Today was a beautiful day in the yard. I bought purple asparagus yesterday (because that was all the nursery had in stock) and today was planting day. As usual I started my day by screening about 25 gallons of compost for the asparagus bed. I let the chickens out to roam the yard and they had a good time eating the worms and grazing on the new grass growth.
I toured the yard quickly before planting and noticed a lot of new seedlings coming up including radishes, peas, spinach, parsnips, turnips and beets. Yesterday I put bird netting over the peas to keep the chickadees from eating them.
Well on to the asparagus project. Quite a few years ago I had a bad experience with asparagus. Asparagus takes about three years to be able to harvest and I was on my third year and was excited about finally getting to eat this tasty spring crop. I waited and waited and nothing. I was perplexed and had no clue what had happened as the previous two years it had come up well. I did a little research and learned that you should not prune back the asparagus frons until late winter/early spring. I had cut them back in the fall. The problem with that is the stalks are hollow and I think water got down to the roots and froze the crowns. As it takes so long to get any results with asparagus I was not interested in taking on this veggie again anytime soon.
Well it took about five years and here I am again. I have chronicled the asparagus planting process for you and photograped the steps. My disclaimer is that I have just a little space so I crammed my crowns and rows much closer together than if I had ample room. With that in mind here goes the asparagus adventure.
I purchased two bundle of purple asparagus from a garden center (ten crowns in a bundle for about $9 a bundle). I brought the asparagus home and buried it in the compost pile overnight to keep the crowns from drying out (they will die off easily if dried out). After screening the compost this morning I was ready to go to work.
I took the first trench dirt and filled a few holes in the yard where the big dog has been digging. Once the trench was dug I poured five gallons of compost in the hole and mounded it up in the middle of the trench so I could spread out the crowns.
I then poured another five gallons of compost over the crowns and I filled up the trench about 3/4 of the way with regular soil from the next trench (see above). I continued the process by digging and planting three tightly planted trenches.
I used the rest of the excess soil throughout the yard and used some to fill the potato bins a little more. Once all the planting was done I watered it in. Straw mulch is a good idea but I did not have any straw on hand today so I will spread some out when I get another bale for the chickens.
Another project I tackled today was moving an espaliated pear tree as the neighbors planted a pine tree about three feet from the pear tree which will kill the pear in no time. I transplanted the pear by trading places with a honeysuckle vine and trells. They both look better in their new homes with the honeysuckle now surrounded by raspberry vines.
During my last trip to Home Depot I had an impulse purchase of a lemon tree that I have always wanted but our climate is not conducive to keeping it alive in the winter (only hardy to 30 degree). Oh well, guess it will live outside in the summer and I will bring it inside in the winter. The tree already had three lemons on it and they are tasty and not too sour.
Hope your spring garden is coming along well. Well back to work……