‘Grounded to house’: Unprecedented curiosity in gardening anticipated to proceed | Information

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More than 20 million inexperienced growers picked up shovels and trowels in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and we as a nation grew from 42 million gardeners to 63 million in the past year, according to a recent report from Better Homes and Gardens.

One of the main reasons millions of newbies got caught in the mud in 2020 was growing their own food. Gardeners are planting the “victory gardens” or “quarantine gardens” they started because of the pandemic and enjoying the taste of local vegetables and fruits. Often times, they grow enough to share with family, friends, and neighbors.

“COVID has frightened many people with food shortages and we saw many new gardeners,” said Tom Cummins, owner of the Apple House in Terre Haute. “People became more grounded at home, which resulted in our vegetable sales [increasing] 102% last year compared to the previous year. And I assume that the same trend will continue this year. “

Spending more time at home and more time cooking has sparked renewed interest in food gardening. And for parents whose children are learning from home, growing vegetables, fruits and herbs includes lunchtime, physical education and science classes.

“Be practical with children. Let them know they don’t need a quarter of an acre for the garden to familiarize themselves with their beginner garden, ”said Cummins. “Help your children plant some seeds they choose, then encourage them to water those seeds and watch them grow. Tell them that they will soon have a beautiful flower or the tastiest tomato they can have ever eaten. “

In 2020, gardeners had deficits in the supply of seeds and plants. Favorite varieties were sold out and garden center racks were littered with empty slots. But Cummins said he was confident that the Apple House would have adequate inventory for the vast majority of this growing season, as most of its growers have significantly increased their harvests to keep up with unprecedented demand.

“One of our greatest strengths is that we have a strong network of growers to get a complete inventory of vegetable and flowering plants,” he said. “While most of our customers live in the Wabash Valley, our quality and quantity of choices mean that people travel 60 to 70 miles away here.”

While many of us may not have a lot of outside space, in 2021 households will get the most out of what they have – regardless of the space available. Balcony and window sill gardens are perfect for apartment residents who use container and vertical attachment spaces. Raised garden beds are also a great option as you can control soil composition, reduce soil compaction, and care for your plants much easier.

Today’s gardeners use fewer synthetic chemicals and instead rely on natural processes to create healthy outdoor living spaces. For example, adding a mix of some flowers like marigolds discourages pests, attracts pollinators, and adds some color. Learn how to use natural, organic gardening methods to grow the freshest foods in your own garden while sharing tips from the professionals in the hydroponics department at Apple House.

The Purdue Extension website is jam-packed with online resources where you can search for innovative ideas to get teens involved in gardening, planning your garden, creating a community garden, pest control, and rainwater collection. Check out this helpful collection of gardening and lawn care tips: extension.purdue.edu.

The Old Farmer’s Almanac has been a trusted gardening authority for generations. It’s another great tool for newbies who want to learn the basics of vegetable gardening and planning, such as: B. How to choose the right garden location, how to create the right size garden, how to choose which vegetables to grow and when to plant.

April is National Gardening Month, and the spring weather in the Wabash Valley invites people to go outside and dig in the dirt.

Contact Michele Lawson at michele.lawson@tribstar.com or at 812-231-4232.