Tired of fighting for grocery store produce? Here's how to grow your own

Posted at 6:30 AM, Mar 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-30 07:36:16-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - With grocery store produce sections picked through, there's no better time than to grow your own at home.

"Victory gardens" were home-grown gardens, popular around World War II when money and supplies were short and Mike Westphal, the 'Garden Guru' at McDonald Garden Center, says the coronavirus outbreak is a good time to bring them back.

It's easy to practice social distancing at home or while shopping at an outdoor garden center.

"We want families to be outside be together in a safe place working on the yard," said Westphal. "It can be food but it can also be flowers. It’s just the idea of being together with your family and boost morale and keeps you happy."

If you are growing food, Westphal says a lot of fruits and vegetables can grow in a matter of weeks so he suggests planning your garden out now.

Prepare your soil first, he suggests, and then once you start planting, water more frequently to start before tapering off.

"Tomatoes typically mature in about 40 to 55 days depending on the variety. Peppers take a little bit longer. They really love the heat so they really want a lot of that summer heat to get to maturity level. But squash and cucumbers? They can be 30 to 45 days and you can start eating," he said. "Right now you can still plant spinach and lettuce and those produce very quickly. You can start eating from them right away."

And if you don't have much of an outdoor space, don't worry!

Westphal tells News 3, cold weather crops, herbs and even citrus fruits like lemons, oranges and limes can grow just fine indoors.

And don't underestimate the impact gardening can have on your stress level.

"Relieving stress right now is very important and plants give you that. Plant people are happy people," he said.

Click HERE for more information on how to start your victory garden.