COLUMBIA – During the pandemic, people are turning to home gardens to grow their own food and to stay active.
Eli and Danielle Asbury got married on March 21st and have been trying to adjust to married life along with COVID-19. The newlywed couple is using gardening as a fun way to bond and connect.
“Getting married in the middle of this and being married and trying to start a marriage right in the middle of this has been totally different,” Eli Asbury said. “There is no time apart and no hobbies going on and the garden has definitely helped give us a hobby.”
The Asburys' created a small container garden for their window. They hope it will grow and be big enough to put outside. Their garden includes tomatoes, beans and cucumbers.
Asbury encourages everyone to try and start a garden because he said it’s a great way to get your mind off of everything else that is going on in your life.
“It’s really easy and it’s just a fun learning experience to do with your family,” Asbury said. “It’s been a great bonding experience for us for sure.”
Missouri Master Gardeners provides resources and help for those wanting to start a garden. President of the local chapter of Missouri Master gardeners, Charles Paxton, said it’s important to start small when gardening.
“Starting by container gardening is probably a really good idea," Paxton said. "If you have a container about the size of a half whiskey barrel, you could grow a tomato plant in that,” Paxton said.
Once you’ve got some experience doing it on a small scale, Paxton said you can think about expanding your garden. He emphasizes planning ahead before going and digging outside.
“Really think about not just how to get the garden started, but maintaining it through the summer and how much room you would like to have and where it should be sided,” he said.
Paxton also said it’s important to check on your garden every day to maintain it.
“Stay on top of things and having your garden somewhere close to the water source is always a good idea as it makes it easy to add water when needed,” Paxton said.
According to MU Extension, tomatoes, cucumbers and sweet potatoes are good options to be planted in May.
For more information on gardening and how to start your own, visit the MU Extension website.