A break from the incessant rain sent us scurrying outside to get things done this weekend. A new lamb shed is well underway and lots of gardening got done, but we are still waiting for Amalie! She’s pretty big, but continues to quietly graze rather than produce her lambs.
In the vegetable garden, the asparagus is sprouting and there may be enough to harvest by next weekend. The very mild winter and abundant rain kept the weeds and grass growing. If there was a market for invasive weeds, we’d be millionaires! Many of the weeds have taproots, and without careful removal of the entire root they will return. I have weeded most of the raised beds, the cutting gardens and the asparagus bed.
Yesterday, I finished weeding a large bed with the fig trees, rhubarb and rosemary, and a small bed with a large fennel bush. The fennel is in a bed of its own as it can inhibit the growth of other plants. Dill doesn’t mind fennel as company, but they should be kept far apart in a garden. They tend to cross-pollinate, producing terrible-tasting offspring! I have had success growing pumpkins near the fennel. Fennel is a very useful culinary herb; the ferny fronds can be added fresh to many dishes and the seeds can be dried and used in cooking as well. The flowers attract many beneficial insects and its height adds visual interest to the garden.
After weeding, I top-dress the beds with compost or a mulch of barn muck. Nature abhors a vacuum, and new weeds can quickly sprout in disturbed soil.