WINCHESTER — The year 2020 saw a rise in the number of first-time vegetable gardeners during the pandemic. Some people discovered a new hobby while they were spending more time at home while some were concerned about the availability of food, including fresh produce.

Expecting the trend to continue, the Northern Shenandoah Valley Master Gardener Association has created a free webinar series for beginning vegetable gardeners.

The series will be offered in six one-hour sessions via Zoom. The sessions will be held live at 7 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month from February through July. Recordings of the sessions, complete with closed captioning, will be posted on the Northern Shenandoah Valley Master Gardener Association website several days after each live session.

The webinar series will cover topics from buying seeds, starting seedlings, and setting up the garden space all the way through to harvesting produce, saving seeds for next year, and preparing for the next growing season.

Although there is no fee, advance registration is required and space is limited. To register, go to Participants must register for each session individually.

The six sessions will cover the following topics:

1. Planning the Garden: Selecting and Starting Seeds (Feb. 18, 7 p.m.)

2. Setting up Your Garden Space (March 18, 7 p.m.)

3. Maintaining the Garden (April 15, 7 p.m.)

4. Planting and Harvesting Your Produce (May 20, 7 p.m.)

5. Saving Seeds and Composting the Biomass (June 17, 7 p.m.)

6. Preparing the Garden for the Next Season (July 15 7 p.m.)

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