Gardening for new green thumbs

Published: May. 15, 2020 at 6:12 AM CDT
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New gardeners are sprouting up around the state as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

Kopke's Greenhouse in Oregon, like many other greenhouses, has seen a major increase in the number of people gardening for the first time. Greenhouses are open during the pandemic and many are taking advantage to get their vegetables and flowers for the planting season.

"I think this whole virus is really waking people up about where they get their food from," One customer at Kopke's told NBC15.

Longtime gardeners and experts at Kopke's told NBC15 that new gardeners should not be overambitious. "Don't be over ambitious. You buy a tomato plant that's that size it'll be three feet tall and you'll have more tomatoes than you know what to do with," Sandra Black, gardener for over 20 years, said.

Longtime gardeners say start small, try a container garden. Gordy Kopke's green thumb is over 20 years in the making. He is placing four herbs in a container garden. He mixes soil and fertilizer before spacing the plants accordingly in the container.

"As we put the plants keep in mind that some plants grow taller than others... take your plants that will grow taller like your basil and put that in the center," Kopke said.

Once the plants are in the container give them plenty of water and sunshine then in a couple weeks Kopke says you should be able to snip off some herbs.

New green thumbs who want to plant a seed container garden should buy a seed packet of their choice and plant the seeds 12-15 inches a part, give them plenty of water and sunshine, but make sure you read the full label on the seed package.

"Seeds are going to take longer to see your result," Josh Smith, Kopke's Vice President, said. "You have to give them plenty of water and be mindful about their care."

An overwhelming sentiment from gardeners shopping at Kopke's is growing your own vegetables is very rewarding.

"You're eating fresh veggies for dinner that you grew and you didn't have to go to the grocery store," One customer at Kopke's said.