I think I’ve identified my red-and-black garden guests: they’re Box elder beetles. Mainly harmless, the Internet tells me, except as a nuisance, especially when they cover the entire side of your house and lay eggs everywhere. I’ll pass, thanks. There are a good number of them in the garden, but not enough to be alarming, so I’m content to leave them alone if they leave me alone.

Jen’s very garden-wise mother has apparently given her the okay to plant green beans. She lives south of me, but not by a lot. And the 10-day weather forecast was already making me think about breaking from my carefully-planned planting schedule and putting out my green beans early, maybe later this week. The last frost date for zone 5 is between March 30 and April 30 anyway.

So I’m going to set out the sunflowers and marigolds tomorrow to start hardening them off (I completely forgot to do this with the broccoli; I hope they’re okay), and this weekend I believe I’m going to plant the sunflowers and marigolds and nasturtiums and green beans. Note to box elder beetles: if you bother these plants, I will no longer be leaving you alone.

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