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I have asparagus!

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I have asparagus!

Post  dixie on 3/2/2011, 4:24 pm

I checked my asparagus bed and to my surprise I had several spears of asparagus about 3 inches long! I can't wait til we get enough for a meal.
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Re: I have asparagus!

Post  Lavender Debs on 3/2/2011, 6:18 pm

Oh goody! Now I need to go have a stern talking to mine.

Deborah....wondering just how large your bed is
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Re: I have asparagus!

Post  dixie on 3/2/2011, 8:01 pm

Beds: 4 4x12,
1 2x12 asparagus,
2 6x2,
1 2x4.

This year after the rest of the picket fence is installed I'll put in a couple of 2 footers along the fence.

Ain't it fun?
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Re: I have asparagus!

Post  quiltbea on 3/2/2011, 8:43 pm

dixie,
Lucky you. I plan to put in asparagus in a permanent bed this year. Its nice to know someone has some growing already. Good for you.
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Re: I have asparagus!

Post  janefss2002 on 3/2/2011, 9:47 pm

Dixie,

I'm so enjoying this cheers !

My grandmother grew asparagus in her rose garden in East Texas for many years. I tried to start a bed here in Dallas area about 10-15 years ago. This was pre SFG gardening days and Life got in the way Sad

So I'm going to enjoy following you as I get up the courage to "finish" the job here.

You inspire me!

Jane
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Re: I have asparagus!

Post  dixie on 3/2/2011, 10:13 pm

Jane, I bet the asparagus foilage was really pretty with the roses.

I've grown asparagus before, but each Spring had to hunt for it among the weeds & the permanent beds are working out really well. Last year I bought the Jersey all male crowns from either Walmart or Lowe's and they were actually large enough in size that first year to harvest, but I refrained. I gave them a good dose of manure tea & have high hopes of a good harvest.
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Re: I have asparagus!

Post  duhh on 3/2/2011, 10:54 pm

Congrats on the asparagus! I think it's such a cool loking plant. My hubby wouldn't let me have one yet, but by next year we should have enough space. I can sneak a bed in there somewhere I just know I can!
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Re: I have asparagus!

Post  janefss2002 on 3/2/2011, 11:22 pm

Dixie,
I was a child then, and I remember the foliage to be beautiful; l liked the lace among the roses. I can remember her cutting off the sprouts for her dinner and a rose for me to take home to Mom. My grandmothers were my Daycare before school days. My Grandmother grew such beautiful roses for so many years (chicken poo was the secret ingredient, she said).

My brother now owns our Grandparents homestead. Perhaps I could suggest re-starting the now dead beds (there are a lot of them) with asparagus and some of the new vigorous, low upkeep Knock-out roses in honor of our Grandparents. He is trying to bring back the place.

It is a plan.

And I want asparagus here! Laughing

Thanks for posting this!
Jane
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Asparagus

Post  ander217 on 3/3/2011, 7:36 am

Wow, asparagus already???

My bed is still covered in leaves. Maybe I should rake them away, although I'm not convinced this weather is settled yet.

I have a 12-ft. bed of Mary Washington that has been going for several years next to the pasture fence. Encroaching grass is always a problem. My mom had a nice bed, but a family member who moved into her house kept mowing down the ferns after they produced, and now the bed is no more. It was sad for me because Mom had transplanted most of hers from my grandmother's bed.

I'm planning on adding a new 30-ft bed this spring next to the garden fence where we can keep the grass at bay better. I was wondering about the new all-male plants. Do you like the flavor of the Jersey strain? Stark Bros. has Jersey Knight in their catalog. I was thinking about ordering some of them, but they would probably be cheaper at WM. Stark Bros. also have Purple Passion, which is open-pollinated, but the color didn't really appeal to me.

I'd like to raise enough asparagus to freeze for the entire year.
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Re: I have asparagus!

