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garden love

young tomato leaves


I love being in the garden. Every time I go out there to do any small task—emptying the compost bin, say—I run the risk of being sucked into other little jobs. These days there are always tomato suckers to pinch off and cucumber beetles to catch and squish, and failing that I can always just wander around and enjoy and make plans for next season, when I'll do things better.

What's gone wrong so far this year? The root vegetables—onions, beets, carrots, and parsnips—have been sore plagued with pests: first bugs and now rabbits. If we harvest any of any of them I'll be amazed. Part of the problem, I think, was my failure to prepare the soil well enough in that bed: I think that lack of soil fertility made them grow slowly to begin with and kept them vulnerable to insects. Lesson learned! The bed where I put the peppers is too shady (by the standards of my remarkably sunny garden). Oops, should have noticed that earlier. Too late now; I won't do it again. Rabbits ate a few of the bean seedlings and, even more aggravatingly, bit through the base of several of the pea plants. I should have put chicken wire around those beds, like I did last year. Rascal stomped on one of the hills of zucchini, and none of the seeds there have sprouted yet. I'd just resow them, but I don't have any more of that variety. I just now sowed corn now, and still haven't put in some other things I wanted to plant this year: butternut squash, for example, and various flowers. Squirrels are eating more than their share of strawberries.

Still. Peas are starting to come in, tomatoes and beans are growing beautifully, more cucumbers germinated than ever before, all the herbs came back strong—even self-seeded parsley! We're getting all the strawberries we can eat, and the raspberries are coming along strong. We're staying ahead of the weeds. And the garden is a wonderful, calm place to work or play or just hang out and relax. And it gets better all the time.

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