First Check on the Spring Garden

Wanting to let the sun heat up the farm and beehives, I planned to perform the desperately needed landscaping maintenance on the garden aisles. However the weedwacker would not continue running instead shutting off a after about 40 seconds of idling, or whenever I opened the throttle at all. The blisters on three fingers and the intense DOMS in my shoulder blade attest to how many times I got it started. Was it bad gas mixture that sat all winter? Was it the carburetor that a knowledgeable mechanic found to be on its last leg a few months ago? Either way, my desire to be independent from petroleum powered machinery was reiterated and the most time-consuming task on my to-do list was not attainable.

So I spent the time wandering and weeding the garden beds. The hops and asparagus were already sending shoots out of the ground while the buds of grapes and blueberries were beginning to swell.


Emerging Asparagus


Emerging, nitrogen hungry hops with symbiotic, nitrogen-providing clover companion planting


Swelling grape buds

Notice the similarities between young hops and asparagus shoots? They can be harvested and prepared in the exact same manner. I will elaborate on this more in the future.



Anecdotal: Basil + Asparagus = ladybugs

Here is a ladybug nymph molting on my asparagus fern adjacent to the bolted basil:



There are hundreds of nymphs in the asparagus beds, including the one without basil so I’m not sure how much the basil has to do with it. I decided to bolster the predatory insect population with additional mail order ladybirds. That discussion will be saved for the off season downtime!


End of season sales mean time to companion plant!

A long time ago, I covered companion planting basics with each of my plants. I’ll go over it again soon, but for now you will have to settle for pictures.

Dill and asparagus:


Basil + asparagus = ladybugs!



I’ve also sewn nasturtium and marigold seeds around the perimeter of the asparagus beds.


Beebalm to bring the pollinators to the blueberries:


Acid loving bay laurel to companion with the acid loving blueberries. It may die over the winter, but only one way to find out if it can survive!



Snow peas to climb the accidental corn:


And finally, clover with just about everything else that is a heavy nitrogen feeder (hops, asparagus, blueberries, as a living mulch in fallow beds)