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Morales: This is the start of something big ... hopefully
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A vegetable garden takes a good foundation, some sunshine and a little TLC: Try your hand at growing your own produce with these tips from an expert.

Every spring, it becomes a mantra for me: This year will be the year.

But this year, I really mean it. Seriously.

You see, every year I plant a garden. I started with tomatoes way back when I was a recent college graduate, throwing seeds in the puny backyard of the house I was renting. (That didn't work out so well.)

With each year comes more experience and more varieties. When I lived in Florida I had great success with Brussels sprouts (too bad my husband won't eat them), and my tomatoes were happy vines until hurricanes cut them down. Two years in a row.

But this year - this is the one. Honestly.

I started my current garden a couple of years ago, on a sunny spot the previous homeowners used. I've added to it since then, making it now two large raised beds. I added some new topsoil just a couple of weeks ago and I'm eagerly awaiting the results of my soil test.

The seeds are ordered, garden plan drawn up and the rain barrel is hooked up to a soaker hose. I am ready.

But, of course, there will be pitfalls along the way. So, I've decided to share my gardening experience with you, offering extra insight from local experts and exposing any pests or diseases that I may run across.

So, consider this the start of All Grown Up, a monthly gardening series where, hopefully, you and I will learn something new about vegetable gardening, and enjoy some fresh tomatoes in the process.

Because, I swear, this will be the year.

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