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Growing Gardens Through the Coronavirus Pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has left many with plenty of time to kill, and many chose to give life to a garden.

"I certainly have been able to spend much more time in my own garden," said Patricia Smith. "Just having the time to be in the garden every day and watch plants and how they perform is just immensely helpful."

The North Mountain Park Nature Center in Ashland is a wealth of gardening knowledge, and anyone can learn how to acquire a green thumb.

"I think some people are more inclined and intuitive to grow things, but anyone can learn if you are patient enough and spend the time at it," said Nature Center Coordinator Jen Aguayo. "I think that is the mistake of most beginner gardeners, they don't take the time. It takes 30 minutes of weeding a day to maintain your garden plot. It takes at least an hour a week to prune your plants."

During quarantine, a home garden was an escape to the outdoors for many.

"Well if nothing else, it takes your mind off the day-to-day misery that people are going through. For me personally, I think being outdoors is better than being indoors," said Patricia Smith. "I've said since the beginning that gardening will save us physically, mentally, and emotionally. There is no downside to it."

"We need to have that connection and there is that urge, not just to be outside and be connected with nature, but also with each other. More so than maybe they thought of before."

In southern Oregon, it is never too late to start a garden, whether you are growing food or planting flowers.

"The best time to plant is in the Fall," said Smith. "So now is a good time to start thinking about what you might want to do."

"Even if you re gardening vegetables, you can garden through the winter in Southern Oregon, but [for] perennials, Fall is the best time to amend your soil and plant your bulbs," said Aguayo.

To get involved with community gardening in Ashland, call 541-488-6606.