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Not everything thrives on neglect

May 27, 2010 - Kathie Evanoff

When I left for Mississippi at the end of April, several things were going on in my garden.


Asparagus were beginning to sprout and I was looking forward to two more weeks of harvest. My asparagus bed is fairly new, just two years old, and the harvest will increase each year until I will be able to harvest for up to six weeks. But for now, I can only harvest about half that amount of time, increasing gradually each year.


For those who don’t know how asparagus grows, the spears we buy in tidy bunches in

the grocery store are actually the immature trunks of small, fern-like plants. We harvest when they first emerge from the soil in spring, but we have to limit ourselves to only a few short weeks of harvest before we have to let the spears grow to replenish and strengthen the roots below.


I had gotten one harvest of young spears and was planning on several more, but when I left unexpectedly to be with my daughter while she picked up her newly adopted son, I had to leave it all behind.


In addition to the asparagus, I also left behind several tomato and pepper seedlings as well as the greenhouse garden bed, still filled with rows of spinach, lettuce, beets and radishes.


When I returned, nearly three weeks later, the asparagus spears shot up into ferny trees, the radishes matured and the spinach bolted.


Fortunately, my husband kept everything watered and the plants that did make it are doing well and are ready to go into the garden proper.

Now the tilling has begun and before the end of the Memorial Day weekend, the planting should be complete. There won’t be anything left but our daily tendings that include weeding, feeding and watching it grow.


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