The first crop of thistles is in! After cleaning up the dinner dishes, I spent the evening hours in the garden with My Darling B, pulling weeds. Now, every keystroke sends a pulsing bolt of pain through my fingertips. Got a pair of tweezers I can borrow?

I started in the lettuce patch because it was easiest to weed. Even a doofus like me can tell the difference between a thistle and a head of lettuce. I pulled up quite a bit of dill, too, but only because I couldn’t pull up the thistles without getting some dill, and they were all voluteer plants anyway. There are plenty more, all over the yard. It’s not like we’re going to be hurting for dill any time soon.

After I cleared out the lettuce patch of all the thistles (and some dill) I moved on to the bean patch. That wasn’t so easy. Well, pulling up the thistles was. They’re big and ugly as hell and they don’t look remotely like a bean sprout. Tomatilla sprouts, on the other hand, do look sort of like bean sprouts, and there were a milion zillion quadrillion of them growing in the bean patch. Tomatillas are the rabbits of the plant world.

We like tomatillas; they make great salsa, but they’re not supposed to be growing in the bean patch. The thing about tomatillas is, once you plant a bunch of them, you never want for tomatillas ever again. They grow like weeds, prolifically, everywhere. They grow in your hair if you scratch your head while you’re pulling them up. Don’t even think about rubbing your nose.

To weed them out, I had to slowly pick through the thick mat of tomatilla leaves to find a bean plant, then pull up tomatillas all around the bean until I could see dirt. After that, I could pull them out of the ground by the handful and toss them aside after shaking the dirt out of their roots before I had to slow down and pick through the leaves, looking for another bean plant.

Once the beans were free and clear I moved over to the corn patch where some monster thistles were rearing their ugly heads. All the rain we had this weekend made them easy to pull out. If I was careful I could get six or eight inches of root to come out with one long, steady pull.

After a couple hours of that my knees and lower back were stiff enough to warrent knocking off before the sun went down so I could stretch out my stiffened legs and imbibe some muscle relaxant.

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