Thursday, July 23, 2015

Why do i bother?

A few years back, I bought some asparagus crowns, dug up the old asparagus bed that had been started years before but now lay fallow, and planted the crowns. I did it a tad too early, seduced by a warmish, early spring day, and the crowns struggled to survive.

Then, when the boat was being transferred from the jack stands to the trailer, a sailing friend was helping me and when the truck driver with the lift asked if he could back up a bit, sailing friend said, "Sure, there's plenty of room," and ignored me saying no, as he backed up right on the asparagus bed. A few came up next year, but most decided to abandon the attempt, and I bought more crowns and waited.

Last year should have been the year that I could collect a small supply of asparagus safely, but the spears that came up were still quite spindly.

This year, disgusted with my patient waiting being fruitless, I decided to plant in the rows between where the asparagus should have been, just a few vegs.

I got some tomato, pepper, musk melon, watermelon, pumpkin, and squash plants. Also six kale plants. Added a couple of scarlet emperor runner beans, which were seeds I had and wasn't sure how viable they were. Planted some radishes and beets.

And the asparagus grew. Not thick enough to really collect, but I guess word on the street had reached them that it was now or never.

After I planted everything, we had a bit of a cold snap, and the pepper plants have been pouty ever since, except the cayenne pepper plant.

Slugs decided to come and nosh, so I sprayed an organic spray and outlined the plants in diatomaceous earth. The slugs denuded a few of the marigolds, which I had planted around the plants as protection.


The squash and pumpkin plants have flowered, but then the flowers drop off and there's nothing. Unsure if it's because nothing decided to pollinate it. The beans are climbing the trellis. The lone cucumber plant I got so I could make some pickles flowered and the teeny cornichons were coming along nicely. A bright spot in an unpromising bit of ground.

The tomatoes flowered and some plants have green tomatoes that look good.

The kale had gotten to a pretty good size. I planted them a bit too close together and thought today would be a good day to cut some of the leaves for a meal.

So, I awoke to brilliant sunshine, and after hanging a load of wash on the line before starting my work day, I took a walk over to the garden.

I noticed some of the volunteer violet plants had their leaves shorn clean off. The tomatoes were untouched. And I went down the line. The tops of most pepper plants chewed, more violet volunteers neatly trimmed, beets dug up, with one small one left. The cucumber plant is half its size and sports three small cukes. The kale was the hardest hit: among the six plants, there might be ten leaves left.

Two more new sprouts of asparagus waved in the light breeze as I surveyed everything.

I consoled myself by picking raspberries and eating about half as many as I picked.


  1. Only my mother's gardens were prolific. The sort of legend. On a bright note, the raspberries were prolific this year. Had we consolidated the pickings, we might have had half a dozen pints of jam. But, the little bowl sat on the counter, and by day's end, was empty.

    1. Joanne, I was spoiled at my last location because the ground was fertile and the growing season just enough longer that I could grow a lot of things without tons of effort.

      My raspberries are doing well this year. I still have jam left from a few years ago, so don't wish to make more as I don't go through it quickly. But, I might see if I can freeze some raspberries or maybe dehydrate them to use over winter.