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Sarah Stultz: Back to reality when dreaming about summer

Nose for News by Sarah Stultz

It started with one post on Facebook that I saw last week of someone who had started planting their seeds. The person was posting updates of their seedlings, which had all grown above the surface about two or three inches.

Then I got my letter in the mail from the city’s Park and Recreation Department, reminding me it was time to renew my garden plots this year before they are opened up to the rest of the community.

It all took off from there.

I started reviewing my garden from last year — what turned out successful and what still needed some improvements. I’ve already decided there’s a few vegetables I’m not going to mess around with this year, and instead I’m going to replace them with more of others that I know will grow successfully.

I went through in my mind where I would plant each vegetable, rotating everything from last year to make sure not to deplete the nutrients in the soil and also to make it as covenient as possible when it comes time to pulling weeds and harvesting.

Then my mind shifted to bugs.

I sure did have my share of bugs at the garden last year. There was some kind of squash bug all over the zucchini, spaghetti squash and pumpkins and then who can forget the Japanese beetles that got into most everything, too. I ended up getting everything pretty well under control last year, but I sure do wish I could eradicate them even earlier this year.

From garden planting, then my mind shifted to canning. Maybe I need to stock up on some of the supplies early now so I can guarantee I’ll have them when it comes time for the harvest. (Did I just say that outloud?) Last year with the rise in gardens and canning that came during the pandemic, canning lids were a rare commodity.

As I write this, I started thinking about the 8 inches of snow that fell yesterday in Albert Lea.

I think it’s safe to say all of us gardeners have a little more planning time, unfortunately. If we’re lucky, we’ll be able to get everything in the dirt sometime in about two months. But a girl can dream, right?

I don’t know what I expected over the weekend as we sat out on the deck and grilled hamburgers, but my mind was brought back to reality with the recent snowstorm.

Daffodils may be blooming in my home state of Virginia right now (thanks for the photo, Dad!), but here in Minnesota, we’ve got more time in the often bipolar months of March and April.

Enjoy it before the humidity sets in.

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