A boy tends to his garden in this photo from the Shenandoah County Office of Virginia Cooperative Extension.

Gardening on the Upswing as People Stay Home Due to the Coronavirus

Many Shenandoah County Citizens are trying out their green-thumbs this spring. Gardening is a great way to get exercise and grow some of your own food. The good news is that COVID-19 is not a foodborne illness. Virginia Cooperative Extension has a plethora of information for home gardeners. Below are a few tips and web sites for additional information on gardening:

First and foremost, know what lies beneath before you plow and dig.  There may be underground phone lines, electric lines, water lines, or septic lines in your lawn. If you don’t know, call “Miss Utility” at 811 or go to their web site at https://va811.com/.   Virginia Cooperative Extension recommends that you not plant a garden over your septic system.

Once you know it is safe to dig, Virginia Cooperative Extension has a “Home Vegetable Gardening” web site with lots of good information.  https://ext.vt.edu/lawn-garden/home-vegetables.html (or type “VCE Home Vegetable Gardening” in the search engine).

Also, you can visit the Northern Shenandoah Valley Master Gardener Association Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/NSVMGA/. Scan through the page for various tips on gardening. There are several good gardening videos by Extension experts who have the greenest of green thumbs.

A boy sites in his garden.
File photo of James’ Garden. Shenandoah County Office of Virginia Cooperative Extension.

If you want to talk with someone about your garden, Virginia Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Volunteers are just a phone call or e-mail away to help provide guidance on your gardening ventures: greenhelpline@gmail.com or call (540) 459-6140.   

Finally, if your garden yields a great bounty of food, you might want to preserve some for future use. Extension has a lot of good information on home food preservation at this web site: https://ext.vt.edu/food-health/home-food-preservation.html.

For more information or to reach Master Gardeners in nearby counties, contact your local Extension Office.

Clarke: (540) 955-5164
Frederick: (540) 665-5699
Page: (540) 778-5794
Shenandoah: (540) 459-6140
Warren: (540) 635-4549

If you are a person with a disability and desire any assistive devices, services, or other accommodations to participate in this activity, please contact Robert A. Clark, Senior Extension Agent, Agriculture and Natural Resources, at the Shenandoah County Office of Virginia Cooperative Extension at (540) 459-6140/TDD* during business hours of 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. to discuss accommodations five days prior to the event.  *TDD number is (800) 828-1120.

Virginia Cooperative Extension programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. An equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.

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