Friday, July 30, 2010

Hello Old Friend

Gardening is never boring, tedious sometimes, and usually hard work but so much to see and enjoy. Hello old friend. It's really good to see you again.
The top garden looks relatively dry but the bottom by the access path is so wet that I went home this week with an inch of mud on my boots to squelch and slither on, hopefully lose most of, all the way home.
Cleaning up the asparagus bed was quite rightly a job that belonged to Autumn but it is clear I didn't get that far. Never mind. Clipped back the fronds and even the weeds were lovely. Lots of stinging nettle courtesy of sheep manure last year, and calendula because I let it seed. These are orange and yellow and cheerful and easy to pull out when they become a pest. For once I had the recommended compost mix right there in the wheelbarrow of dry carbon matter and soft green weeds plus a generous serve of soil because it was still wet enough to stick to the roots.

There were a few mossy tinges of green on the soil and I put a sprinkle of wood ash down first. I know it has a limited liming effect and having read a bit more, may do a follow up with lime because asparagus does not like an acid soil. Besides that I had a small stash of by now, very smelly, slimy seaweed. On with you and to cover it all a layer of woody muck from the cow byre.

But wait, there's more. The final layer is going to be compost but the path is too slippery for the minute to get my wheelbarrow up which brings me to mulches. We lose the first asparagus in spring to frosts so the plan is to bury the crowns deeper so that it comes through later. Apart from physical depth, a mulch layer will slow down the warming of the ground so that should also set it back a bit. It will also retain the moisture which this year is already in the soil. It can of course keep the moisture out.
Elsewhere in the garden, I've heard that bare soil around fruit trees can reduce frost damage, something to do with reflected light I think. Mulches around the trees tend to be fairly mobile anyway as the birds, hedgehogs whatever scratch them out.

This is the broad bean/garlic patch, take your pick. I did a composite photo but you couldn't tell the difference so here it/ they is/are. The point of note here is nothing to note. Hmmm. I am considering digging around to see what is below. At this stage it feels a bit like cheating. For some reason it reminded me of finding out what sex your child is at a prenatal scan. Ridiculously over dramatic, nevertheless I resisted and will check when they went in and then consider it again.

I presoaked both the garlic and the beans, normally a sure fire starter to success but the big rains, the rains of 2010 followed and I wonder whether they have rotted in the ground. On an optimistic note there are no new weeds in that soil either meaning that things just aren't growing yet or are they...

The pea-beans are up (they were not pre-soaked). These are an heirloom plant I know nothing about. I was sent the seed so like Jack and his beanstalk I will have to see what develops and keep a look out for giants, singing harps and geese laying golden eggs.
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  1. Oh I hope those seeds haven't rotted, it's such an anticlimax.
    Harry loved his cards, thanks Johnny and Jude, they are just beautiful. And he loved his lego torch too, thanks!
    The pea beans are very intriguing- I can't wait to see how they turn out.

  2. Well things down there sound like they are beginning to thaw out - another season on its way. I bet you're thrilled to see the return of warmer times.

  3. Well the really harsh winter that was predicted has not quite eventuated and it's amazing to see that it's well on the way to planting time again.Somehow just reading about your garden makes spring seem closer.