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Growing interest in gardening during pandemic

“House plants are very comforting. They help generate oxygen and they make you happier," said Laderoute.

Posted: Apr 30, 2021 2:51 PM
Updated: Apr 30, 2021 5:19 PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) A new hobby has taken root as the coronavirus pandemic forced many people to stay home, gardening.

The planting community is blooming. Growing a jungle at home has become trendy over the past year and it's actually first time gardeners discovering their green thumb as a way to keep busy during a time when social activities are cancelled. 

“Number one, they were stuck inside looking for something new to do, so there ya go," said Louis Ulmer, Garden enthusiast. 

During this weekend's annual Master Gardener plant sale, longtime gardeners said it's beginners buying up all the plants. David Laderoute who has been working the event for the past six years, said, "All of the people I’ve talked to this morning, probably about a quarter or third of them are basically new gardeners.”

While there's plenty of plants at the annual plant sale, over 12,000, Garden enthusiasts said the sheer amount of homegrown gardens this year is making is a challenge to source seeds. 

“I wanted to grow eucalyptus, but there were no eucalyptus seeds available because someone wanted them more than me and got them first,” said Barbara Bramblett, Master Gardener. 

As it turns out, Master Gardeners said they aren't surprised by the sudden growth spurt in gardens. Laderoute said plants are the perfect companion during a pandemic. 

“House plants are very comforting. They help generate oxygen and they make you happier. They literally do. Particularly, if you talk to your plants. Your plants like to be talked to and they like music, so play classical music. They don’t like heavy metal so much,” said Laderoute. 

So whether it's your first time gardening or your 100th time, getting your hands dirty might just make you feel better.

The Master Gardener plant sale continues until Saturday at 2 p.m at the University of Missouri Extension building, 4125 Mitchell Ave.

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