Around the home and farm


By Jerry Mahan



No, the deadline for paying income taxes has not been extended but April 20 is the date for accepting applications for our Farm Forum agriculture scholarships.

Greene County Farm Forum will award up to $5,000 in scholarships to deserving current year graduating high school students or college freshmen pursuing higher education in a field related to agriculture.

Those applying must be a resident of Greene County or have attended Greene County schools. Applications are due April 20 and for an application email scholarship chair Jim Byrd for Greene County Farm Forum at: byrdhouse9@sbcglobal.net or call him at 937-429-1805. Over the past eight years Greene County Farm Forum has awarded over $14,600 to deserving recipients studying programs in agriculture.

Alternative to the traditional lawn

The Monday April 24 Greene County Farm Forum program focuses on alternative uses for some of the land area we put into lawns. We inherited the concept of lawns from England and Europe many years ago and currently some estimates put the lawn area in the US at 30-40 million acres. If you are looking for an alternative to all the mowing time and money you spend on your lawn this meeting might help you. Michele Banker, the Land Resource & Service Coordinator for the Marianist Education Center for 100 acres of the Mount St. John area in Beavercreek, will share her thoughts on alternative uses for lawns.

Another part of our program will feature Donald Knight Jr. who is a Wildlife Biologist with the US Fish and Wildlife Service. He covers 34 counties in SW Ohio providing technical and financial assistance on habitat restoration projects on private lands.

The April 24 program will start at 6:30 p.m. and will be held at Union United Methodist Church located at 393 Washington Road, Xenia. A meal will be served prior to the program at a cost of $10 per person. Please RSVP to Paul Ayres by Friday, April 21 if you intend to have dinner. No reservations are necessary if you just wish to attend the meeting. For reservations contact Paul Ayres at 937-352-6379 or email him at payres1@woh.rr.com. The meeting is open to the public and is sponsored by Greene County Farm Forum.

Making predictions

In last month’s news column I mentioned the soil temperature internet site at Michigan State University (www.gddtracker.net/) which keeps a daily soil temperature for areas in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana and parts of Illinois. It is especially useful in determining the time when weeds like annual bluegrass and crabgrass will germinate thus giving a homeowner an advantage of when to apply certain weed control products.

Another website for determining what will happen in the future is the Phenology website at www.oardc.ohio-state.edu/gdd. It uses temperature to predict biological happenings in the environment.

“Phenology is the study of recurring biological events and their relationship to weather”. Some examples include flowering of plans, the appearance of insect populations and weeds and bird migration. For example if you log onto the site and type in your zip code you will see we are within a few days of crabapple trees blooming; the emergence of large crabgrass,and the appearance of birch leaf miner. All are determined by temperatures. Expect some deviation from the expected as the effect of micro-climates can alter the expected appearances of bloom times etc. Try it, you can become the neighborhood magician.

By Jerry Mahan

Jerry Mahan is a retired OSU Extension Educator Agriculture and Natural Resources for Greene County. He can be reached by email at mahan.2@att.net.

Jerry Mahan is a retired OSU Extension Educator Agriculture and Natural Resources for Greene County. He can be reached by email at mahan.2@att.net.

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