The current pandemic has many central Ohio families turning to their backyards for exercise, recreation, relaxation, and food. Interest in gardening, particularly vegetable gardening is on the upswing judging from sales of seeds and gardening supplies, and from requests for gardening information from local experts. Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator and Coordinator of the Franklin County Master Gardener Volunteer program, Mike Hogan, has seen an uptick locally for requests for information about gardening. Of particular interest right now is vegetable gardening. The idea of planting a Victory Garden as a response to the pandemic seems to be resonating with experienced and novice gardeners right now. Mike said, “Victory Gardens planted by our grandparents and great grandparents in response to rationing and resource scarcity during World War II are thought to have produced about a third of all vegetables and fruits consumed by Americans during that time period.“
While local in-person gardening educational programs are suspended during the current state of emergency, we are still finding ways to deliver knowledge and support local gardeners. Franklin County Master Gardener Volunteers have adapted their Gardening Helpline to a Helpline at Home. They will be answering emails from the comfort and safety of their homes. You may email your gardening inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include digital photographs when appropriate as well as all pertain details. Typically the Helpline provides answers to questions related to vegetable gardening, lawns, fruit trees, ornamentals, soils and soil testing, plant health, and insects and diseases. Please click here to read Mike Hogan’s Helpline at Home Addressing Gardening Questions During Pandemic complete press release.