13 April 2014

Actual gardening!

We were promised rain today and my gardening plans were suitably modest - maybe sowing a few seeds in the greenhouse.

But instead, the day proved to be gloriously sunny and warm and for the first time in six months I was able to get some work done outside. The chickens seem to be enjoying being out again after months of unusual captivity.

I never bother to cut down the old asparagus ferns in the Fall because a) I'm lazy and b) I kid myself that they give the asparagus roots a bit of extra protection in the winter. But that means that I have to do it in the Spring and today seemed like the perfect opportunity, given the unexpected window of lovely weather and the disappearance of most of the lingering snow.

Here's the 'before' photo of one of the tyre/tire beds, bristling with dead ferns and tangled with quack grass:

And here's the 'after', when I'd pulled out the old ferns and dug out the weeds (which is relatively easy to do at this stage of the year, before the new spears start emerging):

The last stage in the process was to add a top-dressing of well-rotted chicken manure. This is the batch-before-last, probably the one I made in 2012. It's lovely now - all crumbly and soft and full of insect and (I presume) microbial life.

My rhubarb plant from 2008 is also in one of these tires and is just starting to produce buds. I dug it up, split it in two and replanted half in the old tire and half in a spare one where one of the other original rhubarb plants hadn't survived. They got a shovelful of chicken-litter-compost over them, too.

By the end of all that I was exhausted and extremely warm. I'd almost forgotten what it felt like to feel hot outside!

1 comment:

Lisa from Iroquois said...

I also leave our asparagus ferns intact over the winter, mostly because it lets me locate the patch in the spring. I did not know you could pull them as opposed to cutting them off low. Good to know. We cannot get to our garden yet, still snow covered but that's changing daily.