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Asparagus

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Re: Asparagus

Post  bnoles on 4/19/2013, 9:21 am

LM....

Sounds like you will make a foot path to the asparagus bed the same way I did lol!

I am so relieved that all of mine made it. I planted them in Feb as recommended by the planting guide for my area and gave them a proper bed all their own. Mine are 2 years old so I am hoping to get a spear or 3 from them this year.

Really looking forward to your review of the 18 day compost method as I value your opinion greatly.

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Re: Asparagus

Post  Goosegirl on 4/19/2013, 2:53 pm

@llama momma wrote:.....My extension office says to plant them March through April when temperatures here are all over the place. Asparagus must be even tougher than strawberries I guess--or hope!.....

LM - Asparagus is TOUGH stuff. It grows wild in ditches around here - with winter temps in the -20F to -30F range. A dip down to +20F to +30F should be 'shorts weather' for your crowns!

GG

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Re: Asparagus

Post  llama momma on 4/19/2013, 5:14 pm

GG
You gave me such happy news on asparagus hardiness. Really. You have no idea Thank you Goosegirl!
sunny sunny

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Re: Asparagus

Post  Goosegirl on 4/19/2013, 5:51 pm

@llama momma wrote:GG
You gave me such happy news on asparagus hardiness. Really. You have no idea Thank you Goosegirl!
sunny sunny

rofl You have no idea how happy I was when I moved out here from CA and found asparagus growing in the ditches FREE for the TAKING! Even 15+ years ago it was $5.99/bndl. in the grocery stores near me, and I had just discovered that I LOVE asparagus! (my life before age 25 was virtually veggie-free except McD fries)

Now, along with my small 1x10 box, I have my carefully guarded map hiddenID of the best ditches within my area!

GG

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Re: Asparagus

Post  plantoid on 4/19/2013, 5:57 pm

@Goosegirl wrote:
@llama momma wrote:.....My extension office says to plant them March through April when temperatures here are all over the place. Asparagus must be even tougher than strawberries I guess--or hope!.....

LM - Asparagus is TOUGH stuff. It grows wild in ditches around here - with winter temps in the -20F to -30F range. A dip down to +20F to +30F should be 'shorts weather' for your crowns!

GG

GG ,
That's worth getting some seeds off the better patches and doing swapsies on here .

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Re: Asparagus

Post  Goosegirl on 4/19/2013, 6:07 pm

@plantoid wrote:
@Goosegirl wrote:
@llama momma wrote:.....My extension office says to plant them March through April when temperatures here are all over the place. Asparagus must be even tougher than strawberries I guess--or hope!.....

LM - Asparagus is TOUGH stuff. It grows wild in ditches around here - with winter temps in the -20F to -30F range. A dip down to +20F to +30F should be 'shorts weather' for your crowns!

GG

GG ,
That's worth getting some seeds off the better patches and doing swapsies on here .

I will do what I can to collect some of the native seeds this year! hiddenID The best patch put out about 2 plastic grocery bags full of 3/4"-1" thick spears for the 'late' picking last spring. We got there late and much had already gotten too tall and bushy. hiddenID

GG

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Re: Asparagus

Post  Turan on 4/20/2013, 11:39 pm

I got my Jersey Knight roots today. I planted them in half the bed I plan for asparagus. I dug the trench a full foot down and then fluffed the soil under the bed. By the time I had planted them the crowns are about 6-8" down in the trench. Whew, I hope they like this and thrive. I intend to fill the trenches with compost this summer.
I went by the nursery to get the other variety but they had not arrived yet. They were not sure they could get the Viking, but I will be happy with Martha Washington as well. They just got to arrive!

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Re: Asparagus

Post  llama momma on 4/21/2013, 7:49 am

Did everyone else receive vastly different sized plants no matter what you actually ordered?

Observation:
When the box of purple passion arrived from the farm, there were starkly different sized crowns. I ordered 1 yr. olds. Some small crowns had 5" tentacles while others with larger crowns had 8-9" tentacles. Wonder if this is a normal difference in plant development or what?

The kicker ?
Yesterday I impulsively bought a bag of jersey giants and more purple passion from Lowes. The bags say the plants are 2 yr olds. Yet these are clearly small crowns with short tentacles. Ok maybe I bought substandard..? Rolling Eyes


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Re: Asparagus

Post  NHGardener on 4/21/2013, 8:01 am

My asparagus crown sizes were also all over the map. They also threw in a freebie. When I got my strawberry crowns last year, there were several freebies. I think all plants just grow at different rates.

I planted my 25 asparagus crowns a couple weeks ago on an experimental hugel mound built up from the ground, but the chickens keep jumping the fence and getting in there and scratching it all up, so I don't know if any of mine will actually take root. If they don't, I'll just improve it for next year and try again.

Lowes sells asparagus crowns? Huh.

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Re: Asparagus

Post  llama momma on 4/21/2013, 8:16 am

Ah OK then, you also had different sizes. So Sorry to hear about the chicken interference though.

I also received one extra crown from the farm I ordered from. And yes, Lowes still had asparagus and potatoes too. Then I was very surprised to see 3 varieties of asparagus at Menards of all places who also had 3 or 4 varieties of potatoes. I guess my brain got locked into thinking these things had to be shipped direct from the farm. It'll be interesting to see the quality of plants later on. Paying for plants and shipping I hope the farm specimens prove themselves better..

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Re: Asparagus

Post  NHGardener on 4/21/2013, 9:11 am

I'm leery of non-farm raised products.

I keep covering up my asparagus crowns each time they get scratched out - maybe some will still take. Ha.

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I didn't even know they had birthdays...

Post  kat51415 on 4/21/2013, 9:38 am

I have no idea how old my Mary Washingtons are that I picked up at Lowe's. They were approximately the same size although some were somewhat bigger. I had one LARGE octopus of a crown in there but the rest were meh-average. I didn't get any bonuses and, so far, no sproutings have occurred. Still waiting, 2 weeks later. sawing logs

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Re: Asparagus

Post  llama momma on 4/21/2013, 10:12 am

Huh. I'd like more answers. I'm calling the farm tomorrow for input when age vs. size doesn't seem to make a difference.

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Re: Asparagus

Post  Turan on 4/21/2013, 12:03 pm

In the past when I bought bundles of crowns (asparagus or strawberry) there was always a large variation in size, there also was a few extras. I have ordered them from a couple different catalogs and bought from the local nursery, all seemed similar. I never bought from Lowes, those roots are sitting in a heated space looking stressed out.

This year I ordered from a local farmer who was bringing in a shipment of bare roots from farms in Minnesota. Before I picked up my roots (and tree Laughing ) she had sorted through the bundles she received from the grower. So she sent me home with a fairly uniform bundle (not totally though, 1 huge octopus and the rest a nice reassuringly big enough size). She is probably planning to plant the smaller roots into her own fields. A nursery/ catalog does not have that option, I suspect. They probably send off the bundles from the farms direct as they come and the farms count on the generous side to compensate for the size variations.

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Re: Asparagus

Post  Weedless_ on 4/21/2013, 7:11 pm

We are officially 100% sprouted and 90% bushed out. 26 out of 26.

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Re: Asparagus

Post  llama momma on 4/22/2013, 2:28 pm

@llama momma wrote:Huh. I'd like more answers. I'm calling the farm tomorrow for input when age vs. size doesn't seem to make a difference.

I received an email from the farm I bought from. The larger crowns were simply large one year olds. No other explanation given.

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Re: Asparagus

Post  NHGardener on 4/23/2013, 7:12 am

I just read the post about the wild asparagus growing in the ditch - wow! That's encouraging. We need a Johnny Asparagus Seed and get a whole lot of wild asparagus growing in this country!

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Re: Asparagus

Post  llama momma on 4/27/2013, 10:30 pm

9 days ago I planted asparagus. The crowns were light tan and had teeny little nubby things. Today 5 purple passion spears popped up. Had to share a pic of the first baby--you would not believe how thrilling it was to find some babies already.

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Re: Asparagus

Post  jmsieglaff on 4/27/2013, 10:49 pm

@llama momma wrote:9 days ago I planted asparagus. The crowns were light tan and had teeny little nubby things. Today 5 purple passion spears popped up. Had to share a pic of the first baby--you would not believe how thrilling it was to find some babies already.

I'm jealous. This is the 2nd year for my asparagus. They're not up yet, but the soil temperature in the bed was up to 48F yesterday afternoon--close to the magical 50F temp in which spear production will start and the 60s today and 70s the next couple days might just be enough here....although late in the week looks much colder Sad .

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Re: Asparagus

Post  llama momma on 4/27/2013, 11:06 pm

I'm sorry, I do hope yours comes up very soon. Do you give plants warm water, maybe that will help?
Since I never had asparagus before I'll chalk it up good compost and taking advantage of leaving buckets out in the sun to give plants warm water. Mel mentions in the book page 138
(2006 edition) that plants will uptake nutrients faster and grow better when the water is warm. Plants grow faster in warm temperatures, right? Same idea as it helps with nutrient absorption and warms the soil at the same time.

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Re: Asparagus

Post  jmsieglaff on 4/27/2013, 11:12 pm

@llama momma wrote:I'm sorry, I do hope yours comes up very soon. Do you give plants warm water, maybe that will help?

No need to be sorry, but thanks. Mother nature and her cold, wet April have been my problem. I haven't watered them at all, we had nearly 6.00" of rain this April. Our first 70 degree has yet to occur--but that should happen tomorrow. They did great last year (first year), so I'm looking forward to the abbreviated 2-3 week harvest this year!

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Re: Asparagus

Post  NHGardener on 4/27/2013, 11:22 pm

So glad to see the photo of asparagus when it pops up! I was wondering if maybe it looked like blades of grass or something, but I guess it looks like the real thing. I planted mine in early April but the chickens manage to get through the fencing and have kept digging it up (it's on a mound pile, topped with straw, which they can't resist). I keep tucking them back under the soil, but I have a feeling I've lost this fight. But that's okay, I'll plant squash there for the summer and next spring will plant again, this time it will be chicken proof.

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Re: Asparagus

Post  llama momma on 4/27/2013, 11:30 pm

jmsieglass Hah! Since you can harvest some this year my friend you are still ahead of me! 26 of my crowns are 1 yr olds, so I think all I can do is drool a little and watch them grow this year. The other 12 spears are small 2 yr olds from a dept store impulse purchase. I don't know what kind of performance to expect from those. Shocked

NHG - glad the pic helped. You mentioned chickens and that reminds me to make the critter cover first thing in the morning, I threw that welded wire over the bed just to keep out the cats never expecting the spears to pop up this quickly. I don't know if raccoons or other wildlife would reach into those approx. 2 by 4 inch holes and snack on my precious babies.

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Re: Asparagus

Post  Turan on 4/28/2013, 12:10 am

OOOooooooo that looks so full of potential drooling. drooling

I planted the second half of my batch today. Last weekend I planted 7 Jersey Knights, today I planted 7 Mary Washington. The rest of the bed will have the strawberries moved to it.

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Re: Asparagus

Post  bnoles on 4/28/2013, 8:02 am

WOW LM! That was fast... must be those Lama Beans you compost. cheers

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