BELMONT COUNTY, Ohio (WTRF) – Is spring weather drawing you outside to the garden?

Whether you have a container garden on the balcony or a large garden that spans the entire yard, this is the time to get started.

With so many restrictions during the pandemic, gardeners are wondering whether their pastime is safe, or if they could get coronavirus from the soil.

Belmont County OSU Extension Specialist Dan Lima says person-to-person spread is the problem.
Soil-to-person spread is not an issue.

He says community gardeners would need to keep a six-foot distance from each other if they were working in the garden at the same time.

But having contact with the soil, seeds and plants is not a danger.

“As far as the virus being viable in the soil, there’s no evidence of that at all,” said Lima. “So if you are gardening by yourself, you’re maintaining that six-foot rule that the governor wants, the coronavirus is not viable in the soil. It is safe to go out by yourself and work in the garden. There’s no evidence that says the coronavirus is going to be soil-borne at all.”

He says at this point, it’s still chilly, so this is a good time for broccoli, cabbage, radishes and onions. He says it’s not time to set out the tomato and pepper plants until Memorial Day.

OSU also has a website with information on many aspects of the coronavirus from fruits and vegetables to kids and family to business and working.

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