Thursday, May 01, 2008

Asparagus bed number 2

Last year (or the year before, I really can't remember) I started on a new project. Well actually I planted some asparagus seeds that I figured would never actually grow and then when they did grow I failed to water them and by some miracle they continued to grow despite being completely neglected. The other day I figured that if they had survived this long they really deserved to be planted in a proper bed and given a chance to produce some delicious shoots (this year we are really enjoying the big fat spears that the plants I planted a few years ago are now producing). So I set about reading all my gardening books and decided that because I was going to plant them in the tunnel house I needed to dig out a huge hole, fill it with some yummy compost etc. and then build it up with extra soil etc. One problem - I have no big supply of compost at the moment. Problem solved - go to the mountains and find lots of rotted leaves, ash, decomposed trees from shitake mushroom growing etc., and pile them into bags. Tired!
Another problem... the temperature outside is about 26 degrees (polite reminder that I was making my new asparagus bed INSIDE the tunnel house) and a huge pit needs to be dug. Problem solved - sweat profusely and take breaks every 20 shovel-fulls. Repeat this over two days and you have your pit dug! Of course it helps to have a rotary hoe to break down the soil first!
Anyway to cut a long story short, I finally managed to dig the pit, throw bags and bags of delicious stuff into it and throw all the soil back on top, dig out a couple of ditches to plant the asparagus in and then throw more soil back on top. Now I just have to hope that after such a big effort the asparagus likes its new home and that in a couple of years it starts producing very big spears! It would also be nice if it kept producing for the ten years or so that all the books say an asparagus patch should produce for. I don't feel like repeating this all over again next year!
Tomorrow I guess it is off into the mountains again to see if I can find something suitable to use for mulch over the top... here's hoping the wild boars are napping!

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