Hi Brian.... Sounds like snails and slugs may have eaten your crop last year... we go out at night with a flash light ...and collect them... and feed to our chickens... this gets the population down! Aphids are sometimes a problem... can spray with soapy water or just wash off plants with a hose. I have tried introducing ladybugs and praying mantises.... Mostly we just try to keep the soil really healthy and then the plants are too and tend to have less bug damage. Hope this helps! Come over sometime to see the garden! Bring your kids! Did you hear we are going to have a farmer's market in the village?!
Hi Brian! Nice to hear from you and see that you have an interest in backyard gardening! It's so much fun! You'll have to come over sometime and see our place. WE live in Vandenberg Village..... BTW did you know that a farmers' Market will be starting here soon! Check it out ........ http://villagegoesgreen.org/index.html
PS My son is going to EL Chorro in May... Great PLace!