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Alice’s Garden Spot — Oh Dear, Deer Have Struck

To grow a successful backyard vegetable garden, not unlike a journalist, you need knowledge of what, where, when and how to plant a crop. You also need hope that the late frosts, cool nights, early heat waves, drought, insects and critters don't destroy all your efforts. I had my hope shaken yesterday morning when I went out to my garden and saw that a critter, I believe a deer, had eaten most of my large green tomatoes and the leaves and branches of about six of my plants. I now have what's left covered with a pea net. I should have done it earlier, since deer ate my plants last year also. But I hadn't seen many deer this year, just a few in the field and not in my yard, so I was lulled into thinking I could wait. I have a couple of plants with large tomatoes left, but my chance for a Fair entry is probably nil. Deer also ate my green potato tops, almost to the ground. First time I can remember that happening. Anyone else having deer problems with their plants? -- Alice Rankin/Alice's Garden Spot.

Full post here. (I'll post links to previous columns by Alice later this morning.

Question: Which Alice Rankin tip has helped you most this 2007 growing season?

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Huckleberries Online

D.F. Oliveria started Huckleberries Online on Feb. 16, 2004. Oliveria's Sunday print Huckleberries is a past winner of the national Herb Caen Memorial Column contest.