My asparagus came up too early because of the sustained warmth in March. Then the April frosts set in and the spears were killed. My new asparagus patch was nothing but drooped heads bowed to earth, depressing as a line of penitents. I waited, thinking there might be enough life left in them to fern out, as asparagus will, making a beautiful frond forest. But there wasn’t, so yesterday I took a sharp knife and crawled up and down the rows on my hands and knees and cut off the brown spears and pulled weeds at the same time and threw the mix into the wheelbarrow to be carted away. (I confess I once wrote a short story called The Wheelbarrow about dead things being carted away.) You don’t want to leave any debris in the patch that will attract the dreaded asparagus beetle. I do have new spears coming up so all is not lost and now that the dead stuff is cleaned out, that end of the garden looks healthier. I also planted parsnips for the first time yesterday. I like to try a least one new vegetable every year.
If it doesn’t rain today, I’ll plant kale and broccoli next to the parsnips and then we’ll set out the cabbage plants I started in the greenhouse on March 16th. I did notice my fingers are a little stiff this morning. Funny…I can sit at my laptop all day writing lies and creating havoc and my hands never bother me. But one full day of pulling weeds makes them ache. Maybe my hands are telling me something!