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December 3, 2020
Environment Food & Dining

Corona Victory Garden

During World War II, almost every citizen worldwide had some form of a Victory Garden to help support the war effort. Coronavirus outbreak has been compared to a war. So, to combat the “quarantine crazies,” start your own Corona Victory Garden. Now you have the time at home, and the spring weather is perfect for growing. Gardens can be large or small. Even if you live in an apartment or condo you can grow enough fresh vegetables and herbs to cut down on that grocery bill.

First, determine where you can have your garden. Perfect for small gardens are windowsills, patios, balconies, and porches. For those fortunate to have a yard, carve out the space you want to garden. Remember a garden is a living thing that will require ongoing care, so please don’t start something that you and your family cannot take care of in the future.

Make a list of what your family eats and what you want to plant. Local feed, seed, farming and supply stores, are still open, with many selections of seed and plants. Make sure to call first to see if they have any change in operations due to Covid19. In addition, there are numerous places to purchase seeds online. Check out online nurseries, seed exchanges, and Facebook.

Check your cupboards, maybe you still have some seed on hand in the garden shed. Make sure to do a germination test to determine if they are viable or not. No use in wasting your effort on no show plants.

Here is a simple test. Fill a glass with distilled water. Put in a few of your seeds. After 24 hours the viable seeds should have sunk to the bottom and are ready to plant!

While the season is over for winter plants here in the south, there are still many that you can start from groceries you already have.

Onions and celery – cut the root off and plant. Potato eyes – cut out a chunk of the potato with an eye and plant. Tomatoes – plant the seeds pulp and all. Strawberries – the seeds are on the peel, just slice off a thin slice of the peel and plant. Melons – wash the seed, dry and plant. Peppers such as bell and hot peppers – save the seed and guess what? PLANT.

For those of you with an outside spot, get ready for a workout, it will be good for you. Clear the spot of grass and weeds. Loosen the soil with a tiller or pitchfork. If you have any or can purchase any soil additives such as fertilizer, peat moss, vermiculite, compost or ash; by all means do so.

For pot gardens, either purchase a potting soil or manufacture your own using vegetable scraps, crumbled leaves, coffee grounds, tea, even dryer lint. Many seed starter and peat pots are available online.

Go for a no soil garden. Try your hand at hydroponics a completely soilless way of growing. Check it out online.

For containers, now is the time to get creative. A container can be anything that has a hole in the bottom or that you can make a hole. Time for spring cleaning, go through the house and get creative.

Don’t forget egg cartons, plastic bottles, k-cups, citrus peals, toilet paper coils (from all that hoarded toilet paper), take-out containers, newspaper, clamshell containers (like the ones strawberries are packaged in).

WELL – Get started. There are so many benefits to starting a Corona Victory Garden. You can learn and teach your children skills that will go on after the virus and last a lifetime. Fewer trips to the grocery store cost savings and practicing recycling are all good for the environment. Plus the morale booster that you and your family have accomplished. A wonderful growing garden is invaluable, and it offers some stress relief as we go through this isolation period to beat the virus… ENJOY!

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