Oct 23

Asparagus to sleep for Winter

It was 18 months ago in my garden when I planted asparagus from both seed and crowns. I wrote about the detailed process to prepare the beds and in this article I showed a picture of my healthy and robust fronds that were exceeding 9 feet in height!

 

This picture taken at the end of October after the fronds have been cut back.

This picture taken at the end of October after the fronds have been cut back.

At the end of the growing season, the fronds are cut and added to the compost pile. All summer long they have grown tall and strong. The vegetative part of the plant seen above ground draws in energy from the sun. The visible tops of the plant only represent a small portion of what is actually growing. Beneath the surface the roots have reached deeper and deeper into the rich soil bed that I prepared nearly two years ago.

 

The bed has been put to sleep for winter.

The bed has been put to sleep for winter.

After cutting back the stalks of the fronds, the bed is lightly weeded and then, a layer of sawdust and a thick layer of wheat straw. The straw provides insulation against the harsh winds and freezing temperatures. The next several months the garden will go dormant, though I do have some fresh peas I will be harvesting next week.

Planted in mid-August for an Autumn harvest.

Planted in late-August for an Autumn harvest.

 

The peas were planted late in August (probably too late under normal conditions) and the weather has been mild with only a couple of light frosts so far. I was lucky we did not have a big storm or deep freeze. It is a real treat to have fresh peas at this time of year!

 

In addition to the peas, I have leeks that should be ready near Thanksgiving.

 

Most gardeners are finished by the end of August or perhaps in mid-September, but I find special delight in producing fresh veggies later in the season. It provides a challenge to overcome the elements and a reward of extending the harvest of fresh food later in the year. In fact, an abundance of fresh and rather expensive veggies close to a couple of the big holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Leeks are another hearty vegetable for the late season garden.

Leeks are another hearty vegetable for the late season garden.

 

 

The heartiest of all vegetables, Brussels sprouts.

The heartiest of all vegetables, Brussels sprouts.

 

And lastly, the Brussels sprouts will be harvested all during the month of November and into December. There are four more plants remaining and I figure an average of 10 portions on each stalk should provide me with enough for nearly 2 months of regular eating. They also keep well even after picking.

My garden produced an abundance this year in spite of my neglect when things got busy in other areas of my schedule. I’ve been able to catch up on yard and garden chores as the season comes to a close. I couple of months off and as the New Year breaks it will be time to consider what to grow next year. In this previous post I shared some of the details involved in choosing my garden lay-out and crop selection for the following season. There is also the off-season chore of pruning the apple tree and other shrubs. I will also have a big bonfire to burn off the tree trimmings and other debris that accumulates over the year.

This year is closing fast and next year will be full of new and interesting things in the garden.

Come back and visit to see what is growing next year.

 

 

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