Skip to main content

Grow This launches free online gardening classes featuring WVU Extension experts

Throwdown Thursday graphic with a WV outline and a garden trowel and spade.

Grow This, West Virginia University Extension’s free seed program, has launched a new series of online classes to help budding gardeners grow their best garden yet. 

Each “Throwdown Thursday” class is taught by a WVU Extension expert and addresses common challenges home gardeners might face. Classes are held each Thursday at 12 p.m. on Zoom. Participants can access the class at

“There has always been an education element to Grow This, but these classes take that to the next level,” said Kristin McCartney, Extension specialist and SNAP-Ed coordinator with the WVU Extension Family Nutrition Program. “WVU Extension agents have so much knowledge and experience, and we’re excited to connect them with the robust online community that has grown up around Grow This. 

On February 22, Extension Agent Jodi Richmond will talk to participants about “vegetable gardening for beginners.” On February 29, Extension Specialist Mira Bulatovic-Danilovich will teach a class on pruning. The March 7 class, taught by Extension Agent Josh Peplowski, will focus on seeds.  

Future sessions will cover common garden insects, disease identification and control, herb gardening and dealing with wildlife in the garden, among other topics. 

For those who cannot make the lunchtime sessions, recordings are posted to the WVU Extension Family Nutrition Program’s YouTube channel ( ). 

The Grow This: West Virginia Garden Challenge is an initiative by the WVU Extension Family Nutrition Program. This year, the program will send free seeds for scarlet Nantes carrots, red Russian kale and Jimmy Nardello peppers to over 90,000 West Virginians in 2024. Sign-ups for free seeds closed in January, only a week after launching. But all gardeners are welcome to participate in the Throwdown, even if they missed the free seeds. 

In 2024, the Family Nutrition Program also launched the “Grow This Throwdown” – a statewide competition where counties compete for thousands of dollars in grant money through a series of challenges. As part of that competition, “Throwdown Thursday” participants earn points for their county teams by filling out a short online survey. 

For more information and updates about the Grow This Throwdown, check out the program’s Facebook page ( ), Instagram ( ) or newly launched Reddit community ( ). 

WVU Extension Family Nutrition Program’s work is supported by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) from the USDA Food and Nutrition Service. 




Zack Harold 

Multimedia Specialist 

WVU Extension Family Nutrition Program 

Call 1.855.WVU.NEWS for the latest West Virginia University news and information from WVUToday. Follow @WVUToday on Twitter.