Extension offers free ‘lunch and learn’ gardening event

Published 3:00 am Friday, April 15, 2016

The Pike County Extension Office will host a Lunch ’n Learn program on raised vegetable gardens from noon until 1 p.m. Wednesday at the Colley Senior Complex.

Heath Wesley, Extension coordinator, said those interested in the raised vegetable garden concept are invited to bring a sack lunch and come ready to learn.

“The Extension office will provide drinks and the program is free,” Wesley said.

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“We will meet in the large meeting room downstairs in the complex.

“And, there’s no need to call ahead. Just come.”

Wesley said the popularity of raised vegetable gardens is continuing to grow for several reasons.

“One reason, and maybe a main reason, is space,” Wesley said. “With smaller yards, there is little space for a traditional type garden. With a raised garden, you can grow a lot of vegetables in a small space.”

Wesley said raised vegetable gardens also allow for better soil concentration.

“Many lawns have poor soil for growing vegetables,” he said. “In a raised bed, you have better quality soil because you fill it with ‘friendly’ soil and soil that is without weeds.”

Wesley said the boxes are built high enough that they are wheelchair accessible.

“And, if you need to weed, you won’t have to bend so much,” he said.

“Raised vegetable gardens are great for growing most all vegetables — tomatoes, cabbage, radishes, squash, cucumbers, lettuce, peppers. Y

“ou probably won’t grow corn in a raised bed but you could. You can always raise flowers. All you need is the know-how.”

Michael Forster, a master gardener with the Capital City Master Gardeners, will be the program facilitator and he will provide the basic know how.

“He will take you from the construction of the bed through the planting of the vegetables,” Wesley said. “The meeting will be only one hour so he will give the basics that you need to get started. We will also have detailed information about all aspects of raised vegetable gardening available following the program.

“And, the Pike County Extension Office with have additional information and resources available and our staff will also be able to assist with any concerns or problems that might arise.”

Wesley said now is the time to begin planning that summer garden and there is still plenty of time for the construction of a raised vegetable garden for now and for later.