Please don’t consider me promiscuous

Asparagus fronds

Asparagus fronds

But I’m going to try and do 30 beds in 30 days!  And the challenge started yesterday.  I am sitting here with sore aching muscles.  Initially I thought it was the foreign lurgy I brought home from our trip as a souvenir.   Then it occurred to me – this is what hard work feels like!  I have been so crazy busy on other projects and activities that the poor old garden has taken a bit of a back seat.

Baby asparagus's

Baby asparagus’s

There was a point where I thought I’d be spring ready the earliest I’d ever been – in mid autumn.  But then all the crazy kicked in and I had no choice but to turn my back on my lovely garden.  Well not any more.  Crazy busy has been kicked to the curb and Sarah the Gardener is gardening again and it feels good – if not a little achy and the dirt has got under my nails and into my fingers despite starting out wearing gloves!  Oh I’ll admit it.  I’m not me without some kinda dirt under my nails.

old corn bed

old corn bed

It was such a lovely day, a little chilly to start, but nothing that could be called freezing and as I wandered around wondering where to start, this silly little challenge popped into my head – 30 beds in 30 days.  It seems like a great idea to reclaim what crazy took and I set about making a few rules for myself.  It’s not one a day as that can be impossible some days.  Take today for instance – I shall be stuck inside, probably all day, doing accounts that didn’t get done while we were away and paying people that may not have been paid either.  Opps.  If you are one of these poor souls then I am profoundly sorry.  My workspace overlooks the garden so I imagine I shall sigh a lot – especially if the sun is shining again.

the new potato bed

the new potato bed

So it is in the rules to do as may beds as I can in a day, to make up for the days that I don’t get any done.  So I guess that leaves the only other rule – have the garden looking ship shape in 30 days.  I’m not actually sure how many beds I actually have.  I am too afraid to count, although I think it is around thirty-ish.

These really shouldn't have still been there - pretend you never saw them!

These really shouldn’t have still been there – pretend you never saw them!

So far I am three and a half down.  I have to admit – I started with the easy ones.  The asparagus beds are small, but there are two of them, so I cut down the yellowing foliage and gave it a weed.  The sneaky thing had gone and self-seeded everywhere.  But that saves me a job.  So I whipped a few out so I have spares for any gaps in the spring or to share.  I still have to feed them and tuck them in with a layer of good compost, but I have been offered as much cow poo as I want – delivered by the tractor scoop load, so I have to wait.  I am happy to wait for poo!

As much as bright tomato ties can be a bit of an eyesore - it does help to find them all when clearing the bed!

As much as bright tomato ties can be a bit of an eyesore – it does help to find them all when clearing the bed!

Then the old corn bed just needed a light weed and the soil turning over – easy peasy.  It was done in a flash with no real drama.  The spuds will go in there next so I might spread some poo there too.

After that, my conscious started to prick at me.  I needed to clear away the tomatoes.  They shouldn’t still be there and they were on borrowed time anyway, but the frost took care them while I was away and the chance of a last late tomato went with it!  The fact they were a soggy, dismal eyesore wasn’t the problem.  The thing is the onions and garlic need the spot imminently.  Although this in itself created a problem.

Almost there - I just need to take down the structure

Almost there – I just need to take down the structure

By my calculations I should have sown my onion seeds on the 7th of May.  This allows for the post-Christmas delay so I can harvest at my leisure and us being away recently.  But I couldn’t leave seedlings in the care of others – it was just a bit too much to ask, so I decided to buy seedlings on my return.  I took a break from the weeding and set out today to pick some up, but I either couldn’t find any or they were just too manky.  There was nothing for it so I grabbed a whole lot of seeds and had them in seed raising mix as fast as I could.  These seeds are on borrowed time. The shortest day is about two and a half weeks away – which is when you should plant them out, plus two and a half weeks to allow for Christmas, the holidays, unpacking and getting the laundry done.  They need to get to 10 – 15 cm tall in five weeks! Grow little seeds – grow like the wind!

These need to be magic seeds that grow strong and tall in record time!

These need to be magic seeds that grow strong and tall in record time!

So not wanting to leave a job undone, the tomato bed is half done and hopefully will be ready to receive onions in five and a half weeks.  Other beds will fall into line too, as I tame my jungle.  Not today, but within the next 30 days.

Come again soon – I may even find out exactly how many beds I do have…  ooo scary!

Sarah the Gardener  : o )

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22 Comments on “Please don’t consider me promiscuous

  1. What are you going to do if you have fewer than 30 beds?! But it’s very good to have goals, public ones that you feel awkward about going back on. At the rate you’re working, it should be doable even if you do have to take time out to do other things.

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    • Hi Kate. I don’t imagine there will be less than 30. I’ve been lying to myself for a while! I am looking forward to getting some garden time after a bit of neglect that couldn’t be helped.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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  2. That’s a very achievable goal, all the best to you 😉 Btw, would you have any idea when would asparagus crowns be available for sale at garden centers?

