This is the garlic that I planted last fall. It's not an optical illusion that the plants in the middle of the bed are smaller. This is the 'after' shot. Before the weeding that was accomplished on Wednesday, you would see a sea of Canadian Thistle exactly where the plants are smaller. With the help of a CSA member, we took advantage of the moisture in the soil and weeded out all that thistle. Now the garlic will hopefully thrive like it's neighbors who did not get invaded by weeds. It is amazing how weeds affect the health and growth of crops by sucking out soil nutrients and generally crowding them. Thank you Cece for your help rescuing the garlic!