Tuesday Garden Party- Cleaning Up & Preparing To Plant

The Tuesday Garden Party is participating in day two of the Spring Spruce Up series. We’ll have our regular link-up to show what is happening in your gardens at the bottom of the post. But don’t forget, we’ll also have a group linky on Thursday for you to share your own “Spring Spruce Up” posts!

I hope you got a chance to visit some of the other blogs that are participating in the series, as there are some serious spring cleaning, organizing, and beautification goin’ on! Perfect inspiration needed to tackle those spring projects…like cleaning up and getting the garden ready to plant!

Some of you mentioned you liked seeing that I’m “real” because I left my Christmas wreath up until March. Well, get ready for more realness:

This is the asparagus bed.

Yes, you’re supposed to cut the tops back when they turn brown in the fall.

Obviously I didn’t. And to be perfectly honest, I never do because I’m too busy dealing with all the produce that needs to be put up in the fall. But I do usually get to the asparagus when we have our traditional “false spring” here in January or beginning February. I don’t know what I was doing this year- we did have some great weather around that time, but I can see I didn’t spend it in the vegetable garden.

So the poor asparagus was trying to send new shoots up in that tangled mess because it’s that time of year.

About an hour later it’s all cleaned up and mulched with compost to help feed those new little shoots. Sadly, I did loose a few tender shoots in my cleaning- that’s one of the reasons to do it earlier- but there’s plenty more where they came from, as the asparagus season is just beginning here.

I cut down all the brown fern tops, but my clippers weren’t doing a good job, so I ended up breaking a lot of them off which left a few inches of stalk. Those will come out pretty easily as the season goes along- I’ll just pull a few each time I go out to harvest. I had to weed in a few places and clean some debris out of the bed as well. Then I topped both beds with a 2-3 inch layer of garden compost.

The best part about asparagus? This is pretty much the only chore I do all year (if you don’t count my attempts to rein in the 5-foot tops from the pathways at the end of summer). They just sit in their beds all year, every year, and pump out the shoots. I just keep the weeds away, do this one clean up and harvest.

You gotta love that.

Here’s another picture to keep it real- this time a strawberry bed:

What’s that? You don’t see any strawberries? Ugh, me neither.

I’ve had such problems with this bed, it just always has way more weeds than any of our other beds in the vegetable garden. And see the plant with the tiny white flowers? It’s one of the worst annual weeds– we call them “poppers” because if you don’t get to them early enough, those flowers turn into a million seeds and when you go to pull them the seed heads “pop” and spray seeds everywhere.

Just lying in wait for next year.

Their only saving grace is that they don’t like it hot, so they don’t come back over and over again (unlike my other nemesis, the perennial violet-ugh). So, if I get them early enough, I won’t have a million more the next spring.

If that’s not inspiration to get out there and weed, I don’t know what is…

This actually took less than an hour– the weeds were mostly annual ones that pulled up fairly easily in the wet soil. I’ve had trouble rehabilitating this bed after the older strawberries stopped producing as much, and I can see they’re still not doing well. I gave them a layer of compost, too, and will see what kind of growth they put out- now that they’re not choked by weeds- before seeing if I need to purchase more starts.

I ran out of compost in the middle of the bed, darn it, but it certainly looks more “spruced up,” don’t you think?

Speaking of that, I’m looking forward to seeing how these ladies’ Spring Spruce Up projects are coming along (and remember to be working on your own spruce up project for the group linky that will be up on Thursday):

Sprucing Up the Laundry Room | Mama’s Laundry Talk
Sprucing Up the School Room | Homegrown Mom
Sprucing Up the Craft Room | Many Little Blessings
Sprucing Up the Bathroom | Feels Like Home
Sprucing Up the Playroom | …Life’s About a Dream
Sprucing Up the Garage/Storage Space | A Slob Comes Clean
Sprucing Up the Master Bedroom | Raising Arrows
Sprucing Up Your Homeschool | Jimmie’s Collage
Sprucing Up the Kitchen | So Happy Together
Sprucing Up the Backyard | Successful Homeschooling

And link up here for the TGP!





  1. says

    Love the work you did on your Asparagus bed! I never thought to take a picture of how crazy my garden looks right now to show that progress. Hehehe… I need to work on my Asparagus bed something awful. Right now everything is haphazardly blocked because my dog likes to dig! GRRR! Can’t wait for a fence!
    Take care,

  2. Beth says

    We have poppers too – EVERYWHERE – I attended a lecture by the head of Timber Press and he referred to the weed by its correct time, but I can’t remember what he said…

  3. says

    Well, seems the same weeds growing in the West Coast are growing here too – my husband and I have been working hard trying to get ahead!
    Thanks for hosting – loving seeing what’s going on in other’s gardens!

  4. says

    Thank you for hosting the Garden Party, and for your comment on my blog! I am wondering whether you prefer that we link back to the Tuesday Garden Party in our actual post, or if it is OK just to have your button on the sidebar? I will aim to link in my actual post this Saturday but haven’t in the past.

  5. says

    The asparagus bed…I just bought two plants this year just to see what would become of them..I never in my life grew them. And I don’t really have a clue..tried looking them up online and didn’t get much info..lol first I planted them upside down, they just looked like a bunch of sticks stuck together and the package had no direcions on how to. well I realize after reading I put them upside down I had to return and switch it. they have ferns now I planted them end of March or begining of April. Do you know when I will see asparagus? By the way I’m your newest follower. I’m also a new blogger @ spoonwither.blogspot.com. I don’t know much about all this but I’m learning. I really love and enjoy your blog..it’s wonderful all the recipes and garden things..Two of my favorite things. Have a blessed day Janice.

  6. Jami @An Oregon Cottage says

    Janice- Oh, dear- I’m sorry you’ve had such trouble finding info on planting asparagus! But you must’ve gotten to them in time, because they are supposed to be ferned-out by now.

    Two things:
    1. The spears are the first little shoots that appear from the ground BEFORE they make ferns at the top. If yours didn’t look like thick spears before they grew into ferns, it is because they are young. Next spring when they come out of the ground they should look more like asparagus.

    2. Don’t fully harvest them for about 3 years. I know it’s hard to wait, but they need time to establish and develop. You can harvest about a week next spring (if the spears are bigger than a pencil) and a couple weeks the following spring. In year 3 you can harvest for the full 4 to 6 weeks (stop when a majority of the spears are thinner than a pencil).

    After harvesting, let the ferns develop to feed the roots, and then cut down the tall ferns in late fall after they’ve turned brown. Cover the bed with compost and wait for spears to appear the next spring! They are a pretty easy veggie to grow. 😉

    And thanks for following! I’ll go check out your new blog- fun!

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