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Asparagus

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Re: Asparagus

Post  bnoles on Thu 16 May 2013 - 14:40

donnainzone10 wrote:Three weeks now--and no asparagus shoots!

What have your temps been averaging? What is your soil temp?

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Re: Asparagus

Post  donnainzone5 on Thu 16 May 2013 - 17:40

I haven't measured my soil temps yet.

Without calculating averages, here are the temps in Bend (not specifically for my own area) since I planted the asparagus (please note, this is lengthy):

04/24: 68/22
04/25: 74/29
04/26: 77/33
04/27: 74/35
04/28: 65/44
04/29: 60/37
04/30: 51/18
05/01: 63/20
05/02: 76/31
05/03: 73/33
05/04: 71/34
05/05: 76/34
05/06: 83/40
05/07: 81/41
05/08: 81/43
05/09: 84/44
05/10: 86/45
05/11: 89/51
05/12: 82/54
05/13: 68/43
05/14: 69/32
05/15: 65/38

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Re: Asparagus

Post  bnoles on Thu 16 May 2013 - 19:18

Wow! Now that is some details for sure. I would say from the looks of what you provided, you should see some spears about any time now. Be patient for a while longer and then all of a sudden they will just start popping up at once. Mine took like what seemed forever and I was about ready to give them up for dead and then BAM... here they came all at once.

Soil needs to be steady at above 50* before they start waking up from what I have read.

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Re: Asparagus

Post  donnainzone5 on Sun 26 May 2013 - 12:08

Going on FIVE weeks now, and still no asparagus shoots!

SHOOT!

Today, I experimentally tugged on each of the eight I'd planted. Only one pulled right out of my MM. I replaced it with a spare. The others seemed to be rooted, at least.

Any thoughts? We've had temps as low as 23F in the last few nights. Even my potatoes got nipped.

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Re: Asparagus

Post  llama momma on Sun 26 May 2013 - 13:31

Thoughts you ask? Hah, always have thoughts, valid is another story! I keep thinking of your soil temps or the quality of the crowns, is there enough constant moisture to get them going. Maybe a call to your extension folks to see if the variety you have is successful in your area. Excuse me if these were discussed, should've went over the back posts to refresh my memory.

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Re: Asparagus

Post  donnainzone5 on Mon 27 May 2013 - 7:31

LM,

I just bought a soil thermometer, but haven't used it yet.

Moisture should be okay, since I'm pretty careful to keep the MM moist. Also, the MM is damp beneath the surface.

The crowns were top-quality, purchased from Week's in Salem, OR, the same source one of my local nurseries uses. Their crowns thrived in barrels.

Yes, Jersey Knight is recommended for this climate.

Other than planting depth, the only variable I can think of that might be the culprit is that I didn't get my 12" boxes built and the MM made for several weeks after the crowns arrived. For the most part, I soaked them in a trug of water, taking them out occasionally to make sure they hadn't rotted.

Do you agree that my crowns probably have rooted? That, at least, would be a good sign.

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Re: Asparagus

Post  llama momma on Mon 27 May 2013 - 13:59

Ok then, nearly everything you said sounded good to me, except my concern is the soaking, can't help wondering if it was too much. But can't say for sure. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.

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Re: Asparagus

Post  donnainzone5 on Mon 27 May 2013 - 15:28

I just checked the soil temperature, and it's 58F.

When I planted the crowns, they did not seem to be squishy or mushy.

Is there anything I can do, other than join you in keeping my fingers crossed?

It seems that the only asparagus left locally is Purple Passion.

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Re: Asparagus

Post  llama momma on Mon 27 May 2013 - 15:47

Ok so you can keep an eye on your soil temps for one thing, as you recall over 50 degrees is what you want. Purple passion sounded so good to me between the sweeter taste and softer spears bred right into it. Suppose to be able to eat it raw in a salad. I sure hope to see a post from you soon saying your babies are popping up.

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Re: Asparagus

Post  donnainzone5 on Sat 1 Jun 2013 - 15:14

I checked my asparagus box this morning and saw nothing. I watered, then ran out to get some *free* compost.

It seems that the owner of that particular nursery once had an extended conversation with Mel in a sauna. Otherwise, I think he would have charged me.

When I returned, I squinted again at those squares, and lo and behold! In one were two tiny asparagus shoots!

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Re: Asparagus

Post  llama momma on Sat 1 Jun 2013 - 15:33

Donnainzone10
FINALLY, yes I'm shouting with glee for you, Congratulations!
I am very happy for you and your new babies.
Here's to many more Hooray! bounce rock on

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Re: Asparagus

Post  quiltbea on Sat 1 Jun 2013 - 15:57

Congrats donnain....Once they start sprouting, its like magic. They're not there and the next day they are 4 inches tall. Good luck,

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Re: Asparagus

Post  donnainzone5 on Sat 1 Jun 2013 - 16:27

Ummm,

My squinting somehow overlooked a taller sprout, which is readily identifiable as an asparagus. That makes three!

We're in for a warm spell this week, so I'm optimistic.

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Re: Asparagus

Post  bnoles on Sat 1 Jun 2013 - 16:44

ALRIGHT!!!!!!!!

cheers cheers bounce bounce rock on rock on carrot carrot

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Re: Asparagus

Post  Goosegirl on Sat 1 Jun 2013 - 17:52

We hit 91 once, now it is 40's at night and 50's for day. My 3 little scraggly spears (shared with my 3yr old neighbor Very Happy ) are all that have appeared so far. My little neighbor even came over a second day and asked if we could have some more asparagus! I told her we would have to wait until more grew.

