Fall Beauty

 He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding    
Daniel 2:21 ESV

Fall is my second favorite season of the year.  Everywhere I look the ground and trees are an array leaves in colorful tones of reds, oranges, yellows and brown.   I love that every leaf is unique in the color pattern that it displays.  

As we go through this next season I find that there are many new mountains to climb in my life and I find the same in many of my friends and families lives.  I am thankful that above all else God is faithful for there is a promise that spring will return once again. 

This week there were a couple of items that I finished up in the garden that I wanted to share with you.  We also have decided to try and grow some garlic during this fall and winter.  Read below to find out the details!   

Asparagus Ferns
As you will remember the first raised bed we have contains Asparagus which is a perennial.  If you manage it properly it can produce for 15 to 30 years!  (So make sure you pick the right location to plant them where you can let them be). We planted four 2-year crowns and the rest of the bed was made up of 1-year crowns.  This year we were not able to harvest any of the Asparagus because we had just planted the crowns.  The plants require at least 1-2 years to establish deep roots in the beds.  Next year we will finally be able to cut some of the spears! 

At the end of the season its important to take care of the Asparagus bed.  First I cut down all the fernlike foilage (because it can harbor diseases and pest eggs) and then to protect the Asparagus crowns over the winter I cover the bed with straw and leaves.  This way the Asparagus are protected until next spring.  

I do want to note that some sources recommend leaving the fern until the Spring and then cutting it back.   This enables the plant to continue photosynthesis and the ferns also catch snow for added moisture and keep the soil temperatures cooler than bare soil.  The cooler soil delays the asparagus from coming up too early in the spring which could the make the spears susceptible to frost.   I choose to cut the ferns (frankly because I could no longer deal with handpicking the Asparagus Beetles) and I will let you know next Spring how that worked out.
Beds covered with straw and leaves
Compost magic....leaves!
This is the time of year when the leaves start falling and cover the ground.  We live in an area with older larger trees which means massive amounts of leaves.  Leaves are one of the best types of material for a compost bin but they are hard to come by most of the year.  I start gathering leaves and moving them into the garden covering the raised beds and ground surrounding the garden to use again in the spring.  

Last year I was also able to put some of the leaves in the chicken wire compost bin that I quickly made.  However, this year its currently filled up with all the flowers (see picture below) I pulled out of the front beds!  So instead I will just use the area inside the garden which is fenced in to contain the leaves for use in the spring. 

Next week we will be planting Garlic in Bed #4.  Tips and hints to come.  Enjoy the fall beauty that surrounds you while looking forward to the spring that will soon arrive!

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