Gardening proves popular pandemic passtime

Local gardeners are chomping at the bit to get seeds in the ground, and many have already started seeds indoors. Turns out, a global pandemic that forces many people to work from home encourages a lot of people to get interested in gardening.

The Oregon State University Master Gardener online course has seen enrollment grow by almost a thousandfold, according to OSU. And for the rest of April, the university is waiving the $45 fee for the course.

The Central Oregon chapter of OSU Master Gardeners also has a collection of resources specific to gardening in Central Oregon available at bit.ly/cogardening.

For those interested in one of the local community gardens managed by OSU Extension master gardeners, such as Hollinshead Community Garden in east Bend and Discovery Park Community Garden in NorthWest Crossing, more patience is required. OSU Extension is “in a holding pattern with the opening of both community gardens” until the governor’s stay-home order is lifted, according to Amy Jo Detweiler, professor and horticulturist for OSU Extension.

“Our hope is to be able to still do some gardening at the gardens, just in a shorter season, once we get the go ahead from the state and OSU that it is safe,” Detweiler said in an email. “In the meanwhile we are holding webinars for the community on backyard gardening.”

The next webinar will be at 9 a.m. Friday and will focus on basic pruning of trees and shrubs. The webinars will also be posted to the Central Oregon OSU Extension Facebook page.

— Bulletin staff report

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