If you would like to take action and Kick the Butts, please visit the Cig Waste website.
Out of 300 billion cigarettes sold a year, almost 100 billion of them are tossed into our waterways, beaches, parks, etc. The Cigarette Butt Pollution Project is a partnership between public health and environmental advocacy groups. They work to conduct research, provide assistance, and advocate for effective butt-free policies.
If you would like to take action and Kick the Butts, please visit the Cig Waste website.
After selling cover crop seed for 12 years, we can definitively say that the benefits are real!
The seeds have a three-fold value in improving soil quality. There will be an increase in soil fertility and attracting pollinators, as well as being beneficial to the environment.
Cover crops are plants not planted for harvest, but to boost soil fertility and reduce erosion during the fall to early spring months. Our cover crop mix includes Flax, Phacelia, Tillage Radish, Oats, Austrian Winter Pea and Cow Pea. All seeds are untreated, non-GMO and the micron inoculant is OMRI certified for organic use.
Think of Cover Crops as providing a feast for your soil biota. The macro and microorganisms work night and day to convert the nutrients in your soil to an available form. They also condition the soil by creating more pore space for air and water circulation. If your soil lacks organic matter the soil will be dry, powdery and compacted. Cover Crop acts like a pro-biotic for your soil.
When natural methods are used to improve soil health and increase yields, the requirement for fertilizer and other chemicals is far less. This reduction in chemicals is good for our water quality, wildlife and the environment at large.
The District is only selling the seed on a pre-order basis. The orders must be placed before July 21, 2017 and be picked up at the District from August 14 – 17, 2017. The District also encourages residents to test for soil fertility of by using a soil test kit sold by the District year round.
Click here to order your Cover Crop.
by Holly Utrata-Halcomb, Administrator, Hamilton Co. SWCD
Each year I get several calls from gardeners wondering why their cucumbers are not producing fruit when they see plenty of flowers. Cucumber flowers are either male or female. The richer and more balanced your soil, the more female flowers you will have. This is yet another good reason to test your soil fertility. It is not just the nutrient content of your soil that matters. Our Hamilton County soils tend to be alkaline. If the pH is too high, the nutrients in the soil may not be available to the plant. Soil fertility test kits can be obtained from our office or you can order online at: http://www.hcswcd.org/soil-fertility.html
Another factor we deal with in our county is soil compaction. Once soil pore space gets below 25%, it is difficult to grow anything!
A solution is to add more organic material to your soil prior to conducting a soil fertility test.
Cucumber beetles are a primary nemesis to cucumber plants. In North American cucurbit crops, two species of cucumber beetle present the most problems. These are the striped cucumber beetle (Aclymma vittatum in the eastern U.S. and A. trivittatum in the west) and the spotted cucumber beetle (Diabrotica undecimpunctata). Adults of the two species are easy to tell apart: the spotted cucumber beetle is somewhat larger and has dark black spots whereas the striped cucumber beetle has long black stripes down its back.
Cucumber beetles damage cucurbit crops in at least three ways.
1. Their feeding directly stunts plants and, when flowers are eaten, can reduce fruit set.
2. Cucumber beetles transmit bacterial wilt disease (Erwinia tracheiphila). More information on bacterial wilt can be found in this APSNet article on Bacterial Wilt and this Cornell Vegetable MD Online fact sheet on Cucumber Beetles, Corn Rootworms and Bacterial Wilt in Cucurbits.
3. Adults scar the fruit reducing its marketability.
Keeping Beatles Away.
1. Floating row covers left in place until flowering begins provides the most reliable defense against cucumber beetles.
2. Straw mulch can help reduce cucumber beetle problems in at least 3 different ways. First, mulch might directly slow beetle movement from one plant to another (Cranshaw, 1998; Olkowski, 2000). Second, the mulch provides refuge for wolf spiders and other predators from hot and dry conditions, helping predator conservation (Snyder and Wise, 2001; Williams and Wise, 2003). Third, the straw mulch is food for springtails and other insects that eat decaying plant material; these decomposers are important non-pest prey for spiders, helping to further build spider numbers (Halaj and Wise, 2002). It is important that straw mulch does not contain weed seeds and to make certain that it does not contain herbicide residues which can take years to fully break down.
3. Results of a study in Virginia (Caldwell and Clark, 1998) suggest that metallic-colored plastic mulches repel cucumber beetles, reducing beetle feeding damage and the transmission of bacterial wilt.
4. Cucumber plants grown in richly-mulched soils harbor fewer cucumber beetles than do those in soils with less organic content (Yardim et al., 2006), perhaps because organic matter fosters diverse populations of beneficial soil microorganisms that trigger the plants internal defenses (Zehnder et al., 1997).
5. A field-plot trial found that intercropping cucumbers with corn and broccoli reduced striped cucumber beetles substantially, compared to plots planted in a monoculture of cucumber
6. Insecticidal soaps sprayed at 5-day intervals, beginning when seedlings emerge or after transplanting and continuing spray schedule until vines run. If rain occurs within the 5-day period, repeat the treatment promptly and then return to the regular 5-day treatment interval. A Homemade version of this spray is 1 Tbls. Murphy’s Oil Soap to 1 Quart Water.
