does most of the garden tending-- waters it every day, either early in the morning or after we get home from work. It is important not to water in the heat of the day--I forget why.
So the difference in our background may be why the part of the tending that involves pulling weeds is hard for me. I know weeds. There were a lot of them that grew in the cracks in the sidewalks in Birmingham. Trouble is, I can't tell in the early garden which are weeds and which are plants, till they get big enough to see that some are in a row and some more random. In a row, plants--leave them alone; random, weeds--yank them up! Until then, my weed pulling requires very close supervision by Tom.
Tom does much to encourage the plants along in our thin, clay soil. Several years ago we bought some compost from a farmer in South Congaree. Since then we have added only our own home made compost made of vegetable peels, egg shells, coffee grounds, leaves,etc., turned often and processed with the red wiggler worm. Early in the tending season he transplants the delicate little seedlings a lot, moving them around in the garden, till he finds the very best spot for each to settle in, take hold and flourish the best. Of course we rotate the crops each year. Again, I forget why.
This year the birds have decided to take a bite out of each--and we have watched them do it. This is the first year that has ever happened! I think they have never liked the hybrid ones, but the heirloom ones we planted this year are to their liking.
It may also be the squirrels. We have loads, though for the life of me I can't imagine that they would be hungry with all the bird seed they eat. One of our Republican, NRA supporting, friends tells us with an evil grin that he handles the predator problem with a shotgun. I picture his garden strewn with the dear little bodies of wildlife.
Fail. The raccoon does not care. Apparently he carries the squash to the closest water, washes the pepper off, and down the hatch it goes. Any he leaves for the next visit the rain takes care of and the pepper is washed away. In desperation we called Tom's entomologist brother Sam for professional advice, knowing that he is better than Google any day. Professor Sam, cleared his throat and said, "Hell, Tom. Just plant enough for you and the raccoons."
*Tom wishes me to note that all photographs of vegetables are from our own garden.