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    • Hi Justin. Thanks for your vote of confidence. Asparagus crowns are normally in stores around July. I hope this helps. Cheers Sarah : o )

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  3. What ambition!. I managed to inspire the kids to chop up potatoes and plant the bits in our old barrel, they are sprouting now and they can’t wait to dig them up and try some beans and tomato planting too. Its infectious this gardening lark.

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  4. 30 garden beds? “30 GARDEN BEDS?!!!” I think I am going to have to go and have a lay down now in commiseration with you…kudos on the efforts (way to make me feel guilty for neglecting my 2 garden beds 😉 )

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    • Hi Fran. Your beds are rather large so I imagine our space isn’t so different. Besides the problem is they are neglected, which is the problem. Although when I get to the end I will need to have a lie down!
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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      • I need a lie down just to contemplate going out there as my garden beds are still half full of mad pumpkins and 2 nasturtium vines that are hell bent on taking over the universe. I also have yacon growing and have NO idea when to harvest it, how to process the rhizomes in order to replant them for next season if you even dig them up?!) or what to do with the tubers that they produced this year…so much for novelty gardening! I am just about to move some weldmesh tubes that I made to stop the native animals from scoffing compost into the enclosure to start planting out Jerusalem artichokes in so that they don’t run amok and once I get enough of them I am going to start moving them out to the main garden (protecting them as the wallabies LOVE them)…I have pots of day lilies growing ready to plant out as well as you can eat just about every part of them (the old fashioned orange ones) apparently and they are very drought tolerant… just got given a quince tree and am going to plant it this weekend and with the 26 quinces I just used to make wine I am going to take the cores and bury them in the ground to see if I don’t get some of the seeds growing, free quince trees! Don’t you love this gardening lark? 🙂

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  5. Oh to have fresh asparagus! You are doing great and the cow poo will be so great for your crops. I hope your little onions make it!

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    • Hi Sarah. I love growing the luxury crops. The ones that you would only really buy as a treat. I am quite excited about the poo – in a way that only another gardener would understand!
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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  6. Ambitious project, indeed! Are your tomato ties made out of old t-shirts? I think that is quite genius. I am always looking for ways to repurpose old clothes and other items. I am sure I have some brightly colored t-shirts a short way from being tossed. Now they won’t be. 🙂

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    • Hi Jessica. I think the ties are made of tee shirt material, but I bought them as a ball at a market and they also sell them at our hardware store. But it is an awesome way to upcycle in the garden, and I’m all for that. It is perfect for the plants because it is soft and doesn’t damage the stems.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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  7. It’s fun setting goals like that and then racing to meet them. Good for you, Sarah the Gardener!

    Clearing a bed is hard work, but the results do satisfy, don’t they? I like the structure you’ve built for the tomatoes. Nicely done.

    I wonder if you can layer damp newspaper or cardboard over the turned beds to keep the weeds out before planting, now that you’ve gone to all that hard work?

    Can’t wait to read your updates.

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    • Hi Alys. After trying various techniques to keep my tomato plants upright and failing miserably. Last season I spent some money and bought some metal T stakes and strung wire across so all I needed to do was tie the tomatoes onto the wires. Next season I will modify it to have a couple more stakes and a stronger grade of wire, as under the weight of all the tomatoes it was a bit saggy. Other than that it worked brilliantly.
      I will use a combination of techniques to keep the beds clear until spring – some will be covered in cow poo, some will be sown with a cover crop, and it might be a bit late but I want to plant some wheat to grow a mulch for the summer. I have saved all the cardboard that came with the reno to hopefully spread over some beds as well.
      It feels good to be clearing beds, it makes it look tidy!
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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      • Wow, Sarah, you’ve thought of everything. How nice to have all that reno cardboard for your beds. Cover crops are a great idea, and all the more if you can then use the wheat for mulch. I grew fava beans one year as a cover crop for the added nitrogen, but my beds are small in number so not nearly as challenging as your massive garden. I don’t know how you do it all, but you do it and do it well. Love it!

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  8. I enjoyed seeing your Asparagus fronds. I planted some Asparagus this past January. This is a first for me so don’t know what to expect.

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    • Hi Mike. Fresh asparagus is so good – as you will soon see. But depending on if you planted them as seeds or crowns you may have to wait a bit. For crowns you shouldn’t harvest any in the first year so the plant establish itself. The next year you can take a few spears here and there and then in the third year you can take all of them for the next 20 or so years! For seeds you need to add another year to that!
      We normally stop eating them at Christmas time and let the fronds grow. Then we cut them down to the ground in June, feed them and then wait for the new season spears in September. To translate to northern hemisphere that would be roughly – first spears in first month of spring, last meal – end of last month of summer and cut down the fronds in the first month of winter. – although you may need to take into account zones and snow! I hope this helps.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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