Asparagus and soft fruit fest

I’ve come in at lunch to actually have lunch. Yesterday I seemed to have only hoovered chocolate and then wolfed a tin of mackerel around 5. Not sustaining. And today there is more heavy work to do.

I started off at the lower vegetable garden and weeded like a demon. Lots of weeds in between the onions and garlic; but they are growing well despite the competition. Then it was on to the top future broad bean bed. It needed a good weed and a rake. I should be planting the broad beans- but I don’t think I have time.

Then on to the blackcurrant and jostaberry bushes. They have so many brambles wrapped around the bases of each chaotic bush that it took a while to snip everything away. I cleared a few feet around each, shook a handful of fish blood and bone fertilizer and then shovelled on a heap of the gravel mulch. I wish it wasn’t so blindingly white. Last night I was thinking it would be a good investment to buy a decent branch-chipping machine. I need to cover a lot of things and it would solve the problem of the bark chips. But maybe we will build a pergola over the end of the vegetable bed and we won’t see the mess of the fruit bushes and the brambles and nettles over the sceptic tank.fruit-bushes-mulched.JPG

I pulled out a huge bucket full of the nettles and settled them into their future soup of a fertilizer bucket. They just macerate for about a month and turn into wonderful food. Most people tend to think it needs warmth and good conditions to create the stuff, but having started late in the year doesn’t have much effect. It seems to be working well on the Swiss chard and the spinach.

A few of the soft fruit trees have chaotic branches, so I pruned a few and made a few dozen cuttings and placed them in pots. I have no idea if they will take, but it seems the easiest gardening I am doing today, so it may work.

Now I need to haul things up and get on with the asparagus bed. But lunch first. A fortifying glug of lots of our lovely spring water and it will be up and at ’em.

6pm – had to use the torch to plant the little brodiea white bulbs as I couldn’t see which way was up in the gloom. Goodness only knows how many I planted the wrong way before I realised I had to resort to the torch. Anyway, sixty of the little things have gone in under the snowball tree and around the Mahonia at the front of the house. I was relieved to see that the soil was quite good and even had some depth. No wonder the weeds thrive under there.

Glorious afternoon, really sunny and warm. Maybe 12 degrees, but I couldn’t tell. I was digging hard and working up quite aasparagus-covered.JPG sweat. Sorry glow. The asparagus is in. And looking mighty ugly under i’s black plastic. But I know I can’t weed it this spring. It will be work enough to care for the raspberries.

I dug a trench on the southern slope of the asparagus to build up a bank of soil. Hoping that the rain that falls on the plastic will puddle onto the trenched up asparagus corms. The strange little crowns were quite fun to plant. Sort of like planting strands of spaghetti. But I managed to get 22 in. (is that right? I keep forgetting to take pen and paper up with me and its way too far to walk to go and bring anything back).

Must buy six more crowns to complete the row.

I found an awful lot of euphorbia seedlings up on the top potager. And came up with a cunning plan. There were so many of the creatures that I have decided to have fun with them and plant them along the wall of euphorbia-planted.JPGthe barn. It may not work and they may not reach statuesque proportions. But it felt like proper pretty plant work. So I hoed like mad along the border. And then stuck them in.

Then it was back down to the courtyard to try and get things neater. I hate having to leave tomorrow. There just isn’t enough time to get things done. I swept and cleaned and then launched into this mad dusk bulb planting work. I realised that tomorrow morning will be swallowed up visiting the mayor’s office and pleading our case for three windows as well as the planning permission for the roof.

And then it will be time to go. I will have plenty of work while I’m away. Nicolas wants us to go to a nursery to get some serious seed and plant purchases in for the bank. Gulp.