Belladonna Bess

An edible garden in Wellington, NZ

Asparagus November 23, 2009

Filed under: Garden — belladonnabess @ 9:22 pm

Weeding: my asparagus bed. Not the simplest job, as it is surrounded by a metre high windbreak and then the top is covered with bird netting. I had to pull the windbreak apart to get to the weeds.

And what weeds they were! I have never seen deadnettles the size of the ones I pulled out. It was the biggest, lushest and most thoroughly verdant weed crop I have ever grown. Not surprising when I look back and discover that the square metre that is my asparagus bed will filled with coffee grounds, sheep pellets, blood and bone, worm castings and compost from my bin. The strawberries in the strawberry bed directly below are also rather large.

Planting: the asparagus seedlings I had in pots. I left the ones that were in the ground, as the book said not to transplant them until next year. My whole asparagus bed will have far too many plants for the recommended spacing, but I really want asparagus and I have so little space. I’ve generally found that most vegetables grow fine planted much closer than recommended as long as the soil is fertile enough. The condition of my giant weeds suggests that the soil is extremely fertile, but just in case, I remulched the bed after planting the seedlings.

Mulching: well-rotted horse manure, coffee grounds, plus a bit of rok solid and blood and bone, covered with old newspaper and a bit of pea straw.

Reconstructing: the windbreak.

Spotting: some seriously hyperactive earthworms – when I disturbed the soil pulling out weeds they decided to go elsewhere. I’ve never seen such fast worms. Caffeinated earthworms? Also a giant spider on the strawberry net (think it was some sort of wolf spider) and a population of earwigs that appeared to be nesting in the pieces of old stocking that were tying up my windbreak. So my garden has no shortage of invertebrate life.

Eating: strawberries, silverbeet (some gigantic leaves, puts last season’s crop to shame), broad beans, herbs, lettuce, peas, carrots (they are now large enough to be called baby carrots rather than carrot thinings), broccoli.




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