CSU Extension launches victory gardens for the age of COVID-19 with Grow & Give

Contact for reporters:
Jennifer Dimas
(970) 988-4265

As Memorial Day weekend approaches, Coloradoans across the state are being encouraged to participate in CSU Extension’s new gardening initiative Grow & Give, a modern Victory Garden project designed for citizens to grow vegetable gardens and plant extra to share with local food banks and community members in need.

Victory gardens were planted on public and private land during World War I and World War II to reduce pressure on the public food supply. Roughly 40% of the U.S. vegetables grown in those years came from 20 million victory gardens.

Through the new Grow & Give program, CSU Extension is encouraging people to take advantage of their time at home during the COVID-19 pandemic to get outside and plant gardens, whether they are longtime gardeners or first-time planters.

“During a time when there is so much bad news and uncertainty, we are giving Coloradans a positive opportunity to contribute locally,” said Katie Dunker, statewide coordinator for the CSU Extension Master Gardener program. “We have wrapped our arms around something that is very tangible and accessible and are using university resources and expertise to promote growing food in every corner of the state to help those in need. This is what Extension does; this is who we are. Education and outreach are the very fabric of what a land-grant university does.”

CSU Extension and CSU Online offer free help

In addition to offering gardening expertise for Coloradans, CSU is offering an online Vegetable Gardening course for free, just in time for spring planting. This course is part of CSU Extension’s online Certified Gardener Program and will teach gardeners everything needed to know about planning a vegetable garden, including planting times, layout design, soil preparation and fertilization, routine care, frost protection tips and more.

To register, visit CSU’s Certified Gardener page and use Promo Code GARDEN2020 during checkout between May 1-31.

Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:

  • Describe considerations in garden planning and planting times;
  • Describe block style layout in a raised bed garden design;
  • Describe soil preparation and fertilization for the vegetable garden;
  • Describe routine garden care including mulching, irrigation, and water conservation;
  • Describe routing care for tomatoes;
  • List hints for growing other vegetables;
  • And, describe frost protection and microclimate modification.

About the Certified Gardener Program

Based on Colorado State University’s Master Gardener program, the online Certified Gardener courses offer more flexibility to learn what you want and when you want on your own schedule. No matter if you are a backyard food gardener, green industry professional, community garden advocate, or simply interested in learning more about soil health, sensible weed management and improving your lawn these online gardening classes can be tailored to help you meet your goals. All courses were updated in 2020 providing up-to-date best practices and engaging curriculum. Learn more at https://www.online.colostate.edu/badges/certified-gardener/.

About CSU Extension

Charged with serving all 64 counties across the state of Colorado, CSU Extension empowers Coloradans to address important and emerging community issues using dynamic, science-based educational resources. The Colorado Master Gardener program is an extension program focused on enhancing Colorado communities through outreach, education and environmental stewardship. Learn more at http://coloradomastergardener.org.

About CSU Professional Education

CSU Professional Education builds personal and professional development programs with the intention of delivering a lifelong, positive impact. Our mission is to serve people from all walks of life, so everyone benefits and has the opportunity to take that next step in their career or personal growth. CSU Professional Education is committed to providing a variety of high-quality courses in online and in-person formats. We partner with industry experts and CSU faculty to build our programs, ensuring our students receive research-based, relevant instruction. Explore additional programs here.