When we first moved here to our property we were so excited about the new gardening possibilities in this new-to-us much cooler climate. I read several gardening books about gardening in a cool climate and at least 2 or 3 offered the same suggestion “Start your perennial beds first as they will take the longest to mature.” Seems like good advice. The gardening guru’s further suggested “No perennial garden is complete without asparagus, rhubarb and strawberries.” So, we followed their advice.
Started the perennial beds – which we first dug out the rocks with the backhoe.
We used lots of soil amendments; peat moss, steer manure (this was before we had our own source) crushed fall leaves, and to balance our very acidic soil, a healthy dose of lime.
The beds were as fertile as we could make them so we were ready to plant. I chose three different varieties of strawberries. Two June bearing and one ever bearing. Coming from the valley heat where strawberries are usually done by May, I was curious to see when they would be ready here.
It turns out June bearing here is ready at the end of June or first part of July, depending on the weather.
Asparagus was next. I ordered crowns and carefully planted them in the rich, amended soil according to the directions. Then Amelia happened. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Amelia, she is a chicken who has adventurous ways. They sometimes take her where she is not supposed to be – like in my asparagus. You can read the whole story about her here. She dug up and I re-planted my asparagus crowns at least twice and it could be three times. In spite of Amelia, the asparagus flourished and I have harvested several nice crops. Mmmm good. I love asparagus. Rick is not much of a fan and that is all the better – more for me!
Next was the rhubarb. I got a little six-pack of rhubarb and set it out at the other end of the bed from the asparagus. It has done very well indeed. It went from small to big to huge.
Now it is completely overgrown and I think it has gone to seed. I have discovered something important. I don’t like rhubarb. Neither does Rick or anyone else in my family. Why on earth did I plant something none of us like??
Now before you tell me that all I need is a good rhubarb recipe, and I will learn to love it, my quilting friends have already done that. In addition to being good quilters they are good cooks and have some wonderful recipes. Andrea’s waffles are to die for – but that is a subject for another time. The point is, they have given me rhubarb suggestions and rhubarb recipes. And I still don’t like rhubarb. I think this fall I’m going to yank it out and plant more asparagus. So, the lesson learned here is no matter what the gardening books have to say, only plant things you actually like to eat.