Friday, April 24, 2015

Just Make A Decision!

My brain cells feel like sesame seeds in a hot skillet.  

Admittedly, I do often sometimes have a hard time making decisions, but doing the paperwork of laying out this year's Field Garden is driving me to drink.  (But just grape juice [unfermented], so don't worry.)

You see, I need to relocate our strawberry patch this year.  It's been in the same spot (within the Field Garden) for way too many years.  Last year, I pulled out and gave a decent burial to the oldest half of the strawberry plants because they were absolutely geriatric and not producing enough to justify the space they took up.  Knowing I was going to order new plants and situate them in a new section (of the Field Garden) this spring, I did keep the other half of the old bed just so we would have some berries for fresh eating this year.


Some of last year's crop
 
The new plants have to go in the Field Garden.  It's the best place for them because of soil fertility and available sunlight.

Also in the Field Garden will go the 50 asparagus roots just ordered.  This will be the third time I've planted asparagus, and I'm hoping the third time will be the charm.  However, my failure in getting asparagus established before is no one's fault but my own.  The first time I planted the roots in a spot that I now know didn't get enough sun . . . and at that time, the soil wasn't amended enough.  The second time the soil was in better shape but my brain cells weren't, because I planted the roots in the same, blasted not-enough-sun spot.  This time the asparagus is going in the Field Garden where the soil is wonderful AND sunlight is readily available.

So you see, the dilemma is to make a wise decision as to where will be just the right spots in the Field Garden to plant both 200 new strawberry plants and 50 asparagus roots.  Both will be wherever I plant them for a loooong time, the asparagus especially, so I want to make a decision I won't regret.  I have to take into consideration my other crops such as shell peas, potatoes, squash, corn, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, bush beans, potatoes, pickling cucumbers, etc. that I rotate each year onto a different area in the Field Garden.

Okay, enough of this rambling . . . back out to the kitchen table with my graph paper and pencil.  Time to make a decision. 

Wish me luck.

24 comments:

Sandy said...

Mama Pea,

I kinda had the same issues with figuring out where to place certain things in my garden.

You'll figure it out, good luck!!!

Erin said...

Oooh asparagus! I had trouble with that too but I didn't try hard enough. I'm sure they will do great this time for you! Of course your strawberries are legendary so whatever you do with them will be exactly the right thing :) One of my favorite parts of gardening is the pen and paper plans every year!

2 Tramps said...

We are moving our strawberries, too. They have been shamefully neglected where they are. We are going to put some of them into pots for the summer and stick some of them into raised flower planters on the deck. We have to keep the rabbits out of them, not to mention the birds.

Our asparagus has really kicked in this year! Come take a look - http://tramps-camp.blogspot.com/ - we have grown some whoppers this spring.

Susan said...

That is a WHOLE lotta plantin', Mama Pea. I don't blame you for wanting it to go in the right spot - you sure don't want to have to move it. I am sticking strawberry plants in the same spot because it's relatively new and I don't have a lot of choices. (I love the sesame seeds in a hot skillet analogy - can completely relate.)

tpals said...

I'm still dithering about the garden layout this year. I've decided not to plant corn because of the likelihood of drought. I know where I want the green beans, but everything else...

Your strawberries make my mouth water. :)

Tombstone Livestock said...

Ok you have already made me tired, but for me no water, no garden, will just have to do with the few plants I have. The governor wants us to do mandatory 25% cut back on water usage, hard to convince the critters to drink 25%less water

Mama Pea said...

Sandy - I need to have a rough plan before planting season starts . . . but I seem to always switch a bit about when I'm actually out there putting in the seeds!

Mama Pea said...

Erin - Ha! Legendary strawberries, eh? I've always wanted to be really good at something . . . so maybe strawberries are my thing! ;o) I remember your posts of years past about you pouring over your garden plans on the table. Your garden this year must have been a unique challenge for you!

Mama Pea said...

2 Tramps - Luckily, we don't have trouble with rabbits at all (good fencing) and aren't bothered much by birds. I don't know why but I'm grateful. The occasional berry will be found half eaten but that's from those darn chipmunks!

