Recent Updates

  1. Guidelines for Choosing a Soil Analytical Laboratory

    Growers, landscapers, turf managers, and other professionals should consider several factors when choosing a soil analytical laboratory. This fact sheet refers to laboratories that determine concentrations of plant-available nutrients in the soil. Soil analytical laboratories are generally not regulated by state or federal agencies, so it is important for growers to investigate these laboratories by obtaining information about their performance, operation, and service before sending soil samples for analysis.
  2. Growing Tomatoes in the Home Garden

    The tomato is probably the most widely grown vegetable by the home gardener because of its food value, many uses, and relative ease of culture (Figure 1). Originating in Central and South America, the tomato was domesticated in Mexico. There are many related wild species in South America. "Tomati" was the name used by Native Americans.
  3. Growing Strawberries in the Home Garden

    Strawberries are well suited for planting in the home garden since they produce fruits very quickly and require a relatively small amount of space. Each plant may produce up to one quart of fruit when grown in a matted row during the first fruiting year. June-bearing cultivars typically produce fruits during the second year of planting while everbearing and day-neutral cultivars produce fruits during the first year of planting.  
  4. Pruning Blueberry Bushes in the Home Garden

    Growing blueberries in the home garden can be quite enjoyable. Blueberries have a very fresh taste when picked straight off the bush. Beyond the initial challenge of establishing a new planting, there are really few pests that attack blueberry bushes. Proper weeding, fertilizing, insect and disease control, and proper pruning help to assure quality fruit at harvest. This fact sheet is intended to help home fruit growers gain a better understanding of the principles of pruning blueberry bushes.
  5. Growing Grapes in the Home Fruit Planting

    Grapes are an excellent fruit for fresh use or processing into jam, jelly, juice, pie or wine. In addition, grapevines can be ornamental and valuable as shade or screen plants in the home landscape when trained on a trellis or arbor (Figure 1). A mature and well-maintained grapevine can produce up to 20 pounds or more of fruit per year. Once established, well-tended grapevines can be productive for 40 years or more.
  6. Growing Peaches and Nectarines in the Home Landscape

    Peaches have been grown in Asia for more than two thousand years, and produced for centuries in the United States. Peaches are considered the “Queen” of the fruits and second only to apples in popularity as a deciduous tree fruit because of their fine flavor and many uses as a fruit.  
  7. Soil Testing for Ohio Lawns, Landscapes, Fruit Crops, and Vegetable Gardens

    Soil tests provide more helpful information on soils than any other resource. It is an inexpensive way to maintain good plant health in lawns and landscapes, and to maximize productivity of vegetable gardens and fruit crops. Soil test results pinpoint plant nutrient needs and soil test lab recommendations guide fertilizer applications so just the right amount is used. Test results also provide information for making plant selection decisions based on “the right plant in the right place” and a soil test can help diagnose what went wrong if good plants go bad. 
  8. Growing Apples in the Home Orchard

    Should I Attempt to Grow Apples in the Home Orchard? A home apple orchard can conveniently provide tasty, fresh fruits for family consumption. One can also have cultivars that may not otherwise be readily available at grocery stores or local orchards. A well-established and maintained apple orchard also enhances the appearance of the home landscape as specimen, border, espaliered or trellised plants, while producing food for the family.
  9. Pruning Erect Blackberries in the Home Garden

    Blackberries can make a nice addition to the home fruit garden as a beautiful living hedge with nice flowers and tasty fruits. Gardeners can also enjoy blackberries as fresh fruit, jam or cobbler. Maintaining a neat, clean blackberry planting can be a considerable challenge. A good weed, fertility and pest control program can promote plant growth and quality fruit. Annual pruning of blackberry plants is also essential for high quality fruit production.   
  10. Raspberries for the Home Fruit Planting

    Raspberries can be used in a variety of appealing and delicious ways. Freshly prepared and sugared raspberries are excellent when either served alone (Figure 1) or used to make a raspberry sundae. The fruit can also be used to make delicious jams, jellies, pies and other desserts. Besides their excellent flavor, raspberries are a nutritious food, contributing vitamins A and C and various minerals to the diet. Making a raspberry smoothie is a delicious treat and a nutritious way to enjoy this wonderful group of berries.