Sunday, May 1, 2016

Sunday, Day of Rest

Papa Pea spent the day and a lot of energy digging five holes for our new fruit trees that arrived day before yesterday.  

 The trees are dwarf and we're
experimenting with a new
intensive way of

 Unfortunately, much of the digging was through gravel and rock (at least that's what it felt like to him), and I guess it was proven to be mostly true by the two wheelbarrows full of big rocks he hauled away.

I worked on cutting down and hauling away the old asparagus ferns from last year and cleaning up the bed.

This is the plot in which I planted 2-1/2 rows of asparagus and 1-1/2 rows of Everbearing strawberries last year.  I got all the newly sprouted weeds pulled (or dug) out.

I also tilled up the perimeter of the whole area.  The blasted quack grass had started to grow into the planting area with a vengeance, in places thick already.  I swear that stuff starts to grow before the snow is even melted.

Two or three more tillings around the edge (I do love my Mantis tiller!), spaced a week or so apart, will be needed before the quack grass realizes I'm serious, and it doesn't have a chance of growing and taking over the garden space.

Now the asparagus is ready for Papa Pea to give it a good dose of compost which it likes in the spring.  Then I'll mulch the whole bed to keep down the weeds and hold in the moisture which the asparagus needs, also.  Not even one little spear is showing yet, but it's still early for us.

As I mentioned above, this is the area where I planted the Everbearing strawberries last year, too, although I know you can't see them in the picture.  (They're on the left side of the plot.)  There were 52 of them, and as of today I can find no more than 12 of them with any greenery showing.

This is the best looking one of the bunch.  They look nothing like the hale and hardy June bearing plants I put in the field garden.  Those are big and healthy, and it looks like I lost only one (out of the three 45 foot long rows) over winter. Both the June bearing and Everbearing were mulched and protected over winter, and our winter was not a severe one.  I can't figure out what's up with the Everbearing plants yet.  Time will tell if they rally and take a turn for the better.

Tomorrow I'll start weeding and cleaning the three long rows of strawberries in the field garden (many more weeds there to conquer), and Papa Pea will get the fruit trees planted . . . now that the back-breaking work of digging those holes is done.


Sue said...

How on EARTH do you keep such straight lines when planting trees????????????????????????
I some how always start veering off to one side or another! I could have used your help setting up the new blueberry patch. I guess I'll just call mine---"interesting".
Have a wonderful week in the garden. Pace yourself!

Laurie said...

Your garden beds look nice and clean. Which type of mulch do you use? Are you going to try wood chips or do you already? Last question.....what kind of fruit trees are you planting? Hope you don't find me nosey. I'm just curious and love to learn from the pros.

Mama Pea said...

Sue - It is suddenly (for us northerners) that time of year when we can actually get out into the garden and DO something!

I did see hubby with measuring tape and a line of string before he started digging his holes. (He always has been a good hole digger!)

Hope you have a good week in the garden, too. Don't forget to take lots of pictures!

Mama Pea said...

Dear Nosey - (You KNOW I'm teasing you!) And I'm no pro, that's for sure. I just have lots of experience under my belt.

I use wood shavings right around my strawberries and straw between the rows. I'll much the asparagus with just straw.

The new fruit trees are another apple, two peach, two apricot and one pear. We have one pear tree already but the other one we got with it for cross-pollination died and the remaining one has never had any fruit since it's needs another for pollination. (Make any sense?) Hopefully, this new one will do the trick.

I hope we all can ask any questions we want. I constantly learn about gardening from other bloggers no matter where we all live in this country. It's so interesting!

Ruth Dixon said...

Beautiful pictures. I just bought 36 June bearing strawberry plants called "Territorial", grown for the Oregon coast. I'm ready to get busy on our garden soon. Too many trips out of town. Ugh

Kev Alviti said...

