Friday, 27 March 2009

Asparagus planting

The sun is mocking me again shining through my window; Mother Nature is putting on a delightful little show of huge fluffy clouds slowly waltzing across the baby blue sky. I want to hide again, in and around me is darkness, a smog, pollution.

I need to keep my mind off this dull, persistent pain in my soul. Therefore I blog.....I want to tell you of last night, at dinner time when Andrew and I had the rare pleasure, so far this year, of visiting the Lottie and planting stuff.

As I mentioned our Asparagus had arrived in the post. We chose 10 1 year old bare root crowns - Gijnlim F1 (Dutch). Supposedly they will last us around 20 yrs and are heavy yielding plants with gorgeous thick stems. We can't sample anything, I think, for 2 years but hopefully it will be worth it.

The books all make Asparagus growing sound every scary and complex to me. But Blackmoor give us a planting and maintenance instruction leaflet and really, it's not that hard. We had the bed prepared and waiting for months, the soil had a whole black bin full of our delicious 'home brew' compost, a bag of grit, heaps of cow manure and a lot of the North Sea's finest Seaweed in it. So damn it, they better like it in there.

We dug 2 trenches in our bed, both 4 inches deep and laid the crowns out like octopus. A little mound under the 'head' and the 'legs' all spread out nicely. Our bed was roughly 8ft x 4ft and we had 5 crowns in each row, spaced evenly (they say to leave about 40 cms between each crown and that worked out well). All the trench soil was then carefully put back on top and the whole bed lightly raked and watered.

That's how we did it. I know there are people who advocate a little pocket that the crown is placed in and you slowly fill up, but maybe there are different ways for different varieties.

So, with team work that was all done in 20 mins. It seemed a bit of an anti-climax after months of waiting to stand there proudly looking at a bed that seemed to have not changed at all. But then we heard the beautiful voices of some 'Lottie People' singing traditional Irish songs (quite, ummm, enthusiastically) on the wind, I'm pretty sure it was Ricky and his gang in Field B. That just made us laugh. I was feeling good, we we were surrounded by plants budding and greenery, it was reasonably empty down there and I had done that interview with Mind.

I won't go into the details of the 'big comedown' I had later and hence my hatred for the world at large today. But it happened and all I can say is sh1t - it had been pretty good up til then.


  1. Glad actually you are showing signs of positivity in your "comedown" by relating it to how good you were feeling earlier. You need to keep doing things that make you happy, to push for the ups- they in turn fuel more ups and in time you will have moreups than downs. I absolutely promiseyou that :D

  2. I'm very sorry to hear you're down now - or were when you posted - I hope you feel better soon.

    It's amazing how encouraging it is to see pictures of "normal people" - well you know what I mean - doing things like planting asparagus. That always seemed like very advanced veg growing, but clearly it is attainable! Do you think you'll still have your lottie in 20 years' time?

  3. i like to try asparagus planting soon... i hope there are things i can learn from you..

  4. Jo - Love you, thanks

    EB - YES 'normal people' CAN grow Asparagus! I certainly hope we have the Lottie in 20 years, now we've planted them, I'm not giving them up to someone else darn it!!

    Bangchik - Go, plant!! I don't know if I can teach you much but we can learn together x

  5. Carrie - here's a big hug from me. Actually it's a double hug because I'd come over to thank you for your supportive comment about my blog today - just what was needed when I was tearing my hair out over what had happened!

    Good luck with the Mind media volunteering - I think you're just what they need.

    I've just had an e-mail from a project in Swindon - I think they're one of the ones to benefit from the lottery money you've talked about recently. They'd like me to feature the project on my blog! So remember, the 'media' works in mysterious ways!

  6. Asparagus is well worth the time and the investment, truly one of the gourmet treats from the allotment!

  7. VP - Thanks for the double hug, so glad it is all sorted out and looking great again x But nervous about the whole Mind thing but I'm going to give it a go. It's great what they are doing in England and Wales and now you're going to write about it too. They aren't over here at all, but still Ectherapy needs as much attention as possible and if a Northern Irish girl needs drafted in so be it!

    Matron - Oh, I hope you're right, I LOVE asparagus! Fingers crossed.


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