With limited time available to me I thought about what would be the best job that would make the most impact and allow me to cross something off my list. A quick scan across the patch drew my eye towards the asparagus beds. Ok so it wasn’t all that urgent, coming in at number 19 on my great big list of things to do. But I had all the gear to do it and it is best to do it in mid-winter and I’d be able to knock it off in the short time I had. So the asparagus beds it was.
I had previously weeded the beds, chopped down all the ferns that had gone yellow and done their job sending goodness to the roots and so there they were all ready for my task. I took my wonky wheelbarrow and parked it beside the beds and filled it full of compost, blood and bone, general fertiliser, a sprinkling of lime to sweeten the soil and loads of sheep poo pellets and mixed it all in well. Kind of like making a cake, but on a grander scale and with some really weird ingredients. OK it is nothing like making a cake at all – except for the verb to mix.
Now is also an ideal time to plant asparagus and I had noticed that there were a few gaps in my beds where some plants hadn’t made it. But I’m realistic enough to know that the conditions in the swamp aren’t the best for asparagus growing and so every year I sow some seeds and grow them up to be one year old crowns that I can plant if I need them. If I don’t then I give them away. The beauty of this, is the asparagus that survives and grows strong will be a case of survival of the fittest and I will end up with asparagus plants that thrive in my conditions – I just need to persevere to find the strong ones, even if it means replanting a couple of crowns every year until I have my full bed!
Once I planted the year old crowns I spread my nutrient enhanced compost over the top and then job done. Now all I have to do is wait for the first fresh tender spears in a couple of months’ time. I can hardly wait.
Come again soon – I think I need to mow again, it’s looking all messy.
Sarah the Gardener : o )