Garden description: There is a single ash tree smack dab in the middle of our backyard that provides the best shade on hot, summer days. Though, I like to say you could graze in the four corners. Besides the established raised vegetable beds, I have intermixed flowers, plants and edibles to create diversity and aesthetic appeal, and of course, to maximize utility in the sunny spots. Each spring is an adventurous journey in figuring out what works best where to create a functioning oasis.
Who are the gardeners: Just me and the bees.
Why do you garden: Stress release and enjoyment.
How has gardening impacted you during this time: Gardening has truly been a life saver this spring. I assisted directly in supporting efforts to minimize the impacts from Covid-19 within the state. I was still required to go to work but with extended hours while finishing out a semester of college coursework. This year’s garden provided me the opportunity to clear my head and focus on more positive things. Trust me, there were several upgrades to the gardens this spring, including a new raised bed that may be converted to a greenhouse for the colder months.
What do you have in your garden? I typically grow the standard vegetable garden fare; tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, spinach, chard and peas (which I always eat before they can make it into the house). I have a wonderful gift exchange with a neighbor who trades homemade wine for my tomatoes. There are several containers of various herbs that may be found closer to the house. Also, each year I try a new veggie to see how well it will grow. This year I am trying collared greens.
Do you have any problems with disease or pests? If so, how are you dealing with this problem? Since I do not use pesticides or other chemicals, I do have an issue with pests. Typically, I may be be found picking off insects. I have to cage off tender plants and sprinkle cayenne in a constant battle with the over abundant squirrel population.

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