To read more about success with cucumbers, go to https://www.morningagclips.com/grow-delicious-cucumbers/
Just a reminder, our office is now in a new location. Our address is 1325 E. Kemper Rd. Suite 115, Cincinnati, Oh. 45246. Our phone number remains the same 513-772-7645.
A lot of you are familiar with our location at the Triangle Park Drive offices, and have visited at this location for years for your conservation needs and soil fertility test kits.
With mixed emotions we’d like to announce that we are moving to a new location not far from where we are located. We will be moving to the Kemper Pond Office Park, located on East Kemper Road. Starting May 25th, our new address will be:
Hamilton County Soil & Water Conservation District
Suite 115, 1325 E. Kemper Road.
Cincinnati, OH 45246
The staff is excited about the move as we have outgrown our current location, and are kind of bursting at the seams. The new location will not only offer us more office space, but more storage for our always interesting brochures, giveaways, and education tools that we use in the classrooms, as well as our exhibits. We are also going to get a bigger conference room to host our ever engaging meetings, and a large workshop area that could easily fit a hundred people. As the name suggests, the new location also has a sizable pond. The management has told us that we can use this pond for various training exercises and displays.
We are excited about the move, and a little nervous too. Please be advised that our phone lines and email access will be intermittent during the move(May 24 & 25). Kindly pardon our slow or late responses during this time. Once we are all settled in, we hope to host an open house, so our residents can come and see our new facility. Keep a lookout for the open house in our next edition.
Hamilton County Public Health has graciously created a brochure for homeowners that want to rid of mosquitoes in their yards. Click the link to see more information on the brochure: mosquito.pdf
The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is a voluntary program that provides assistance to farmers who face threats to soil, water, air, and related natural resources on their land. The Butler/Hamilton Co. Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) office is accepting applications for the 2017 EQIP program. Although EQIP has a continuous sign up, the deadline for applying for 2017 funds is November 18th,, 2016. The purpose for this program is to help landowners or producers with improving their farming operation through the use of conservation planning and practices. The EQIP program can also help landowners who have livestock operations, pasture related operations, woodlands (bush honeysuckle problems), wildlife enhancements (pollinator plantings), and specialty crop farms (Seasonal High Tunnels). Through the use of this program, NRCS can not only help with the technical aspect of the farming operation but, can perhaps provide a financial incentive for installing best management practices.
In order to apply for the EQIP program you must meet a few eligibility requirements.
If you are possibly interested in learning more about this program, please contact John Williams, District Conservationist at 513-887-3720.
By Todd Long, PE and Ted Hubbard, PE, Hamilton County Engineer
The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Phase II program, managed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), was created to address nonpoint pollution sources (NPS) - pollutants being introduced into waterways through storm water runoff. It was implemented after the NPDES Phase I program, which focused on permitting end-of-pipe discharges to waterways, indicated that water quality standards could not be achieved without addressing NPS in urbanized areas. Hamilton County, Ohio townships and municipalities in urbanized areas are subject to a requirements in a statewide NPDES Phase II permit issued to Ohio EPA by the USEPA.
In 2003, the Hamilton County Stormwater District (HCSWD) formed a co-permittee district comprised of Hamilton County townships and municipalities subject to the NPDES Phase II permit requirements. All affected municipalities were invited to join – seven did not, including Cheviot, Forest Park, Harrison, Loveland, Milford, Reading, and Springdale. More recently, a few of the co-permittees have elected to leave the District - Cleves, North College Hill, Norwood, St. Bernard, Woodlawn, and Wyoming. The City of Cincinnati has also notified the District that they will discontinue their membership. Those who leave the District are no longer eligible to receive District-provided benefits, and must provide the services necessary for the permit requirements for themselves.
The District, which is funded by a fee based on impervious surfaces using a single family unit (SFU) model, provides compliance assistance with the following six minimum control measures (MCM) identified in the Phase II program:
HCSWD currently charges $3.68 annually per SFU /Single Family Unit (SFU) for base services which cover MCM 1, MCM2, and MCM6 requirements plus annual report, budget and billing file development, and administrative/technical support. Co-permittee members can elect to pay for additional services under MCM3, MCM4 and MCM5 with a maximum fee per SFU of $8.13 for all services. Co-permittees are responsible for meeting permit requirements for any of these services that they do not select. These are among the lowest annual fees for any municipal or co-permittee district in the state.
The Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) is a district partner agency and provides a majority of the base services including:
Beginning October 1, 2016:
Submitted by Holly Utrata-Halcomb, Administrator
Home remedies for yard and garden problems and pests can be effective, but be sure you do your homework before you try them. If you attempt an internet search, it’s best rely on information from universities or other research based institutions. Antidotal recommendations may leave you disappointed and cause long-term damage to your soil. The following scenario will illustrate my point.I recently received a call from a landowner questioning if he could use vinegar as a way to kill weeds and lower his pH. I had not thought of vinegar as a garden tool so I reached out to my soil fertility expert, John Dahl, Director of the MSU Soil and Plant Nutrient Lab at Michigan State University. His response was that he discourages the use of vinegar as a herbicide or soil acidifier. Vinegar is basically a weak solution of acetic acid (5% acetic acid solution). He then referred me to the following article by Jeff Gillman, Horticulture Professor at the University of Minnesota.
