Connect with us

Family & Home

Gardening supplies fly off shelves with interest in gardening growing this spring



As spring months roll past, a new desire to garden is blooming among those spending more time at home.

Debbie Keesler is the Coulee District Director of the Wisconsin Garden Club Federation. In March, she noticed supply shortages on the shelf. She couldn’t find peat pods and asked a local Walmart representative if they would be getting more in stock.

“He said those came in December and that was all they would get,” Keesler said. “He told me those were flying out of here because everybody now wants to start a garden.”

Keesler said she knew then they would not be able to wait when it came to getting the seeds and supplies they needed.

As someone with deep roots in gardening, Keesler had advise for those starting for the first time in 2020. She said the first thing to do is know where the garden is going to be. She and her husband lease a community garden in the summer from the city.

“We’ve had it for so long that the soil is in good shape,” Keesler said. “It has nutrients. It has worms. It is not dead soil, which unfortunately a lot of people’s yards have.”

Once the location is set, a plan can help produce grow. She noted a technique known as companion planting.

“A lot of times, certain vegetables do better if they are planted next to something else,” Keelser said. “I plant my Brussel sprouts next to my cabbage. I plant my tomatoes next to my peppers. That takes a little bit of work. You have to do your homework and draw out how your garden is going to be.”

She also suggested not putting anything in the ground before the middle of May to ensure soil temperatures were high enough.

Some aspiring gardeners may have already started by growing bedding plants under fluorescent lights. However, Keesler said they cannot immediately be transplanted into the garden. Plants started indoors need to be hardened and gradually adjusted to the outdoors.

Those who live in apartment complexes or do not have access to a yard can grow patio plants such as tomatoes, green peppers, cucumbers, radishes, lettuce, or anything that does not require a deep root system.

As gardening interests increase, Keesler was hopeful for skills the next generation can learn.

“Teaching a kid, oh my gosh. I have been a believer in that long before this virus ever came. My kids hated it,” Keesler laughed. “But they all learned how to put stuff in the ground and grow it.”

Kaitlyn Riley’s passion for communications started on her family’s dairy farm in Gays Mills, Wis. Wanting to share agriculture’s story, she studied strategic communications and broadcast journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In college, she held officer positions with the Association of Women in Agriculture and Badger Dairy Club while volunteering as a news reporter for the college radio station. She also founded the university’s first agricultural radio talk show, AgChat. In her professional career, Kaitlyn has worked in radio, print and television news doing everything from covering local events to interviewing presidential candidates, and putting back on her barn boots to chat with farmers in the field. Today, Kaitlyn can be seen covering local stories that matter to you in the La Crosse area.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *