We finally have a working tractor! Whoo Hoo! Haveing been struggling with the pre-loved tractor - only getting 5 days use out of 6 weeks owership we got our money back and decided to bite the bullet and buy a new (tiny) Kubota tractor which we named Boxer after the horse in Animal Farm.
We did more work in 2 days with the new one than we had done in 6 weeks with the old one. Money well spent in our book. Spike wasted no time in letting us know who is the real boss.
Thanks to climate change our asparagus crowns (from Aspara Pacific at http://www.asparapacific.co.nz/) arrived one month early and were planted the same day. We ordered 50 crowns but ended up with about 60! We put down 5cm compost then built mounds about 20-30 cm in height staggered accross the bed to give the plants enough room (our beds are 75cm wide) then carefully arranged the crowns on top of each mound, which was tricky because the roots are quite brittle. Covering the roots with more compost we planted the gaps betweeen the crowns with companion plants: dill, coriander and asters (not shown in the photo below).
In less than a week they had started shooting following perfect growing condiitons: rain followed by warm sunshine.
We now have 20 beds built and planted and have started to harvest salad greens using pick and come again harvesting. Many lettuces can be used in this way. Our selection includes various lettuces (buttercrunch, oak leaf, cos, devils ear and canasta) as well as a wide variety of salad greens: salad burnet, watercress, celtuce, mizuna, mesclun, rocket, miners lettuce, endive, komatsuna, upland cress.
In the background the menfolk are sieving the compost under the supervision of Management.