You know the rhyme that goes, “Mistress Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow?” If her garden is growing, what does she have to be contrary about?  I’ll tell you.  Pests.

Something has been feasting on our vegetable seedlings.  The carrots and radishes are nonexistent, despite the steady rain we’ve had.  And take a look at the endive.

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These endives should be about 12″ in diameter now.  They are a measly 3″ across, with browned, chewed ends.  Most likely chipmunks.

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Our spinach is coming up and it looks all right, except for the leaf miner spots.

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And I’m guessing our broccoli currently resides in the bellies of some happy woodland rodents.

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It’s enough to make anyone contrary.

In some good news, we got the tomato plants situated the way I want.  We’re trying out “ollas” for the tomatoes.  They are not real ollas, which are unglazed clay pots that you bury near your plants and fill with water to provide irrigation.  We’re using a half-gallon milk jug for each tomato plant.  I’ve punch four needle-sized holes into the side closest to the tomatoes, and buried them alongside the tomato plant.

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It looks nice and neat when you’re in the garden, all those little red caps in a row.  We set out 12 tomato plants total this year, cutting back from last year’s 35 — we’ll make up the difference with tomatoes from Seth’s work.  We also put in 5 eggplants, and pulled up enough spring garlic to last for a few weeks.

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All in all, things could be a lot worse.  I’m heading to the garden tonight to put a scoop of worm castings and crushed egg shells into each milk jug.  This way, the tomatoes get a boost of fertilizer and calcium with every watering.

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