Good food, good mood

Taking up gardening

By Kayla Hawthorne -

OHIO VALLEY — With sunny weather the last few days and cabin fever setting it, a local agriculture agent gave gardening tips for everyone to learn a new skill.

Ben Goff, the agriculture agent for WVU Extension in Mason and Putnam Counties, said a vegetable garden could be a potential source for food and good moods.

“I think there are a lot of benefits,” Goff said. “Just getting out of the house to do something helps with cabin fever. For homeschooling, that could definitely be a biology project to get out with the kids. Show them what’s going on and let them experiment with that.”

For those who have never gardened, Goff suggest to start simple and then branch out.

“You don’t necessarily have to go big,” Goff said. “A lot of people when they start out think they need to have a whole big area. … People can do this with just little pots around the house.”

Goff also suggested shopping locally to find seeds for your gardens. Goff said raised beds and containers are good for smaller amounts of vegetable plants.

“If you have them too close together, that can lead to a lot of leaf diseases and blights,” Goff said.

As for easy to grown vegetables, Goff suggests beans, potatoes, squash, sweet corn, onions and leaf lettuce. He warns that tomatoes could be tricky because of disease that could develop in the plants.

Goff said many vegetable plants are good for containers, but the root systems need to be considered. Goff said the size of the plant above ground is a good rule of thumb for the size needed below ground. Tomatoes need at least a five gallon container. But plants such as lettuce and onions could use small pots.

For any questions about gardening, trees or basic agriculture, Goff can be reached at the extension office at (304) 675-0888 or by email at

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Taking up gardening

By Kayla Hawthorne

Kayla Hawthorne is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, ext. 1992.

Kayla Hawthorne is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, ext. 1992.