Spring is just on the horizon and many of you are reading gardening magazines and dreaming of building a garden that will make the neighbors believe you know what you are doing. The forces of nature are your true enemies, regardless of how you carefully build your flower and vegetable beds. As much as you care about your seedlings and baby plants, you will start believing an evil force is plotting against you. Gardening Rule #1... No matter what you do, it will be wrong! It's not your fault though. How were you to know it would snow in May? Or that a drought would stricken the land this summer while your sprinkler is busted? Gardening is about woulda, coulda, shouldaâ€¦ in hindsight. Gardening Rule #2... Plant your seeds in the spring. And watch them get washed three houses down the street when the 10-year downpour settles in. Try it again, with the same results. Third time is a charm. Maybe. Gardening Rule #3... Plant your corn inside a chain link fence to keep the deer from eating the corn faster than you can pick it. Yes, deer can and do jump chain link fences and will stomp down your corn. Gardening Rule #4... If you plant salad greens and strawberries at ground level, they will taste of cat or dog. Many old farmers refuse to ever eat a raw vegetable. Good advice is to plant salad greens, strawberries and herbs in elevated planters. And don't let your male dog have access. Gardening Rule #5... Those sweet bunnies that look so adorable when they are scooting through your garden are actually fuzzy terrorists that can take down your entire garden while you are sipping your first cup of coffee. One solution is to plant a ring of marigolds and put your tender plants inside the circle. Rabbits donâ€™t like the smell of marigolds. Gardening Rule #6... Coyote urine works really well to keep your garden safe from grazing predators. It does stink, so donâ€™t use it close to your house. How you are going to gather the coyote urine could be a story worth publishing. Gardening Rule #7... You can use dog hair from dog groomers, mixed with human hair from a hairdresser, to cut down on pests in your garden. The birds will love to repurpose the hair clippings when it's time to make their nests. Gardening Rule #8... One gardening mistake you will regret is planting cucumbers close to cantaloupe. Squash-flavored cantaloupe is not a delicacy, at least not in this country. Gardening Rule #9... Plant a groundhog garden somewhere away from your vegetable garden. That doesnâ€™t mean you will have crops of baby groundhogs in the Spring, it's a distraction tactic. Gardening Rule #10... Snakes in your garden are scary. Itâ€™s usually a good idea to leave the snakes alone. Personally, I like running away and screaming. With any luck, it will scare the snake away.
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