"We'll sup before we go."
I loved it when my dad would tell me this nursery rhyme at bedtime. And that's what came to my mind as it was time for my garden to go to bed for the winter. It hasn't rained for two weeks, so the soil was dry and soft, perfect for what needed to be done.
I have two small asparagus beds (about 1' x 3') at the ends of my float garden. In spring, they produce nice sized spears. In summer, the tall ferns give my other plants some shade. I cut the fern stalks about 2" above the ground, saving the tops of the fronds.
I put them on top of the cut stems. We get some freezing temperatures, including light snow. The fern tops insulate the soil to protect the asparagus roots. I also removed a bed of strawberries. My space is so limited, I can't spare it for something that doesn't produce.
I kept the strawberry leaves and added them on top of the fern fronds. They will increase the insulation and give added soil protection. And through the winter they will break down and become a layer of compost to replenish the soil by spring.
Lastly, I covered the strawberry leaves with soil from the garden. It will help hold everything in place during rains and wind until the organic matter starts to break down.
Now my asparagus is tucked in bed for a long winter's sleep. I can hardly wait until they start to awaken in the spring and give us some more spears to go with one of Wayne's BBQ dinners. -- Margy