Putting blueberries and asparagus to bed

Today was my first day back in the garden after a long hiatus recovering from various surgeries and going on a 7-week long walk through Spain and France along the old pilgrimage routes to Santiago de Compostella.

I started by day back with my first-ever official garden walk-through.  This is when you take a little walk in your garden, looking at what needs some attention, noting what is doing well and what is new.  Edible Forest Gardens (Jacke and Toensmeier) recommend doing this in their book.  It was a lot of fun, and it’s true that you notice a lot of things that need to be done!  The list was too long, but I wanted to start by making sure the new paw-paw seedlings and the blueberries are protected from the rabbits that always eat the ends off the new branches during winter.

The paw-paws got little chicken wire cages, and the blueberries got wrapped in burlap.  While I was there, I also cleaned the blueberry and asparagus beds, taking out the Creeping Charlie (Glechoma hederacea) and other plants that had grown there.  But Creeping Charlie turns out to be compatible with blueberries and asparagus and to accumulate phosphate and potassium, so I put the pulled plants back on the beds as mulch.  Then I added comfrey leaves for additional nutrients.  The blueberries got a thick bed of pine needles, and the asparagus got a thick bed of leaves with some pine on top.  Yummy!  Leaves tend to form a rather impermeable layer, but a post from Snakeroot Farm said the asparagus spears will push through it and they will like the leaves.

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I also carried a little plastic table around with all my tools and materials.  This is quite a handy invention; I will make a photo next time and post it!

Hooray for being back in the garden!

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