OHIO VALLEY — The stay-at-home order during the COVID-19 pandemic has stopped many from doing the things they love, such as going into a restaurant and enjoying a meal, taking in a movie, or shopping at the mall.
Among the things the coronavirus cannot stop, however, are the colors of Spring and the planting season.
Garden centers are considered essential businesses during this time because they sell seed and vegetable plants, according to John Morgan, technology specialist with Bob’s Market and Greenhouses, Inc. Adults and children alike can experience the joys of growing.
By planting gardens now, it will lessen dependence on grocery stores later, according to Morgan. He said right now is a good time to plant cool weather crops like potatoes, onion sets, leaf lettuce, cabbage, spinach, and more.
Children can get in on the gardening scene and see rather quick results, Morgan said, by planting both onions and leaf lettuce. Onions can be eaten as green onions, while some can be saved to grow into full-size onions for later. Leaf lettuce can be cut and used in salads, but will continue to grow, so gardeners can keep going back to harvest it over and over.
Around the first of April, vegetable seeds like tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers can be planted inside, Morgan said. They can then be transplanted outside.
For those who don’t have the land necessary for an outdoor vegetable garden, Morgan said an herb garden can be planted indoors. An avid gardener himself, he said herbs like basil and others can be planted and grown in kitchen windows to be used in cooking.
On the flower scene, pansies can be planted now. Morgan said many other flower varieties will soon be available in the local greenhouses, as well. Flowers can also be started with seed indoors, which provide an easy science lesson for homeschooled children.
Even those who aren’t quite ready to plant yet can use this time to clean, weed and mulch flower beds. Garden tools can be repaired and sharpened, and on rainy days, garden layouts can be planned.
No matter how big or small, gardening can be educational and fun, and can produce some beautiful and delicious results.
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Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.