I know of no other event where information on such a variety of topics of interest to homeowners, farmers, gardeners and wildlife enthusiasts is offered better than the Farm Science Review. Sponsored by OSU Extension, the OSU College of Food Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences and the Farm Science Review it is held at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center near London, Ohio.
Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m, Tuesday and Wednesday Sept. 22-23 and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 24 Extension educator Curtis Young will present a mushroom program. Save a few dollars by getting your tickets pre-sale through the Extension Office for $7 through Sept. 21. Tickets are $10 at the gate. Children 5 and younger get in free. You can also order tickets online for $7 at http://fsr.osu.edu. On the right side of the screen click on the “red” box to place an order for tickets which must be received by Sept. 11.
If you want to rent or bring a golf cart log on to the FSR website: http//fsr.osu.edu for the latest info. I urge you to look over the scheduled events (on the website), shows, and exhibitors etc., to make best use of your time so you go home with more than sore feet. Information on drones and grain storage will be featured as well as a new antique tractor exhibit area. Add these to displays on horticulture, wildlife control, agronomy plots, farm safety & machinery, water quality and the list goes on and on. And you have to see the: “Block O “Cornfield display in the precision ag display.
A good time
September usually brings rain and cooler temperatures which is great for seeding lawns. Good seed to soil contact is essential for success as is application of some starter fertilizer at planting time. Weeds must be controlled prior to planting with tillage or use of chemicals like Roundup. Be sure to follow label restrictions if using chemicals as to the “wait” time between seeding and planting.
Buy the best seed available and do not be led astray with cheap seed which may contain annual grass seed or old seed varieties which are not as resistant to diseases and insects. Be sure your new seeding variety will look like what is already growing if the area is to be patch-seeded. Fall is a better than spring to seed because there is less weed pressure. Consider getting a soil test for proper fertilization and soil pH adjustments.
The fall is also a great time to control perennial weeds with herbicides (weed killer) as material sprayed on weeds like dandelion, ground ivy, chicory, etc. goes to the roots of the plant and you have a good chance of killing that plant. Always follow label restrictions.
Fall also gives you a chance to plant shrubs and trees. Try to buy varieties that are acclimated to our climate by looking for plants which fit into zone 6A of the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map and are resistant to diseases common to the species. For example, in the case of crab apple trees, I would only buy a tree variety resistant to apple scab which is the number one pest of apple trees.
As of 2012 Greene County has a new “zone” with respect to cold temperatures and our expected low temperatures in zone 6A are -5 to -10 F. Nothing is for sure as we have we had temperatures of -15 F in 1989 and we all remember the Polar Vortex of January 2014. If you err, go on the cold side with a 5B plant zone designation.
Bagworms are common on evergreens and are often mistaken for pine cones but as they mature the bags turn brown as they are constructed of plant tissue from the host plant. Some of the bags now contain bagworm eggs which will hatch out next spring. Chemical control is difficult as the insects are slowing their feeding and are protected by the bag, so the best method might be a bucket of soapy water and some time to pull the bags off the plant if possible. Failure to control these insects may leave you with bare branches or a dead plant. For pictures and informationvisit http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/2000/pdf/2149.pdf.
Estate planning series
The series “It’s My Money, My Stuff and My Life” starts Tuesday, Sept. 29 and runs for five consecutive Tuesdays 6-8:30 p.m. The series is sponsored by Greene County Council on Aging and features several local attorneys, extension personnel and insurance experts among others who will are share good information. Cost is $40/household and for more information/brochure contact the Council on Aging at 937-376-5486. The series will be held at the Xenia Community Center at 1265 W. Second Street.
Trees and neighbors
I was asked recently about pruning a tree which was growing in their neighbor’s yard but some of the limbs were growing over the fence onto their property. This was a common call when I worked in extension and the answer is you can trim tree branches hanging over the property line.
Best if you talk with your neighbor first to maintain good relations however. A more serious problem is if you apply a herbicide (weed killer) which can kill shrubs or trees. Liability is a real possibility if the product is applied to overhanging foliage or soil applied which can be picked up by the roots of a neighbor’s tree running underground on your property.
If the neighbor’s plant growing on the other side of the property line dies you may be liable for the damage. A case I remember a few years ago involved a school district which applied a soil based product called Spike to kill shrubs and small trees growing in the fence row on their property. They forgot the roots of the neighbor’s tree ran under the fence line and killed a few mature trees. Result was the school district had to pay for replanting some trees.
Well water testing
Everyone with a well should consider testing their water every year. On Thursday, Sept. 17 you have such an opportunity to have your well water tested free for nitrates, nitrites and iron. Nitrogen compounds are particularly a problem in young children and older people as they can interfere with the body’s ability to transport oxygen. The testing takes place in the Xenia High School cafeteria 4:30-6 p.m. The first 50 samples will be tested free for arsenic and lead. For more details visit http://www.co.greene.oh.us/soils or call 937-372-4478 ext.3.
Outdoor writer Larry Moore will share his perspective on the marina under construction at Caesar Creek Lake 6:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 28 at Union United Methodist Church on Union Road, Xenia. If you wish to eat the meal contact Paul Ayres at 937-352-6379 or email Paul at firstname.lastname@example.org.Those wishing to hear the program only can come around 7:15 p.m.
Jerry Mahan is a retired OSU Extension educator, agriculture and natural resources, for Greene County. He can be reached by email at: email@example.com.