Monday, April 18, 2016

First asparagus

Today I harvested the first asparagus spears.  The roots were planted in 2014.  Last year the first spears appeared on April 8.  Nothing was picked last year, their first full year.  With the mild winter I expected the first spears to show up earlier than last year.  Maybe it was the cold spell in April, but the asparagus showed up later this year.  At any rate they are here, and I can't wait to try them this evening.

There's been a lot of work to do in the garden this week.  Two of the raised beds were tilled up for planting.  I was pleasantly surprised by the tilth of the soil.  All I had to do was break up the soil with a hoe, remove the weeds and rake it smooth.   In years past it was necessary to spade over the beds then break up the clay clods with a power cultivator.  It looks like the organic content of the soil is finally sufficient to prevent the clay from 'clotting' up.

I prepped the two beds in the center of the picture.  With temperatures near 80 F, the soil surface of one bed was already dried after the second bed was prepped.

In the cold frame were about sixty-five Ruby Ring onion seedlings and some brassica seedlings, ready for planting.  Right now there's just enough space in the cold frame and under the indoor lights to hold all the seedlings, as I move the larger seedlings into the cold frame to make room for planting more seeds.

The lettuce is producing a regular supply of greens now.  Soon I'll need to start another SWC.

After a hiatus last year parsnip is back in the planting schedule.  I seeded a 4x4 section in parsnip.

The first set of brassicas was lost to a triple whammy of storms, mole damage, and finally rabbits, which administered the coup de grace.  So I built a frame to go over the raised bed to protect the new cole crops.   Chicken wire is on the sides and Agribon row cover was stapled over the top.   Should keep the bunnies out.

Today the large bed got the treatment.  It's got a pretty good cover of oats and field peas growing on it.  Most of this bed will be planted in squash and sweet potatoes, but that's nearly a month away.

About a third of this bed was spaded over and cultivated for potatoes, two rows of Red Pontiacs and one row of Kennebecs.  

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Dave @ HappyAcres said...

Our asparagus has definitely been on-again, off-again this year. I think this warm spell has it back producing again. Your rabbit protection look good! Something like that would work for me in summer, and let me grow taller crops than my cold frames covers allow.

Margaret said...

Congrats on your first asparagus harvest! I'm itching for mine, which won't be until next year at the earliest. At this stage, I would be happy just seeing some spears coming up...we had a late spring and no signs of them yet.

Mark Willis said...

The first few Asparagus spears of the year are always a special treat. Enjoy! That wire anti-bunny cover for the raised bed looks pretty fine. I could use one of them to keep my badgers at bay!

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