Sunday, July 8, 2012

Winter garden update - asparagus crowns and more

My vegetable garden has never looked so good in the middle of winter. I am doing jobs I wouldn't normally do until spring. Now I realise why spring is so overwhelming and why I never do as well as I hope. I started too late!

I have spent a few hours in the garden every weekend for the last 6 weeks at least. Today was no exception.  I had a very productive day that I am so happy about. So I wanted to share an update with you.

A few years ago I tried groing asparagus but gradually it all died. After a gap of several years I thought I'd try again. I feel very confident that I can get it right this time.  You can grow asparagus from seed but I'm too impatient for that! I have bought mature crowns. They look like some alien sea creature.

I filled a garden bed with 2 bags of mushroom compost and 2 wheelbarrow loads of homemade compost. Thanks chookie girls!  Last year my beds where very compacted and dry. I poured bags of bought compost on top to be able to plant. Then in autumn I left piles of garden rubbish, weeds, stalks etc on top of a couple of beds I wasn't using. I scraped away the twiggy bits and found that the soil was beautiful soft and rich. So I just piled the mulch on top. Asaparagus are notoriously heavy feeders.

The crowns have long spindly roots that need to be buried 25cm deep. That's a deep hole to dig. I found a stick that was roughly a foot long to help measure.

The asparagus won't produce spears for months so I've planted some radish seeds down the centre of the bed. They will grow and be harvested quickly. This is called catch cropping - fitting a quick grower in amongst the slower. The catch crop is harvested before it competes for space.

I've spread a layer of lucerne mulch over the top to keep the soil moist and further enrich the soil.

Quickly, I also planted red cardinal silverbeet - I've ever seen this variety before, and mustard greens in amongst my existing silverbeet. I need even more leafy greens as we will have to share with the chickens. And a couple of punnets of snow peas. This was the first crop I grew in this garden and they went so well! Lucky they freeze.

Whatever you are doing this week, I hope you win at it! Keep smiling.

1 comment:

  1. mmm harvesting your own home grown asparagus...sounds wonderful!



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