Sunday, November 9, 2008

Tucking the Asparagus in

We really are into Fall now. A predicted light frost early last week led me to bring in a bunch of green tomatoes and ripening peppers, just in case, and in the last few days the leaves have all begun to turn. The maple trees have gone red, the tulip poplars yellow, and the dogwoods a purpley-red. Every day the trees are more beautiful than the day before, but leaves also have begun to fall, so the Great Raking has begun around the neighborhood.

In my garden, the leaves on the blueberry bushes are turning red, and asparagus stalks are turning yellow and brown. This is a clue that it is time to get the asparagus bed ready for winter, so this weekend I cut the plants down to the ground and chopped them up for the compost pile. Over winter, what’s in the compost pile will decompose; what’s left underground will gather strength for Spring.

To help this process of gathering strength along, I used my sharpest hoe to cut down emerging winter weeds in the Asparagus bed---chickweed and purple dead-nettle were coming up already! Then, I spread four bags-worth of composted manure (from a store) over the bed before covering it with chopped-up leaves that were brought over by the teenage boys who live across the street. When they “rake,” they actually use a leaf sucker machine that shreds the leaves as it goes. When the machine’s bag is full, the boys bring it over to dump in my yard. The shredded leaves are great mulch for my garden!

My asparagus is the variety Mary Washington. I know that other kinds grow well here and might even be more productive, but I like that this variety reseeds. Admittedly, keeping sprouting baby asparagus from taking hold between the established plants can be a hassle, but I also appreciate the volunteers that come up in other places. I can dig those up to replant elsewhere and to give away.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...