Sarah Stultz: Sun is out, grass is green — it’s garden time

Published 8:45 pm Tuesday, April 25, 2023

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I pulled some sandals out of hibernation this week.

With sunny skies and temperatures in the 50s and 60s, I just couldn’t resist.

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I’m one of those people who goes barefoot year round in the house, so when it comes time for sandal season, it’s a time to rejoice.

A few days ago, we took a detour past the community gardens at Brookside, and the gardens are tilled awaiting planting. Since we live on the opposite end of town, we don’t get over there that much in the winter, so I hadn’t seen the update.

We’re in that in-between phase where we’re fluctuating between warmth and some cooler temperatures, but it is almost May — and with May comes planting season for this gardener — though it’s usually more toward the end of the month.

I’m starting to see ads pop up all over my Facebook page about gardening, I’ve seen sponsored content about container gardening, raised flower beds, growing potatoes in five-gallon buckets and lots of others. It’s like it can read the inner debate I’ve been having in my mind lately.

I’ve been contemplating what to put in my garden this year after the trouble last summer with pests of the six-legged and four-legged varieties, and I’ve decided to give it one more shot at the community garden before I pack up and move elsewhere or invest in some raised garden beds in my backyard.

If anyone has successfully beaten squash bugs, I would love and greatly appreciate your words of wisdom, as these critters decimated everything in the squash family at the garden last year — namely my spaghetti squash, zucchini and even my pumpkins.

I seemed to have found a successful and easy remedy for deer in a homemade spray repellent I made from water, dish soap and milk. It was cheap and extremely effective — now I just have to find where I wrote down the exact measurements to combine.
Warning, it doesn’t smell too bad at first, but give it a couple days in the back of my car on a summer day and that will create a spray that’s comparable to “wet dog.” It’s enough to repel this human once I spray it.

I’d love to hear anything new you tried last year that was a big success in the gardening arena, or if you ever want to stop by and chat when you see me out gardening, feel free.

I can be reached by email at

By this time next month, gardening season will be well underway!

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