|They sell roots, but they show shoots in their catalogs - asparagus.|
I could make a bundle with asparagus that pops up in thick stalks, just add water and step back. But alas, asparagus only rewards the patient.
The rubbery roots are on their way - and I have plans. Rather than tie up rows of the vegetable garden, I am going to plant them along the fence, to share space with beans and other items in the vertical garden.
I will not do all that extra digging that some books recommend. The ultimate soil mixer is the earthworm. Whatever goes on top of the soil will be pulled down to the root level, and fungi will do their part in delivering the nutrition to the roots.
Asparagus roots are heavy feeders (like corn and pumpkins) so our clay soil will be beneficial. So will mulching all summer and throughout the winter. If I run out of places to put compost, the fenceline in winter is an easy choice.
Last fall our grandson and our helper's children tore spent vines off the fence, harvesting the gourds, and put the greenery in the compost. Green is good in compost. The nitrogen in fresh greens will work with heat-loving bacterial and speed up decomposition.
Growing crops will increase the organic matter in the soil (roots and plant debris) while providing a rich source of humus from the upper parts of the plants in the compost. Alternatively, the leftover plants can be left in the garden to mulch the soil for winter. Some even plant beans late for a green manure.
A rototiller is not needed to grind the plants into the soil. Sell your tiller to someone who supports machines and toxins in the garden. He will be so happy.
Rain Days Ahead
I anticipated the rain and prepared the Jackson Bird Spa. Birds will be feeding and bathing in unaccustomed splendor. No one else has set up a spa, and the few feeders around favor hummingbird softdrinks, sugar water dispensers.
I am planting vines for the hummingbirds. In Phoenix I had bushes that provided them with shelter and a constant supply of orange flowers. They eat insects from flowers, not just nectar.
Rain will keep the straw bales damp for the potatoes and strawberries to be planted there.
Rain will keep the compost damp.
The soil will teem with an ocean of life, which depends on plenty of water..
Today I walked across our two yards to deliver the morning paper to our gardening neighbor. The paperboy tosses the paper on the sidewalk, so I walk over and toss it at his door. Usually I am out early. Today the sprinkling was starting, and I enjoyed the soft soil under my bare feet.