Pests: Get out of my garden!

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See that hole on the side? It's the second one in two days!

Stop, pests, stop! I don’t want to share with you! I want this cilantro for myself, and the tiny lettuce plants that you have been trying to dig up are mine too. I know you will continue to work your way into my garden throughout the summer, and I will have to fight with you to get to my tomatoes first. But can’t you just leave these tiny plants alone so they can have a chance to survive? I have grand plans for these herbs and greens, and I have invested time and money in them. So please, just leave my plants alone!

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Baby broccoli from the farmers’ market

The farmers’ market in Fredericksburg is right around the corner from where I work, and both are just a few blocks from my cute little house. It makes things pretty convenient on nice days. I love being able to just go for a few 10-minute walks throughout the day.

Anyways, I saw on Facebook today that one vendor was going to be out selling seedlings. They had herbs, tomatoes, cabbage and broccoli. Too early for tomatoes, so I decided just to get broccoli, though today was really too hot for these cool-weather plants.

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Root vegetables started

Before my family moved when I was in middle school, we had the best backyard garden. My dad had taken care of it for years, tilling the earth full of compost, leaves and grass clippings, and once, even a pick-up load of horse manure. The soil was so fertile, and our yield usually proved that. We’d have plenty of tomatoes, squash, zucchini and eggplant. Sunflowers would line the back row of the garden, along the fence. Sometimes, we’d add corn there too, though usually the squirrels would get to it. My sister and I each had our own sections for a few years, and we’d try out our green thumbs with carrots, or watermelons, or pumpkins.

But our favorite was the potatoes. You never knew what was happening under the ground. Plants would be growing – and then dying – in our view, but the actual potatoes were hidden far away. Late summer, my dad would get out shovels and a pitchfork, and we’d start pulling the plants up. “Look, look, baby potatoes!” we’d squeal. The tiny ones were always the best, we thought. Our parents would grill them up for dinner, and they were the perfect size for us kids.

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baby lettuce!

I planted some lettuce and spinach seeds a couple weeks back in oblong pots. Now they are about an inch tall — and battling for space! I thinned the plants a little bit, but more need to be pulled. I can’t wait to start having fresh lettuce everyday!

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Those are green onions peeking out in the back. I just stuck the white ends from grocery store green onions right into the dirt.

I have grand plans for even more fresh produce to come out of my backyard– I will work on a longer post to fill you in. Hopefully i get more than the one pathetic tomato I got last summer though.