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Michelle Obama: 8 food and garden tips, stories from the First Lady

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A carrot crop covered by straw

By Ian R. Maxwell

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3. Worms and rain

Obama says that one of the biggest problems she and the others working on the White House Kitchen Garden faced their first spring was cutworms, a kind of caterpillar. The other major challenge was keeping the soil moist enough, but not so damp that it washes away when rain hits. The garden staffers covered new plants with paper cups, minus their bottoms, to protect the plants from cutworms and added straw on top of the garden beds to make sure the soil was damp enough, but would stand firm if the garden had to weather a rainstorm.

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