and set seed. There is no reason to leave annual flowers and vegetables as they don’t return the following year.
I’m a big composter as our clay soil needs all the help it can get. It’s important to know what to compost and only use plant material that is pest and disease free. You don’t want pathogens and insect pests to overwinter and return next year. Fall is a great time to amend your soil with compost as it will have time to finish breaking down before you are ready to plant next spring. You can also get a soil test to learn what you might need to add to your garden for spring planting.
Without The Vindicator, we’ll just have to busy ourselves through the winter with garden catalogs and paper and pen to design our new landscapes. I’m sure all will agree – our Vindy will be missed. We look forward to the next stage of the life of The Vindicator and the possibility of sharing our information through the new format. Be sure to keep up with our programs and events at mahoning.osu.edu.