May garden update – loving our asparagus

We have had a generous asparagus year. Every time I think we will only have one or two more spears, there are five the next day. I love our asparagus beds. Most of the crop is about 5 years old, that we planted when we moved in. Some is older (and some of that is purple) and I don’t know its age. I think it is almost done for the year and the tiny pencil-thin remainders are going to their frothy seedy stage. This year, I am trying some bark mulch on the beds to try to inhibit the weeds. It is impossible to weed the beds when the ferny asparagus blooms are poking you in the eye. Just saying. I would love advice on this, if you have any. Also advice on fertilizing — I want to keep my asparagus really really happy!

Last spear of asparagus among the fronds

Last spear of asparagus among the fronds

We have been eating a lot of salad.  So have the snails.

We have been eating a lot of salad. So have the snails.

Asparagus fronds.  Hops in the background.

Asparagus fronds. Hops in the background.

Also right now we have lettuce, spinach, and artichokes. The peas are flowering but no fruit yet. We have had radishes for a while, including the long dark ones whose seeds I bought in May in a Paris garden store. They are … interesting! Maybe a little bitter for my taste, but large. And they taste great in a vinegar/brine, poured over salads. Our beans are coming  up and they are from French seeds too. (Probably illegal to carry them back in my suitcase — don’t tell.)

On the failure side, my broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage all looks quite lame, despite me having started it indoors and having nursed it carefully. The ones I planted outdoors from seed to compensate for my poor starts actually look better. But none of them look great and I will be suprised if we get any veggies before they turn to seed. Damn them.

My sad broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage plants.

My sad broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage plants.

Carrots, beets, and chard are coming up. My leek transplants are failing. I think I kept them in the pots too long due to some trips, wet clay soil, and other excuses.

Tomatoes and peppers are surviving under their cover of old shower curtains. Cucumbers and winter squash starting happily in the greenhouse. Trying the huge Armeniam cukes this year — can’t wait.

And that’s the report from here. You?

Tomatoes and peppers in their shower curtain greenhouse

Tomatoes and peppers in their shower curtain greenhouse

Good rhubarb crop this year

Good rhubarb crop this year

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