A Gardener’s Diary: COVID-19 can’t stop growing season

Pandemic prime time to sow garden, kids can join in the fun too

Since my last column, the world has changed and life has taken a new meaning.

What we took for granted for so long has made us realize that we are all connected somehow and what one does can be good or bad and affect each one of us.

Many activities have been cancelled but don’t try to tell that to nature.

The birds are building their nests just like before and the beautiful flowers are giving their own show.

Gardening is in the mind of many specially in this time of crisis.

April is National Gardening Month and the health benefits of this are many.

For many people who don’t have a yard or balcony, growing herbs on the window sill can by fun.

You can grow some sprouts which don’t require a fancy setting. Some organic sprouting seeds and a jar is about all you need.

If you have a bit of space you can grow many vegetables in pots.

You can make a basket of greens which can be used for your salads. Strawberries are very easy to grow in pots and easier to protect from the robins just waiting for the first bites.

If you are lucky enough to have some land, now is the perfect time to start even if you have never gardened before.

There are many websites with enough information for you to access.

Your health will improve, body and mind.

One of the best site I refer often in my research is The Old Farmer’s Almanac with a lot of articles and some YouTube videos. almanac.com/gardening.

Since the children are not in school, it is a great activity for them to do. They will come to appreciate the healthy food they can grow.

Here are the planting reminders for my location from The Old Farmer’s Almanac, now and for the next two weeks: Sow under cover or indoors: broccoli, celery, leek, pepper, Swiss Chard and tomato.

If your weather permits, sow outdoors or plant out: broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage (summer) carrot, cauliflower, kale, leek, lettuce (leaf) onion, parsnip, peas, potatoes, radish, spinach and Swiss chard.

Having a south-facing garden, many cold frames and lots of sunny sites, it is easy for me to have an early start. My peas are up and the kale that overwintered is being harvested for salads. The new growth is really tender and sweet.

Due to the COVID-19 and physical distancing, I will not have a plant sale this year. I know some of you were waiting for the ad in the garage sale corner.

If you are interested in some plants, you can email or telephone me and I will let you know what is available.

If things settle down, I might have a perennial plant sale in the fall.

Until then, take care of yourself and stay safe and healthy.

For more information: 250-558-4556 jocelynesewell@gmail.com

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Jocelyne Sewell is a long-time gardening columnist.

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