I'm on my way over to your blog right now.

Mama Pea said...

Susan - Yes, and I'm not particularly looking forward to it!! Papa Pea will dig the trench for me for the asparagus and that won't be too much of a task 'cause the soil is loose and friable. But I know when I get to the 173rd (or even sooner!) strawberry plant, I will be very ready to be done!

Mama Pea said...

tpals - What a shame you already know you have to worry about drought this season. We had a low precipitation winter, but I'm hoping for adequate rain fall this summer. Fingers crossed for you, too.

Mama Pea said...

Tombstone Livestock - I've been thinking about you and your lack of available water situation a lot lately. With your heat in the summer, I don't know how you keep any plants alive even with adequate watering. And those critters of yours have got to have the water they need. Period.

Patricia @ Corn in my Coffee-Pot said...

I think this year would have been a mah-va-lous year for a garden. But it just didn't happen for us. I'm feeling regret and sad about it. :/
the problem? lack of decision...like you. I have a hard time with it. Then second guessing once I make the decision.
I think it would be wonderful to grow Asparagus. Best wishes to you in your third attempt.
Strawberries too... both sound delicious.

Sparkless said...

Good luck with your asparagus. We have wild patches of asparagus that we sometimes hunt out and harvest from. But we haven't done that in a couple of years now. Maybe this year we'll go hunting to see if those patches are still producing.
Have fun designing your gardens.

Sue said...

I have no doubt you'll figure it out. Personally, I LOVE the planning stage. It always works out so well---in my mind!
Ha!
Best of luck. And keep us posted on the asparagus. I'm still planning on getting some...just as soon as I figure out how to grow it!

Anonymous said...

Hey Mama Pea,
Just a note on your asparagus planting. I have seen asparagus thrive in the worst of soils (along side ditches, creeks and in open fields where the soil has never been amended). If you have to choose, plant your strawberries in the better soil and your asparagus where least desirable. Asparagus will adjust to any soil as long as it gets decent water (it can withstand drought once established). Water well the first year if possible and then leave it to nature. It will do fine. I have started asparagus from seed and harvested 1/2" diameter spears the second year. Hope this helps you decide where to plant. Good gardening!

Jennifer at coffeeontheporchwithme said...

The planning stage is fun. I always try to cram too much in and never leave enough space for tilling. I put in strawberries for the first time last year and it was sad, sad, sad. Between the birds and the squirrels, I might have eaten 6 while standing out in the garden. But I have a feeling you are planting A LOT more than I did! Best of luck with your asparagus.

Mama Pea said...

Patricia - Growing a successful, large garden is a BIG job which requires a lot of time so I understand why some years it's better to skip it. There's always next year! For me, the best and easiest part is when I can actually get out there and get things planted. My paper plans never seem to cooperate with the actual space outside!

Mama Pea said...

Sparkless, thank you! Wild asparagus doesn't grow up here in our area but I'm betting it still does elsewhere.

Mama Pea said...

Sue - I am sending you all my info so you can have fun with the planning. MY planning! ;o} No matter how carefully I plan, when I get out into the garden my measurements are always off. (That may be because I try to cram too much into the space. Ya think?!)

Mama Pea said...

Anonymous - Lots of good thoughts and tips. I thank you.

P.S. Who ARE you, Anonymous????

Mama Pea said...

Jennifer - I see we have the same "trying to cram too much in too little space" dilemma!

If you try strawberries again, remember to pop off all the blossoms (don't let them develop into berries) the first year so the strength goes to the plant rather than the berries. This will give you LOADS more berries in successive years. Hard, very hard, to do, but it's worth it!

Mark said...

We went through the same thing a bit ago, but we're kind of second guessing ourselves. Odd thing - Our asparagus bed has been a class A failure for the last two years. I found a 'wild' patch in a fence line (in an area where we used to through kitchen scraps) that seems to be doing pretty well.

Lisa said...

I didn't read all the comments so someone may have suggested this. I have planted asparagus between my strawberries at another house. They grow well together. I didn't stay there till they were "geriatric" but they did well the 10 yrs i was there.