Post  dixie on 3/3/2011, 10:18 am

I haven't cooked any of these yet so don't know about flavor. We will probably get more cold weather so I'll have to cover them. I had just added about 4" of MM to the bed a couple of weeks ago & they came on up through that.
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Planting Asparagus this weekend

Post  Noviceintraining on 3/18/2011, 11:31 am

Nice to see someone having success with asparagus. I order 100 2 year old crowns and will be planting them this weekend. I had a few questions for everyone to make sure I do them right.

Background:
1) 100 2 year old asparagus crowns UC157 Hybrid
2) Located in Houston, TX Zone 8b
3) planting 4 per sq ft. with exceptions where I put a worm tube. Those will only have 2 crowns + worm tube in sq.
4) This will be in a new 8 x 4 bed.

Questions:
1) Did you line the bed with weed barrier? I typically use one, but read that Asparagus like to spread their roots. Should I just use newspaper?

2) Do you soak the crowns before planting? If yes, for how long?

3) Since these are 2 year crowns, do I still need to wait 1 year before harvesting spears? I was told the same about strawberries, but I am harvesting my strawberries now. I can wait on asparagus, but would love to try some fresh this year if possible.

PS: nothing beats homegrown strawberries. Got our 1st one yesteday (3/17/11) after planting on 12/28. Just incredible. Now must be patient so that I can get more than 1 single strawberry.

4) Only use Mel's mix? or should I top with my best compost (vermicompost in my case)

5) After planting should I mulch with straw, or wait until ferns have grown?

Any advice is appreciated.

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Re: I have asparagus!

Post  dixie on 3/18/2011, 12:00 pm

I just ordered 50 of the UC157 from Simmons Plant farm, my established bed has the Jersey strain.

I'm definitely no expert but I used the weed barrier when planting & fed with manure tea through the summer, then spread a thin layer of compost in late winter.

Soaking: If the crowns are pretty dry looking I would soak them for a couple of hours. Mine were nice & fresh, so I didn't soak, just watered the bed thoroughly.

I don't mulch when I use MM because there are no weeds.

As to harvesting, I'll be tempted to harvest very lightly this year, depending on the size. If they are nice & big, I'll harvest some, but if on the thin side, I won't.

Hopefully someone else will have more advice.
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have asparagus!

Post  Noviceintraining on 3/18/2011, 12:04 pm

I ordered my 100 from Simmons as well. Thanks for the advice. Also, are you planting them 4 to a square?

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Re: I have asparagus!

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 3/18/2011, 12:48 pm

This is turning into a great how-to thread. I am so ridiculously jealous of you asparagus people. I didn't commit to any this year, and I likely won't have any until 2013 as a result.

Ander, I am not convinced up here, either. Our long range forecast for April is cool and sloppy wet with the rivers running very high. I think you have the right idea by sitting tight a bit longer.
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Re: I have asparagus!

Post  Noviceintraining on 3/18/2011, 1:42 pm

also, wanted to verify that everyone is doing 6 inches beds, 4 to a square. Is this correct?

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Re: I have asparagus!

Post  dixie on 3/18/2011, 1:57 pm

My boxes are 10" deep, so mix is probably 6-7" now. I planted mine 1 to a square last year, but will try 4 to a square with these new ones on order. I did notice I have a few strawberries ready to bloom.
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Re: I have asparagus!

Post  Noviceintraining on 3/27/2011, 11:38 pm

I planted my asparagus. I can't imagine how everyone got them 4 to a square. I used 2 year crowns from Simmons. The crowns are huge with long roots. I still planted them but the roots will overlap quite a bit with one another.

It will be interesting to see if they grow.

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Re: I have asparagus!

Post  quiltbea on 3/28/2011, 12:02 am

My asparagus, Jersey Knight, haven't arrived yet but the 3 sources I checked say to plant them approx 18" apart.
I'm wondering how they will survive 4 in a one foot square?

Does anyone on this forum have any growing that closely for at least 3 years who can report their results?

