It’s hard to believe that it is the first week of June. The last couple of
weeks have been packed with activity; gardening, landscaping, lawn mowing, golf, parties,etc. My apologies for the lack of blog content over the last fourteen days. I may be trying to do too much. It’s seems that
every day has been a dawn to dusk exercise in crossing line items off a neverending to- do list. Some of my dearest friends have suggested that I start thinking about moderating my gardening obsession. Maybe I’ll think about it.
A Very Dry Spring
One activity that has taken up lots of time is watering the gardens.
Among the various vegetable beds, perennial beds, shrub borders, herb gardens, flower gardens, etc. we have a very large family of plants that require care. After a record Winter snowfall, we have been experiencing the driest Spring that I can ever remember. As this post is being written (June 1) we are finally receiving significant precipitation. What a relief. I need to buy a little time to finish setting up the drip
irrigation for the veggie garden.
Half of the vegetable garden now has drip irrigation in place. I am hoping to finish the job this week. The veggie garden has changed significantly over the last two years which necessitated a redesign. I was forced to split the garden into two zones, each with hundreds of feet of drip tubing, T connectors and elbows. It’s not hard work, just time consuming.
Record Asparagus Harvest
The asparagus patch has been launching spears at a record clip this Spring. Part of the reason has got to be the maturity of the crowns; most of the asparagus patch is ten years or older. Another reason might be the record snowfall. Deep ground moisture and nitrogen enhancement from the snow must be factors.
I do have a theory about what I consider to be a contributing factor; our
chickens. Yes, our lovely Buff Orpington chickens may have contributed
to this season’s success in the asparagus patch by feeding on the grubs
of the dreaded Asparagus Beetle. So far, no beetles.
We strike a delicate balance here at Greg’s Garden
Party regarding the chickens’ access to the veggie garden. I consider them
a net plus. Their lives are spent pecking about in search of ticks, grubs,
larvae, worms and seeds. I give them limited access to “do their thing”
while protecting tender plants, especially kale, broccoli and cabbage
which they love almost as much as the insects.
So far, we have made appetizers for a recent birthday party, presented the birthday girl with a large bunch as a gift and made asparagus soup. We’ve never made asparagus soup in the past. The recipe calls for four pounds of asparagus. Not to brag, but this year we can do that.
Our patch is approximately twelve feet by twelve feet with two paths
dividing the patch into three rows. I start every Spring by adding
lime, green sand and a layer of compost to the bed. Asparagus loves
compost, a sweet soil and plenty of potassium. A little TLC goes a long way.
Preparing Garden Beds for Tomatoes
Preparation actually began two weeks ago. I sprayed the soil in each of this year’s four fruit crop beds with the fungicide, Copper Sulfide. This is
a first step precaution to reduce the impact of “Early Blight” on the
tomato crop. Over the next couple of months, I will highlight other
measures designed to reduce the impact of this and other diseases to tomatoes.
In addition to the Copper Sulfide spray, I put down a carpet of “agricultural cloth” in each bed. This product is a thin woven fabric that is porous so that water can get through. However, it suppresses weeds and helps to retain moisture. I cut holes in the cloth for tomatoes and other fruiting crops grown in the same bed. At the end of the season, I hose down the carpet, spray it with a 10% bleach solution, roll it up and store it for next season.
Greg’s Garden Party keeps adding new subscribers every week. Welcome to all. I love to talk gardening. Please feel free to ask questions and offer suggestions about subjects you would like me to cover. I’m here to help.
All the best,