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Heirloom tomatoes are a popular choice for gar...

Heirloom tomatoes are a popular choice for gardeners. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve wanted to start a vegetable garden in my backyard for years.  But I was always bamboozled by the need to create some sort of system to thwart the rabbits and other critters in the yard.  The perfect became the enemy of the good and I was paralyzed.


Over our terrible winter of psychiatric issues, kid #2 expressed a desire to grow some of our own food.  But when I mentioned the rabbit challenges, she became discouraged.  Well, hell, that wasn’t my intent.  I decided to make do with what we’ve got and we went forth to our local nursery.



In addition to Lowe’s and Home Depot, we’re incredibly fortunate to have an organic nursery nearby run by a friendly hippie named Alex.  (A sign on the wall


Marijuana (Photo credit: absolut xman)

warned customers not to ask about marijuana growing techniques as the nursery isn’t part of a growing cooperative.  Welcome to California!)  We threw ourselves at Alex’s mercy and he was very helpful.  He told us which plants grow best here (just about everything with a long growing season), in which soil.  I showed him digital photos of our jerry-rigged planting system — an old wrought iron picnic table with large containers on top — and he was enthusiastic about our chances for success.  We bought heirloom seeds for lettuce, cayenne peppers, tomatoes, and cherry tomatoes, plus organic vegetable soil and biodegradable seed starter pots.  He gave us some heirloom carrot seeds, compost tea and even an additional 10% discount, plus a planting chart and loads of free advice.


Kid #2 and I had a great time getting the seeds started and she’s scouring the planting chart with plans for our next set of seeds.  We’re both imagining a bounty of summer vegetables that actually taste like they’re supposed to taste.  Fingers crossed for a bountiful harvest!  Of course, we can always go back and get more advice from Alex, too.

Your name may not be Alex, but any tips on gardening would be heaven-sent.  I’m a little worried about starting from seeds.  Or maybe that’s impatience.