She also comes over every few days and asks if there are carrots yet under the carrot tops (the tops are only3" tall, and she helps me water them so she sees them getting bigger - not that they have needed watering lately in our PNW weather here in SD cloudy-bummer )

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Re: Asparagus

Post  boffer on Sat 1 Jun 2013 - 19:02

@Goosegirl wrote:...not that they have needed watering lately in our PNW weather here in SD cloudy-bummer )

GG

While reading that, it just occurred to me that I don't recall anyone from the PNW participating in threads about automatic watering systems. Hmmmm....

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Re: Asparagus

Post  Goosegirl on Sat 1 Jun 2013 - 19:05

@boffer wrote:
@Goosegirl wrote:...not that they have needed watering lately in our PNW weather here in SD cloudy-bummer )

GG

While reading that, it just occurred to me that I don't recall anyone from the PNW participating in threads about automatic watering systems. Hmmmm....

Why build one when you live in one?! Razz

GG

"And now back to our regularly scheduled asparagus program"

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Re: Asparagus

Post  Turan on Sat 8 Jun 2013 - 11:24

After 3 weeks my Jersey Knight crowns sprouted. I had planted a week later some Mary Washington crowns that were much smaller and cheaper. 5 weeks later and still nothing. I was at the nursery with a gift certificate burning a hole in my pocket and saw Jersey Knight plants in half gallon pots. So I bought 6. I came home and started to dig and saw that there were some tiny shoots of the Mary Washington crowns up Very Happy So I squeezed the 6 big plants along a side.

I am going to sprinkle some poppy seeds over the bed now to keep myself from hilling the tiny plants too soon.

What is peoples experience with when to hill/back fill/ heavy mulch a new asparagus bed? I have killed so much asparagus during its first winter that I feel anxious and lacking. I am figuring in the fall at the latest.

Donna, are yours all up yet? How goes it?

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Re: Asparagus

Post  donnainzone5 on Sat 8 Jun 2013 - 11:33

Turan,

Thanks for inquiring!

Well, two more squares have asparagus shoots (that makes three), and one more shoot is about to break ground in a fourth. The initial spear really shot up and is beginning to "fern."

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Re: Asparagus

Post  mollyhespra on Sat 8 Jun 2013 - 11:58

@Turan wrote:(snip...)

What is peoples experience with when to hill/back fill/ heavy mulch a new asparagus bed? I have killed so much asparagus during its first winter that I feel anxious and lacking. I am figuring in the fall at the latest.

(snip...)

I added a bunch of crowns to an existing bed really late last year--kept 'em in the fridge till probably mid-late July. I was worried that even if they did come up, they wouldn't have enough time to gather the energy they'd need for the next year before the frosts came. Well, like your plants, it took them long enough to come up, but they finally did...and then winter came.

Well, we had a "real" winter this year: got to -28 once or twice and stayed below zero ALOT.

And much to my relief, all the new crowns threw up spears this Spring! What's more, a heavy frost in May got one of them just as they were getting started and then the heavy snow a week or so ago bent a few others down to the ground. The one that the frost turned to mush has thrown up a new spear; spindly and thin, but still alive!

But here's my point: I've never mulched the bed. Mind you, it's not in a raised SFG, but in the ground a few feet from the edge of a rock wall. To be honest, I never knew you had to mulch. I have some crowns in that bed that are at least 7 years old and they've never failed to come up.

The variety I have is 'Purple Passion'. I hope my story is helpful to you. Smile

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Re: Asparagus

Post  Turan on Sat 8 Jun 2013 - 12:13

Molly~
How deep are your crowns planted?
Did you do the dig a trench and then fill it some time after they have sprouted?
Is your soil clay or does it drain well?

Thanks, you give me hope....

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Re: Asparagus

Post  Turan on Sat 8 Jun 2013 - 12:16

donnainzone10 wrote:Turan,

Thanks for inquiring!

Well, two more squares have asparagus shoots (that makes three), and one more shoot is about to break ground in a fourth. The initial spear really shot up and is beginning to "fern."

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Re: Asparagus

Post  mollyhespra on Sat 8 Jun 2013 - 13:16

I dug a long trench about a 18" deep, filled it some 4-6 inches with some good compost and a bit of wood ash, made little hills upon which I carefully draped the roots, then covered the roots with some more compost, but only just covering them an inch or so, then put the native soil back into the trench to the original soil level. I read when I first planted the original asparagus that it's OK to just fill 'er up all the way, all at once, so that's what I did then & what I did last summer.

OH! I also used old tent stakes on the soil surface to one side of the trench to mark where the crowns were so that I'd know if they all came up.

I then placed some stepping stones about a foot or so away from where the crowns were planted so I wouldn't inadvertently step too close and stomp on my fluffy soil.

The "native" soil is probably fill from when the house was built. It's pretty sandy but does have a little clay in it. Drainage-wise, it's OK.

I didn't harvest any spears from the new planting this year, I'm hoping to give them what they didn't get the first time 'round: a whole summer to stock up on energy so that NEXT spring... drooling hungry

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Re: Asparagus

Post  Turan on Sat 8 Jun 2013 - 15:39

Thanks, Molly. With that I won't worry too much about burying them too quick too deep.

Here is too future spears drooling happy smile

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Re: Asparagus

Post  mollyhespra on Sat 8 Jun 2013 - 19:31

@Turan wrote:Thanks, Molly. With that I won't worry too much about burying them too quick too deep.

Here is too future spears drooling happy smile

To Asparagus! May your spears be tender and plentiful!!!

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Re: Asparagus

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