Hang on folks, the end is in sight —maybe

Published 9:21 am Tuesday, February 16, 2016

“I guess the groundhog was wrong,” my daughter said Saturday night as we walked from our car into a restaurant in Albert Lea.

I don’t know what the actual temperature was, but it sure felt cold.

I’m not sure if my daughter understands the legend behind Punxsutawney Phil and his prediction for either a long winter or early spring, but I have always felt like his predictions don’t really apply to us in Minnesota.  We’re kind of in our own separate  sphere.

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When she heard earlier this month that the groundhog predicted an early spring, it’s almost like she throught someone would wave a magic wand, and in a matter of a few days or a week, the snow would be melted and the flowers blooming. Unfortunately that isn’t true.

This winter has felt like a long one even though we have had less snow than my parents in the state of Virginia, who just got another 9 inches this week after receiving a couple feet of snow earlier this year.  I can’t help but be grateful that it wasn’t us, but we deal with something they normally don’t have to — and that’s the colder temperatures.

I know in Minnesota anything is possible, but it is almost March, and that speaks volumes to me. That means the end is near — maybe — or at least closer than it was.

Already this week I have had two friends post on Facebook about how they were starting to think about their plans for their upcoming gardens. What should they plant, and what plants work well where we live?

I, personally, hadn’t thought about my gardens — both vegetables and flowers — until I saw those online posts.

Now I’m feeling the itch, too.

There’s something about seeing something start from a seed or a small plant and grow into a flower- or vegetable-producing plant. You can ask my friends and family, I get a little excited when garden season arrives, and I hope this year my gardens will turn out a little better than they did last year.

I had a few problems with deer eating my plants at my community garden plot that I hope to be able to overcome this year. I am figuring out what plants deer don’t like, and I will plant them there and the rest at another garden that a friend of ours from church is letting us use space at.

I’m also thinking about putting up a fence, but I don’t know if that will keep the deer out.

Well, soon enough I will have to worry about those things, but for now I better stick with dealing with this weather.

OK, I will stop complaining. I just have to keep telling myself I live in Minnesota, and this too will pass.

Until next time, I will keep daydreaming about my gardens.


Sarah Stultz is the managing editor of the Tribune. Her column appears every Tuesday.