Monday, January 07, 2008

Asparagus Bed

Our poor, neglected garden......

Getting things flanged up in the garden in the fall is always a problem for Jo and I.
  • We've put in a lot of time out there over the spring, summer and early fall. When garden activities that must be done come to an end, we're ready for a break from the garden.
  • The weather starts turning funky and there are more days that we cannot work outside.
  • Cutting firewood (and all the associated splitting, hauling, stacking, etc.) is a more pressing priority on the days when we can do outside work.
  • The days are getting shorter and there's less daylight for working outdoors.
  • Late fall is one of our busiest times of the year for doing shows, maintaining inventory, etc.
Anyway, those are our excuses, excuses, excuses for not putting our garden to bed for the winter the way we really should, but on Sunday Jo finally made a start on our garden "To Do" list by cleaning up the asparagus bed. She removed all the freeze-killed fern tops and spread a layer of composted manure on the bed. The bed still needs to be mulched heavily. We should also go ahead and add a border to this bed while the asparagus is dormant.

My outdoor activity for the day was splitting a little firewood and loading the log hoop on the porch. I can't believe I was out splitting firewood in January wearing a t-shirt. Our temperature made it all the way up to 71º. Very strange. The skies fluctuated between partly and mostly cloudy with s strong and gusty south wind blowing.

We didn't even have a fire in the wood stove on Sunday, though we probably could have used just a little bit of heat during the evening. The problem is: It's difficult to get a wood stove to put out just a little bit of heat. I tried taking the chill off the damp air inside the house Saturday evening and ended up with the inside temperature up around 75º.



Anonymous said...

take care of that Asparagus bed! Hmm, I could eat Asparagus every night of my life!

Mary said...

You are not alone. When I walk outside, I sigh at the leftover weeds, and the brown mess all around. The pond looks neglected (well, it is!) and it's only January 7.

After being in the teens last week, we rolled up our sleeves for 70 today. Weird, weird weather. The flys, bees, and lizards came around.

Asparagus! I look forward to your spring and summer posts!

Dave @ Around Alaska said...

Spliting firewood when the temps are in the 70's? I need to send you some of our weather. :)

Anonymous said...

My best friend, who is no longer with us, was a pharmacist. He planted a lot of asparagus once and then forgot about it. The only thing, he said, he ever did to it was disk it in the fall and let it go. He had tons of asparagus each year and gave most of it away. He also fried it in butter for himself and me sometimes.

You have a big garden. I see lots of things that look familiar to me. I used to hate spading the garden each year during World War II. But mom saved the seed and we planted a garden each year and lived on that and eggs from the chickens and an occasional old hen who had stopped laying.

I don't think I could do all that work again. At least not at my age now. I envy those who can.

A very nice post, Marvin. And interesting to me.

Ron said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Q said...

Dear Marvin,
I am still letting the gardens rest. I figure we will get to it this spring. It is lots of work but I love going out to the garden in the summer and picking supper. Maybe I will plant lettuce in March. The rabbits always get 75% of it!
Glad the strong storms went around you. Southern Missouri really did get hit hard.

Marvin said...

Tom: I spent a good part of my life not liking asparagus, but that was before I'd eaten fresh asparagus.


I agree, Mary. There's certainly enough projects awaiting our attention to warrant a big sigh. So I sigh, then pick up the camera and go wandering in the woods.

You can bet that an asparagus shoot will be one of my first spring posts.


Be kind, Dave, just send me something half as bad as your weather.


I avoid spading or even tilling as much as possible, Abraham. We use permanent raised beds. That's why I really need to do some work out in the garden. If I don't get the beds mulched good, the spring weeds will get so far ahead of us that spading or tilling will be the only reasonable option.

Our asparagus usually goes into a stir-fry of one type or another.


Ron: I resisted fencing our garden for a number of years. Then, we finally put up a barbed wire fence to keep my neighbors cows out. A couple of years ago, the deer got so bad we had to add the electric fence inside the barbed wire fence.

If you anticipate having to use and electric fence, get it up early in the season before the deer become accustomed to eating in the garden. Also, “train” the deer. Some squares of aluminum foil attached to the fence and smeared with peanut butter will attract the deer to the fence so they'll get zapped and come to fear the fence. Finally, if you use standard metal electric fence posts, cover the tops of the posts with plastic containers or something similar. If you don't, you'll electrocute a lot of hummingbirds.


Sherry: When spring rolls around, we'll have more work to do than we can get done. Ever little bit that we can get done now will benefit us then. After all, half the cottontails in the county depend upon us for their food supply. We can't let them down.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Marvin, It sounds like you had good excuses not to do certain things in your garden. :) It is amazing how those "to do" lists carry over to the next year. This way you will know you are always needed.

Marvin said...

I like your perspective, Lisa. ;-)

lisa said...

Aw heck, just think of the leftover plant tops as "winter interest" (that's what flower gardeners call it), then it sounds intentional! :) I feel your pain, though...vegetable beds need more attention than flower beds do. Boy, I know about keeping bunnies fed! I'm gonna try some veggies/lettuce in wash tubs on stands this year...bunnies can't reach them, but deer will be another story! Fingers crossed!

Marvin said...

"Winter interest", huh? I must try to remember that.

I'll keep my fingers crossed that your veggies in wash tubs doesn't lead to the genetic selection of some kind of giraffe-necked cottontail bunny.

lisa said...

Heh...if ANY varmint could evolve that way, it's a rabbit!