Preparing the asparagus bed for winter

artur asparagusWe are weeding the asparagus bed. In the blazing sunhine, in a sun hat and down to one layer of winter clothing.

One of us is finding it way too much taxing and keeps flopping down under the forest of fronds and snoozing.

And it’s not me. I’m full of beans. The soil is moist after last week’s rain, and the mulch I applied over the summer – grass cuttings – comes away easily.

I even have a handy place to put all the mulch. Next to the asparagus bed where I will plant potatoes next year.

So all is well. And for the first time in years, the asparagus bed gets a bit of attention.

I only cut the fronds back when they start to turn quite yellow. Half are turning, but I will resist cutting the whole bed for another month yet.

asparaguscompostIt’s one of the easy guides in autumn – don’t cut down until they die back. asparagus weeding artur

I have buckets of home made compost to cover over the entire bed. And then, when I have the mower back, I’ll cover it up for a winter of warmth with a few acres of grass cuttings.

Jean Daniel’s asparagus just along the terrace will get the same treatment. I’m very pleased that we have 70 per cent of the crowns still going after being planted in spring.

When you think of the tough conditions they have had to endure this summer, I’m actually relieved.

aspjdverticalI’m much prefer to cover these long productive beds with my home made chipped mulch. But I have to be realistic. It takes hours to cut the branches and find the dead ones in the forest.

I then have to drag them down to the stables and turn the branches to chips.  Fill bags and bags of the chipped wood and then haul them back right to the top of the farm.  It will take me all winter to complete the task.

So for now, it’s a thorough weed and feed. A temporary mulch and hopefully a better one by spring.

What a great morning’s work.