Six gardening things to do while stuck at home

Published 10:34 pm Monday, May 18, 2020

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By Mark C. Carroll

Western Tidewater Master Gardener

  • Pull weeds

While not very high on anyone’s list of quality entertainment, pulling weeds is agreeable with social distancing policies. Normally, it is much more difficult to find time to weed. Think it this way, if you, don’t get to go wherever you want, why should plants you don’t even want, get to?

  • Fix or maintain gardening projects

I took a free rain barrel class and installed two of them last year. They were level when I put them there, I swear. This year however, some settling has occurred so with additional time at home, I was able to empty and re-level them. Additionally, you could probably turn your compost pile more often, or perform maintenance on some of your gardening tools.

  • Get kids or family members to help

While they are home and everyone is perhaps a little stir crazy, expose them. To gardening, I mean. Make an event of it, short in duration at first and then lengthen as appropriate, who knows, you might have another helper after things become more normalized.

  • Read

The VCE website has a ton of professional and educational resources. You might even combine some of these. For example, you could read about a weed you know you have, share pictures and information with the family, and then have a contest to see how much your team collects. I am sure with social platforms; you could find a way to compete or challenge a neighbor or friends’ family to find more.

  • Take a class

A quick search for free online gardening courses produces an extensive number of options. Oregon State University for example, hosts a Master Gardener Short Course which is free. Initially I had some trouble finding them but, simply scroll to the bottom of the page and select the anytime anywhere courses. Some courses require registration, but there are likely enough free courses to get you through the time at home.

  • Observe growth

This sounds touchy-feely to me, and it may to you, but take the time to see plants (food, flowers, or trees) grow from seed to maturity. Time, tends to speed up as we age and it waits for none of us, to get a comfortable seat. Growth occurs indifferent of its audience. Spending a little quality time attentively seeing plants go through the stages of life, may be one of our best uses of time in the garden. While not necessarily related to gardening, perhaps being attentive to growth in our family members is a goal just as noble.