Sarah Stultz: T-minus two months until gardening season

Published 8:45 pm Tuesday, March 21, 2023

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A week or two ago I received a letter from the city notifying me it was time to renew my garden plot before the end of the month or any unclaimed spots would be fair game for other members of the public.

Though gardening season is still probably two months away, at that moment it was like the clouds parted and the sun shone down. After what has been a long winter, I caught a glimmer of the summer, and a smile spread across my face.

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I’ve written about gardening before in this column, and I still think there’s nothing quite like planning out your garden, putting in the work to make it happen and then seeing your hard work pay off. Sometimes gardeners have to work in unpleasant temperatures or in other unfavorable conditions, but most dedicated gardeners will brush aside the negative in hopes for a good harvest.

Since I got the letter from the city, I’ve been thinking about how I wanted to proceed forward this year.

What do I want to plant, and do I want to or need to take a break from anything or try something new out?

Last year’s garden season had its highs but it also had its lows, and I’d love to be able to avoid the lows this year.

Specifically, I had several plants in the squash family — pumpkins, zucchini, spaghetti squash — that were essentially decimated by squash bugs, as were the same plants of many of my fellow gardeners.

We also struggled badly with deer, and from my understanding the city is still considering how to move forward with improving that situation.

About a third of the way through the season, I learned from another gardener about a homemade deer repellant made simply with water, milk and dish soap that worked wonders.

However, I have yet to come up with a solution to eradicate the squash bugs other than to potentially move those plants to a different garden.

If you’ve successfully conquered these pests, I’d love to hear how you did it.

In the meantime, I will continue to daydream about warmer weather, getting some Vitamin D and of course the sense of pride that comes with growing your own food for your family and others.

About two months to go!

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