If so, I'd like to hear how that's working.
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Re: I have asparagus!

Post  sheslostit on 3/28/2011, 11:53 am

i didn't do sfg last year (didn't hear of such an amazing thing)., but my hubby built a container garden last year and in a section i put some crown roots. Thankfully they did well (since i didn't know you should soak them). They grew pretty last year and i let them be. About a week ago, my first aspargus poke thr the ground looking delicious. I am only going to do a light trimming this year because i've heard its better for the plant. Today there are about 20 asparagus there...some are just peeking through. I planted some more new crown roots in another area of the garden. In my opinion, one can never have too much asparagus LOL. I'm looking forward to my first harvest. I love asparagus..and honestly the only thing i did this year was add some compost for fertilizer. I'll post pics of mine soon.

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Re: I have asparagus!

Post  CindiLou on 3/29/2011, 12:48 am

Waiting for my asparagus lol...snowing again here so I think it will be a while yet. Although the rhubarb is leafing so may only be a couple of weeks. I put a bed in oh probable 13 yrs ago. I very rarely pick it cause I forget and then they are to big! But I do enjoy the ferns every year! My sister only lives 6 blocks from me and she didn't remember I had a bed! She says she will be calling me every day! Oh boy. May get some picked this year! I planted 3 rows in a bed about 6x6. I keep weed barrier down between the rows and mulch the entire bed. Guess they must be easy to grow because I sure neglect them!
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Re: I have asparagus!

Post  Noviceintraining on 4/1/2011, 11:48 am

I planted my crowns about 2 weeks ago and I already have asparagus breaking through. I did plant in sfg with 4 crowns to a square except where I had a worm tube. In those cases, I did 2 or 3 depending on crown size.

Asparugus are breaking through in several of the squares already. I am impressed. I planted in Houston with Hybrids from Simmons.

I'll keep you updated. Although I will resist the urge to harvest this year, but am so excited to see that the roots are actually producing.

On the scary side, I saw some beetles in the soil, although I don't know what kind of beetles.

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Re: I have asparagus!

Post  Lavender Debs on 4/1/2011, 12:15 pm

quiltbea wrote:My asparagus, Jersey Knight, haven't arrived yet but the 3 sources I checked say to plant them approx 18" apart.
I'm wondering how they will survive 4 in a one foot square?

Does anyone on this forum have any growing that closely for at least 3 years who can report their results?

If so, I'd like to hear how that's working.


First I need to say that NO I have not had them that long.

My first batch I put in 4 plants about 20 inches apart (last year)
The rest I put into the same size bed (panic planting)

I had over a dozen crowns left over and put all of them into a bed of the same size. I have heard from asparagus people more than once that they sure will grow that close together but will make small spears. I'm told the larger, tenderer spears will come from those with more space. We shall see.

Deborah....hoping they do not all drown.
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Re: I have asparagus!

Post  MrsDC on 4/1/2011, 12:50 pm

Well, I'm new to SFG, but my mom has had asparagus for decades and it does fine when "cozy". She thinned the plants out when the bed got too crowded. I would think that 4 to a square might be a little close to start with, but you should still get results. In the wild, I've seen asparagus patches with a dozen main plants in a 2 foot area, so obviously they aren't that particular.

I envy your asparagus!!! But good luck anyway! Smile

Someone made a comment about the "larger, more tender stalks". IMO, the smaller, skinny ones are more tender -- could be different varieties which I don't know of.

Just thinking out loud.

-- Rebecca
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Re: I have asparagus!

Post  quiltbea on 4/1/2011, 1:01 pm

I'm going to have my first asparagus bed this year.

I read that thinner and younger is better for best tasting asparagus.
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Re: I have asparagus!

Post  Lavender Debs on 4/1/2011, 1:08 pm

All us rookies!

I've heard that the end of the season spears are the thinnist and stringist. All the fresh energy of the root goes into the first spears. I guess we will all find out. Yea!!
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