Grass is a terrible weed when you don't want it. I'm experimenting with a new way of killing weeds this year and I'll do a post on it soon.
Every year I say I'm going to get some asparagus in and each time I'm too busy at that time of year. This winter I'm going to make some raised beds and be prepared for it, ready to plant! I do love the stuff.
As for the fruit trees, I always think that you can never have enough!

Mama Pea said...

Ruth - That's the problem we all have . . . unless we stay at home, nothing gets done there! ;o} Good luck with the new berries!

Susan said...

I can so relate to the hole-digging effort. I live on a pile of stone and gravel, covered (thinly) with a non-soil substance. Thank goodness for my llama! And why, pray tell, do your garden beds always look better than everyone else's? Why!?!

Mama Pea said...

Kev - Funny thing is, our "lawn" doesn't grow worth a diddle . . . but the same type of weed grass grows in the garden like gang busters! (Must have something to do with the good compost in the garden soil, you think?)

We tried twice before to establish an asparagus bed with no luck. I'm hoping this third time is the charm.

We think the same regarding fruit trees! We humans can eat fruit and so can our animals.

Mama Pea said...

Susan - 'Cause the grass is always greener. *I* think everyone else's look so much better than mine!!

Isn't it amazing we can actually grow things in "dirt" that only supports weeds . . . without extensive help? Go llama beans, go!!

Sandy said...

Mama Pea,

Aka Busy Beaver :P
You and your husband have been working diligently in the garden. Before you know it your strawberry plants will be popping and producing blossoms. What type of dwarf fruit trees are you planting?

gld said...

You have been busy. I hope more of the ever-bearing strawberries come back.

Your garden is so neat....unlike someone who is feeling very guilty looking at yours.

Beautiful holes. I saw a line of fruit trees at our local garden park. They had a heavy duty two row of wire fencing between posts and were espaliered to them.

Beautiful and they looked very healthy.

Mama Pea said...

The new trees are another apple, another pear to go with our lone lonely one, two apricots and two peaches. I will be thrilled beyond compare if we could actually get a harvest of peaches and apricots! These are ones that supposedly WILL grow in our cold area. Finger crossed!

Mama Pea said...

gld - Yes, that's the way we're going to do our trees planted as intensively as they are. Sure hope it works!

You may not call your gardens -- all of them! -- neat, but they are beautiful!

Laurie said...

I agree, gardening is interesting and fun and rewarding....and your experiences are so interesting to me. I have an area in the back yard that's on a slight hill. I've been thinking about planting some fruit trees up there and maybe a couple of pecan trees. I have a peach already and it's loaded and I have a plum and it's loaded. I didn't plant them, we inherited them with the lake house. I have a lot of other projects that I want to get done before starting on fruit trees, though. I'll just look at yours for now.

Vera said...

No 'proper' strawberries here, but we did find a patch of wild strawberries. Unfortunately they can't be weeded though because they are tangled up with other things, but perhaps we shall be able to pick one or two strawberries from out of the mass of vegetation.

I can't get my husband to like asparagus, but I shall not give up!

We have that grass here too, and what a nuisance it is. We are gradually beating it back though, as I am sure you will eventually.

Lovely tidy veg plot. Ours looks tidy too but only because nothing is growing in it at the moment because it has just been ploughed!

Kristina said...

I think we are going to dig out our raised beds, and put in new strawberry plants. I do need to add more asparagus too. It's still not enough for us yet.

Mama Pea said...

Vera - We have wild strawberries here, too, but I don't have the patience to pick them. They're sooo tiny . . . but do have a wonderful flavor.

I love newly plowed ground. There may be nothing growing of value, but no weeds either!

Mama Pea said...

Kristina - You'd need quite a few producing asparagus plants to feed your group! Hoping we get enough this first year (with limited harvesting) for fresh eating.

Mama Pea said...

Laurie - My husband really, really would love to get some nut trees growing here. Nuts are so nutritious and it would be wonderful to have some of our own.

Aren't there always "other" projects that seem to get in the way of all we are eager to do? And then there is always the "unexpected" to deal with! Oh well, it keeps all of from being bored, right? :o]