Little by little, the last of the gardening chores are being completed.
First up was the asparagus. I had been waiting a very long time for the ferns to turn brown and the time finally arrived this past weekend:
|Browned Asparagus Foliage|
|Asparagus stems cut down at ground level|
I had a couple of rolls left over from the fencing and one of them was 30” wide, the exact width of the narrow asparagus beds. I anchored the chicken wire with pegs at one end of the bed and then unrolled it until it reached the end of the 3rd bed & anchored it with more pegs. Easy peasy and only a few minutes of effort.
|Chicken wire keeps mulching straw|
from being blown off the bed
The gardening season this year reminds me of the Energizer bunny. It keeps going, and going, and going – no small thanks to the above seasonal temps we have been having since September. I’m very grateful for the extra harvests and not having to don a winter jacket as I do my garden cleanup. The down side, however, is that I'm getting a bit worried that these unseasonal temps may wreak havoc with some of my crops. Case in point – the garlic. Some of it has started to poke out of the ground:
|This is something I normally don't see until the early spring|
The other issue I've noticed is that since the ground is not frozen yet, the squirrels are much more active and destructive this year & they have been digging around in every single bed:
In the past, I usually waited until temperatures were consistently around the freezing mark and then did all my mulching at once – garlic, shallots & strawberries. This normally worked out to be mid to end of November. Here we are, almost a month later, and we still haven’t reached that point.
Regardless, I decided to do my mulching now and hope for the best. At the very least, this should keep the beds a bit cooler and slow growth when our temps go up (we are supposed to hit 12C/54F on Tuesday).
|Mulched garlic bed topped with the plastic trellis|
|Strawberry bed before mulching|
And lastly, I mulched the perennial bunching onions & overwintering spinach that I planted right behind them:
|Perennial bunching onions|
This year I grew 2 varieties of perennial bunching onions - Evergreen Hardy & Nebuka. I'll be eliminating the Evergreen Hardy as I found the onions too large & slow to divide. Instead of pulling them all up, however, I decided to do a bit of a test & cut off the top growth before I mulched. Now we'll see if they make it through the winter ok. The Nebuka, which I really liked and will be keeping, was left as is.
My worries also extend to the fruiting crops, especially the newly planted apple trees & berry bushes. I planted 3 apple trees this spring and one of them still has a few green leaves left on it:
|The leaves on the Granny Smith are a bit hard to see|
against the still green grass
I finally got around to doing a nice, deep mulch on all of the blackberry and raspberry canes, which will definitely increase the odds of them making it through their first winter, so at least that’s one bit of re-assurance.
|Mulched blackberry canes|
Till next time...