Horticulture Therapy in Stressful Times

— Written By Shannon Newton and last updated by Brittany Miller
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“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 flowers, 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 online sources can help you with more information in planning your garden.

In the Garden Videos from NC State Extension

Screen shot of In the Garden video
From growing your own produce to composting your kitchen scraps, our In the Garden video series will take you through the finer points of putting your green thumb to good use. Whether you’ve got a whole backyard ready to be planted or a couple of houseplants on your windowsill, we’re here to help. Go ahead, get your hands dirty.

NC State Extension Gardener Handbook

Cover of 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

screenshot of Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox
The 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

Screenshot of planting calendar publication
April and May are a great time to get started in vegetable gardening. From a container with tomatoes to raised beds and in-ground vegetables, knowing 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 websites for more information:

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

Contact the Horticulture Agent in your North Carolina Cooperative Extension local county center. For Scotland County, call 910-277-2422.

We are glad to help!