Sarah Stultz: If at first you don’t succeed, always try again

Published 5:30 pm Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

It’s garden season in my household, which means it has been a busy couple weeks of preparations and planting for another year of what hopefully will be success at our community garden plots.

The last few years have been challenging for us gardeners at Brookside, between the ever-growing deer problem and some other insects at the site.

For the last couple years, more and more of the gardeners have opted to put up fences at least six feet tall to keep the deer out of their gardens.

Email newsletter signup

I have held out as long as I could, using a homemade deer repellent of water, milk and dish soap, and overall it was proving to be pretty successful — until this year, that is.

As more and more people installed fences, my garden — despite the spray — became a prime target for the deer, and in one night’s time several plants became victim to their hunger. Eight tomato plants, four cabbage plants, four broccoli plants and two pepper plants were chewed to the ground.

As much as I wanted to avoid it, I decided to move forward with the fence with the help of my dad, who is visiting — as long as we could get a dry enough day without storms and rain.
We found some old fencing I had from another garden several years ago, bought some metal fence posts and set out to see what we could get done. Our humble attempt surely didn’t look like something from a professional, but we got the first side up and left for the day, fingers crossed it would hold up.

Another storm surely followed, and we returned to find the fence bent in half with our little plastic poles wrecked.

We were determined to fix the fence — and we still had to install the back side, too.

Much to our delight, Monday night as we set out to finish our project before another storm on Tuesday, we had two sets of visitors who helped ease the load. The first was another gardener a few rows away, who offered a pole pounder to assist in getting the poles in the ground, and the second was my next-door neighbors at the garden — and friends — who offered solutions and extra manpower to getting the first half of the back fence installed and fixing the whole fence in the front. Thanks to them the garden might actually stand a chance now against the deer.

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