Preparing an asparagus bed for spring

I had a feeling that I walked up to this distant potager bed and snapped a shot of the weedy glory. Thinking, this will make a great ‘before’ shot to horrify you all.

But I’ve scrolled and scrolled just now and can’t find it.

So let me paint a word picture for you instead.

Revolting. Weedy, messy, unkempt.

The problem with an asparagus patch is you tend to ignore it once the season is over. And for us that means the end of April, or early May if the winter has been cold and the first spears don’t come up until the end of March.

I decided that the shame was too much and I had time on my hands. So I ventured forth.

I was actually wanting to make use of the excellent compost in the heaps at the far end of the potager bed. And for the first time ever up here, I’ve had a success.

The answer is a milder climate and covering the heaps.

You can see that I tucked a bit of weed proof fabric over the top of the heap once it had reached a good girth.

And it helped with the breaking down process far better than any other year. I suspect because the weeds didn’t regerminate and thrive in among the mess.

I have emptied one whole cubic metre of lovely stuff and plodded down to the lower potager with endless buckets of gold.

But I saved some for the raspberry bed and the newly weeded asparagus patch.

It won’t be enough to stop the weed fest of annual weeds coming up in spring. But at least I feel I have fed the bed for the first time in years, and pulled off the old asparagus growth (leaving stalks so I can see where last year’s spears came up). There are gaps. But I’m hoping the usual self seeding fest of mess takes place again and keeps the vegetables regenerating.

I did dig up a lot of coriander seedlings in this bed – they are self sown here for years, but I didn’t want to bury them in under thick mulch.

So they are in pots in the potting shed where they can grow with a bit more care and attention.

Speaking of attention – this works.

May I please re-name my cat Trip Hazard. She has worked out that if she positions herself winsomely on the steps leading up to the potager I will be forced to play and get slashed and scratched before I’m allowed to pass.

I’m thrilled with these strips of weed proof fabric in between the rows of asparagus and hard-wood cuttings of the soft fruit. Jostaberries in a row, then redcurrant and a few escaping raspberries.

All the ones in the lower potager have come up here now to their dedicated bed. I am loathing the runners of raspberries turning up everywhere in among my veg.

Here I feel they are a bit corralled. Or they just have to work harder to reach the soil on the other side.

I did warn you this might be a rather ‘brown’ post.

If we ever get any rain it will spring into life.