June 9, 2011 Just do it, Knock It Off home remedies, toxic Jeff Gillman
I’ve been working with homemade garden remedies in one context or another for about 10 years now. As someone who has spent days searching for odd cures to garden problems I consider myself qualified to say that, of all of the remedies I’ve seen, vinegar seems to be the product with the most (supposed) uses. You can kill weeds with it, as well as plant diseases and insects. You can also use it as a fertilizer or even to acidify your soil. It’s amazing! But which of these uses are real and which are just someone flapping their jaws?
Vinegar as an herbicide: White vinegar which is about 5% acetic acid and does a nice job of burning the tops of plants, but not their roots – so a larger weed will live right through a spray even though it will look bad right after the spray. You can buy 20% acetic acid. It works faster, but it has essentially the same problem killing larger weeds that that 5% acetic acid does. Besides efficacy issues there are safety issues also. I’ve used 20% acetic acid and I think that this stuff is too dangerous for the average person. A little in the eyes could cause permanent injury. Just a little whiff of it is enough to make the nose start running (in other words it’s not good for mucous membranes).
Vinegar as a disease control: What a great idea! Spray something that kills plants onto your prized petunias to control disease! OK, when you use vinegar as a plant disease control you do use a lower concentration which shouldn’t hurt the plant. But vinegar has never proven to be particularly effective at controlling plant diseases.
Vinegar as a fertilizer: Nope, doesn’t work. Acetic acid only contains carbon hydrogen and oxygen – stuff the plant can get from the air. The other things that may be in vinegar could be good for a plant – but it seems an expensive method of applying an unknown amount of nutrition.
Vinegar as a soil acidifier: This is one that I’ve seen a lot – and so I tried it. In a nutshell, it just doesn’t work that well. It takes a lot of vinegar and the pH change is brief at best. Use something like sulfur instead.
So to summarize, despite a lot of recommendations, the only thing that vinegar has really proven to be good at is killing weeds – and then only if the weeds are young.
Speaker: Daniel Taphorn, Urban Conservationist, Hamilton County Soil & Water Conservation District
Friday, October 23, 11:30 am – 1:00 pm
Cost: $20 (includes lunch)
2715 Reading Road
Cincinnati, OH 45206
Join us for an overview of the Hamilton County Earthwork Regulations; the Earthwork Regulations address Geotechnical areas i.e. stability of hillsides as they relate to cut and fill activities for construction and landscaping projects as well as the erosion and sediment control practices that are required on construction and landscaping projects in order to protect and/or minimize impacts to water quality. The presentation will include some of the standards and specifications for erosion and sediment control Best Management Practices (BMP’s) such as silt fence, mulch berms, sediment traps and temporary and permanent stabilization of bare soil. The presentation will also review the requirements under the Ohio EPA’s NPDES Construction Permit and address impacts to regulated water resources under the US Army Corps of Engineers 404 Permit. Click here to register. Register by Tuesday, October 20th
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR THE WORKSHOP
Cincinnati, OH. Residents who live near the intersections of Alert-New London Rd. and Howard Creek Rd., Alert-New London Rd. and Chapel Rd., Wiley Rd. and Hamilton-Cleaves Rd. (St. Rt. 128) between Atherton Rd. and Oxford Rd., in Northwest Hamilton County will be sighting a low-flying aircraft on September 8 and/or 9. One of the two dates will be selected based on weather and wind conditions. The aircraft will be aerial seeding three farms with cover crops in the area. These farms have partnered with the Hamilton County Soil & Water Conservation District (HCSWCD) for a soil fertility and water quality study. The aerial seeding is a huge component of the three-year study.
The farms involved in the programs are Heyob, Knollman, and Minges Farms. Over 350 acres in these three farms will be aerially seeded with a fall cover crop seed. Cover crops are plants not planted for harvest, but to boost soil fertility and reduce erosion during the fall to early spring months. Scott Huber, HCSWCD Chairman, when interviewed about the cover crops said, “Combined, these plants form a powerful team that should eventually reduce the amount of chemical fertilizers needed to grow a healthy crop.”
The grasses provide outstanding coverage for erosion control and then serve as excellent organic matter for the soil in the spring. In addition to improving soil fertility, cover crop positively impact water quality of the local watershed. With the help of local water quality and soil fertility experts, the study hopes to create a model to improve soil and water quality in the area, and other parts of the country.
The Hamilton County Soil & Water Conservation District is a legal subdivision of the State of Ohio responsible for the conservation of natural resources within Hamilton County, Ohio. For more information on the Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District or the Cover Crop Study, contact John Nelson at (513) 680-9373 or email@example.com