Thursday, 7 May 2009

The Asparagus Bed & Planting Potatoes

The Refurbished and Expanded Asparagus Bed
Still no cooking to speak of going on here... it's been dig, dig, dig all day long. Here's the first result of all that work. The original asparagus bed runs most of the length of the bed, but the newly finished planting area is three times as wide. The asparagus has been de-weeded, as best we can, and the rest was roto-tilled, then spaded and the weed roots picked out. Most of them, anyway.

You can see a mixture of old stalk ends and new shoots of asparagus coming up in the original bed. Over time though, this whole new area will be devoted to asparagus and strawberries. However, because we don't expect that we will get all the vegetable beds dug this year that we want, we are planting some vegetables here this year. More asparagus and strawberries will come later.

Mr. Ferdzy is leaning through a few of our rhubarb plants (I believe I had counted 15 of them, each and every one of which needs desperately to be divided into 4 to 6 new plants. Oh, and my mother-in-law wants to bring her favourite rhubarb plant to the garden as well. I'm actually giving serious consideration to going into rhubarb farming. Not kidding.) You can also see the deluxe shed known as Mousingham Palace in the background. Mr. Ferdzy is planting potatoes. Not shown: clouds of mosquitos and gnats.

Planting Potatoes
And a close up of the potato planting process. Since potatoes need to be hilled up as they grow, we actually start them in trenches, filling them in half way. Once the potatoes are well up, they will be filled in the rest of the way, then hilled up slightly as they continue to grow.

The black tubes you see in the ground are pieces of ABS plumbing pipe. They are set one at each of the corners of a standard sized bed (8' x 5') and the plan is that we will use them to anchor trellises, our large shade umbrella, and eventually large poultry cages or chicken tractors. We have dug about 8 of these standard beds in this area, as well as cleaning up the equivalent of 3 of them in the asparagus.

We're planting Linzer Delikatess, Warba, Alaska Sweetheart, Purple Viking, Russian Blue which I think is the same as All Blue, and Bintje potatoes, all of which we got from Eagle Creek Potatoes. We got 4 of those varieties in today; we hope to plant the rest tomorrow as well as getting some seeds in. The timing for getting the potatoes in was perfect - they should be planted when the dandelions first bloom, and they just started yesterday in large numbers.

Then we will start on the next set of beds. Ultimately, we want to dig 60 more beds, but the goal for this year is 21 more. Yes, we are crazy. Thanks for asking.


Joanne said...

Your garden looks like it will be amazing! I wish I had enough room for something like that. I can't wait to see what it yields.

Ferdzy said...

Heh, I'm starting to think, "Be careful what you wish for; you might get it!" Please pass the painkillers.

Actually, I am very excited too. I'm out there every half hour: "Are they up yet? Are they up yet?"

Natalie said...

Thank you for the information about the potatoes - I did not know about hilling them. We are planning to try potatoes this year as well, so thanks for the tip! (Although I guess we're too late now as the dandelions are in full bloom.)

sdrv said...

Wow, you guys have been busy!

I keep hoping that we will be able to carve out some time to get started building a vegetable garden of our own!

Seeing this definitely provides some inspiration.

I look forward to seeing how your garden progresses.


Ferdzy said...

Natalie, you do have a week or two to plant the potatoes - it's just not too early; when the dandelions bloom it means the soil is now warm enough for potatoes. Steven, you'll just have to get going - as soon as it stops raining!