Friday, April 18, 2008

Perennial plants are permaculture plants. With good ground cover, to prevent weeds, they provide food without (so much of) the effort. I’m not sure how long-lasting it is compared to other perennials, but we've read that asparagus can crop for up to an impressive twenty years. A lovely fresh, green, early vegetable, even it if makes your wee smell, the asparagus for sale here in France is usually blanched, so we have a regional reason to grow our own.

It needs a well-prepared bed with all the perennial weed roots removed and we added coarse grit and rock dust (ground granite) to improve the drainage of our heavy clay soil. I have also created a hard edge to the raised bed, recycling some old wood planks donated by neighbour Serge. Exhausting work but great value, if it means I don’t have to do it again for so many years.

We bought one-year-old crowns, which gives us a head start compared with planting seeds, although we’ll still be waiting another two full years before we can start cropping them to eat. Apart from the thorough preparation of the soil, the planting instructions were a right fuss and palaver too, with a long trench being dug first, then little earth mounds created to sit the buds on and arrange their huge, gangly root system around.

As I told you in my blog of 4th April, that we are recent converts to the surreal sitcom, The Mighty Boosh. As such, I couldn’t help thinking of the half-pink-octopus-half-human-head character, Tony Harrison and at first made Gabrielle laugh, then no doubt got boring, as I imitated his dull tones every time she planted an asparagus (we had thirty plants). Anyway, you be the judge: look at our asparagus photos, then a short clip from the show.