Roundup of gardening news for Sept. 22, 2022

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GEAUGA COUNTY

The Spectacular World of Dahlias. Sharon Swaney, noted dahlia authority, will share her knowledge of the many jaw-dropping forms and diversity of dahlias. Learn how to grow, store and show them. The $15 class will be held Oct. 8 from 9:30 to 11 a.m. at the Geauga County OSU Extension Office, Patterson Center, 14269 Claridon-Troy Road. Call 440-834-4656 to register or email ward.714@osu.edu. Mail checks payable to OSU Extension, P.O. Box 387, Burton, OH 44021.

SUMMIT COUNTY

Annual milkweed pod collection. The Ohio Pollinator Habitat Initiative is calling on Ohioans for the seventh year of milkweed pod collections. This project started in 2015 as a seven-county pilot and the last few years hundreds of Ohioans worked together to collect the seeds. Milkweed is the only host plant for the Monarch butterfly for egg laying and caterpillar rearing. It also serves as a food source for Monarchs as well as many other pollinator species. The disappearance of milkweed across the U.S. has contributed to the 80% decline of the eastern monarch butterfly population over the last 20 years. 

You can make the collection efforts in 2022 even better by following these tips: It is best to collect the pods when they are dry, grey, or brown. If the center seam pops with gentle pressure, the seeds can be harvested. Store the pods in paper bags because plastic bags collect unwanted moisture. Put the date and county collected on the bag when you turn them in. Keep the pods in a cool, dry area until you can deliver them to the nearest collection site. 

The collection has begun and ends Nov. 15. The collection site for Summit County is at the Ohio State University Extension Office, 440 Vernon Odom Blvd. in Akron. If you have any questions about the seedpod collection in Summit County, please call Summit Soil and Water Conservation District at 330-926-2452 or write sbarbic@summitoh.net. If you have questions regarding the milkweed collection program statewide, please contact Marci Lininger at Marci.Lininger@dot.ohio.gov.

(To add a nonprofit event to our gardening listing, send details at least three weeks in advance to: Gardening News, Farm and Dairy, P.O. Box 38, Salem, OH 44460; or email: editorial@farmanddairy.com.)

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