Horticulture Therapy in Stressful Times

— Written By Shannon Newton and last updated by
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Homegrown website screen shot“Gardening is the greatest tonic and therapy a human being can have. Even if you have only a tiny piece of earth, you can create something beautiful, which we all have a great need for.” – Audrey Hepburn, late actress and humanitarian.

As we are navigating the COVID-19 world, our gardens can become a refuge while staying home for extended periods of time. Gardens can mean different things to different people. If you live in an apartment, it may be house plants or containers of flowers or vegetables on a porch. If you have a yard, it can range from a few shrubs to an extended landscape including, flower, vegetables and other plants. Fresh air and sunshine are still free. Gardening doesn’t have to be expensive. Plants can grow from seeds or little seedlings. These on-line sources can help you with more information in planning your gardening adventure.

In the Garden Videos from NC State Extension:

In the Garden

Extension Gardener cover imageFrom growing your own produce to composting your kitchen scraps, we’ll take you through the finer points of putting your green thumb to good use. And whether you’ve got a whole backyard ready to be planted or a couple houseplants on your windowsill, we’re here to help. Go ahead, get your hands dirty.

NC State Extension Gardener Handbook:

Extension Gardener Handbook

The Extension Gardener Handbook is a fundamental reference for any seasoned gardener, but it is written so clearly, it also appeals to beginners just getting their hands dirty. It explains the “why and how” basics for every gardening subject from soils and composting to vegetable gardening and wildlife management. Advice on garden design, preparation, and maintenance covers all types of plantings including lawns, ornamentals, fruits, trees, and containers. Dr. Lucy Bradley, Urban Horticulture Professor and Extension Specialist

NC State Extension Plant Tool Box

Plant Toolbox

Plant Toolbox screen shotThe North Carolina Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox contains detailed descriptions and photographs of 3,924 plants that grow in and around North Carolina. The toolbox is searchable by cultural conditions, landscape use, plant traits, flower and leaf characteristics. Under cultural conditions, consider checking the USDA Hardiness zone as your first choice. Selecting the hardiness zone allows you to review plants that grow where you live.

Vegetable Gardening:

Central North Carolina Planting Calendar for Annual Vegetables, Fruits, and Herbs

Publication screen shotApril and May are a great time to get started in vegetable gardening. From a container with tomatoes to raised beds and in-ground vegetables, know when to plant is important. The Central North Carolina Vegetable Gardening Guide is the resource to determine what to plant, when to plant and whether to plant seeds or transplants.

General Gardening:

NC State Extension has many resources for you. See these links for more information:

General Gardening


Tree Fruits and Nuts


Muscadine Grapes

Have a specific question? Want to talk to a Horticulture Agent?

 Contact the Horticulture Agent in your local North Carolina Cooperative Extension office. For Scotland County call 910-277-2422 or Hoke County 910-875-3461.

We are glad to help!

View a complete listing of Extension offices in North Carolina.

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