This year's Asparagus has reached the end of the road... The foliage had mostly turned yellow, and there was no way it was going to grow any more, so it was clearly time to cut it down. [For those of you who don't know this, it is normal to stop cutting Asparagus spears for eating at Mid-Summer, and after that to let the foliage (called "fern") develop to build up the plant's energy for the following year. As you can see from my photo, the fern does get pretty big.]
Normally I have to do this in wet and cold conditions, but today was again mild and still, with plenty of sunshine, so the task was a lot pleasanter than it usually is.
So, using my secateurs I cut down the stems and chopped them into manageable lengths, stuffing them into some old plastic compost-bags (because all my bins are full of leaves!)
I raked over the bed, removing all the leaves and other debris.
In the early Spring I will apply a dressing of chicken manure to this bed to give the plants a boost for when they begin to grow again.
I then trimmed the stumps to a length of about 2 -3 inches. I leave this amount of stem simply so that I can see where the crowns of the plants are.
Although my plants (Gijnlim) are supposedly all-male, one of them had produced a lot of red berries, so I presume this is a female plant.
I don't know whether the berries are viable seeds, but I thought I'd try collecting, drying, and then sowing them, to see whether I can get some new plants for free. (Am I being too optimistic here?)
With the beans and now the Asparagus taken down, the garden is beginning to look bare again.