Your yoga classes, meetings, and concerts are canceled. Theaters are closed. The kids are out of school and you’re being encouraged to stay home. In this time of Covid-19, here are a few suggestions to cultivate something good from the National Garden Bureau. Written by C.L. Fornari, GardenComm member.
- Start some seeds. Nothing is more life-affirming than checking each morning to see if something spouted.
- Plan a vegetable garden. Grow the veggies you love the most. Read about which varieties to plant from seeds and which ones are better if you purchase plants. Consult garden blogs and books.
Plan to grow flowers that make you happy. Suggestions: sunflowers, nasturtiums, zinnias or marigolds. These are easy to grow from seeds and you can grow many plants for less money than buying transplants. Now is a great time to start transplants for this year’s garden. Order seeds now and get started.
- Decide to plant a tree. Research varieties for Nebraska on the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum. Look to see where you have the right amount of space and sunlight.
- Redesign the plantings in the front of your house. Research plants that grow well in your area, and make a plan for spring renewal.
- Take an online class about plants or gardens, or watch some YouTube instruction videos. Learn about seed starting, taking cuttings, or how to grow vegetables. Check out the Backyard Farmer YouTube channel for great tips on Nebraska gardening.
- Plan an herb garden. What herbs do you like to cook with? Which herbs make the best cocktails or tea? If you don’t have in-ground space, grow herbs in pots.
- Pull out the garden or plant books you bought in the past and read them…maybe for the first time! Revisit those copies with lovely garden photos and be newly inspired.
Take a walk in a nearby natural area: woods, field, desert, beach or park. Look closely at leaves, bark, mosses, and flowers. Notice the number of plants that grow in a community. Look up, look down.
- Take this time to groom or repot houseplants. Remove dead leaves, refresh the soil, take cuttings of favorites so that later you can share the wealth with friends.
- Go to on-line seed and plant companies and learn about varieties you’re not familiar with. Check out this publication from Nebraska Extension, “General and Specialty Mail-Order Seeds Sources”, for a listing of many mail-order nurseries, including some you may not have tried before.
- Join plant or garden groups on social media, like the Backyard Farmer Facebook group.
- Order a new book about plants or gardens. Once it arrives, plan a garden retreat for yourself for an hour or afternoon. Sip your favorite beverage, read and make a list of garden inspirations.
- What plants remind you of family members or friends? Write those memories down. Consider turning those recollections, along with photos of the plants and people, into a small book that can be passed to others in your family.
- Create a new indoor display of plants. Make a row of small pots in bloom on your kitchen counter or the windowsill above your sink. Move an unused side table in front of a window or slider, creating a new place for plants.
- Plan a new group of containers for your deck, porch or patio. Flowers, herbs, and vegetables await your creativity…go for color, fragrance, and flavor. One great resource is the Whiteflower Farms website. Check out the “Annuals” tab and their ideas for designing beautiful annual containers.
- Help to get a young person out into the natural world. Plan a garden for your kids or grandchildren. Donate supplies to a local children’s garden or school garden.
- Plan a garden vacation. Decide on an area of the country, and research public gardens, national parks, and plant destinations that are in the region.
View the extra time you have now as a gardening opportunity, while keeping yourself and your family active, strong and positive.
Images from Pixbay.
Pictured at top – Petunias (deep red), pentas (white edged with pink) and calibrachoa (tiny pink petunia flowers) make up this beautiful container.