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Asparagus - How many per square & roots?

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Asparagus - How many per square & roots?

Post  theisen70 on 3/26/2010, 10:07 pm

Hi all,

I've ordered 2 year old Jersey Supreme crowns to plant in our 2' x 8' box that's about 10 to 11 inches deep.


  1. How many crowns can be planted per square foot?
  2. There is a layer of 10 yr weed barrier under the box. Is this going to present a major problem for the roots?
  3. I've heard some folks recommend 10-10-10 as well as 0-20-0 and 0-40-0 (or there about) for asparagus fertilizer. Which is generally thought to be best? And, should this fertilizer be placed on the mound in the trench prior to placing the crowns on?
  4. Should the roots on the crown be spread out? I've heard both that it's not necessary as well as being recommended.
  5. What should be the minimum amount of dirt, under the asparagus? 4" including the mound?
  6. We can do a "light" harvest this year, correct?

We are in Zone 8A.

Thanks much!

theisen70

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Re: Asparagus - How many per square & roots?

Post  swripley on 3/28/2010, 9:49 am

Theisen,

I'm a newbie so take this for what it is worth, according to the book the standard 6" deep bed is adequate. Mel says 1 per square but recomends 4 per square for a better yield. Fill square with 3 inches of Mel's Mix, create 4 small mounds of mix and drape the asparagus roots over the mounds. Cover the crowns with remailing 3" mix resulting in an inch or two of mix over the crowns.

I too am figuring out my asparagus plan this morning which as I want to purchse today (YEAH, trip to the nursery). I am not able to dedicate an entire 4 x 4 box to asparagus the way the book suggests. Anyone out there have sucess with asparagus sharing a box with other plants? What might make a good neighbor for it? It's tall so was planning on putting it on the north side of the box, 4 squares in total, 16 crowns. As my husband is not a fan I figure this will be plenty for me.


Last edited by swripley on 3/28/2010, 9:58 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Asparagus - How many per square & roots?

Post  swripley on 3/28/2010, 9:57 am

Oops should have done a search before I replied....here is what Ward had to say on the subject back in February....
@WardinWake wrote:Dixie:

Asparagus can work well in a Square Foot Garden. Asparagus needs to be in a box by itself as it will, in time, take over the box. Asparagus roots run DEEP, up (down) to 12 feet so the box will need to be bottomless, i.e. the box will need to be on the ground with a disintegrating weed blocker such as newspaper or cardboard. Mary and I planted our asparagus last spring and hope to have at least a small crop this year. Our mistake was in putting the box out of sight of the rest of the garden so it does not get the attention that the rest of the garden gets.

What size box do you think you will need to feed the family and have some to give away?

God Bless, Ward.


I'm still hoping that someone out there has shared a box with asparagus and something else

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Re: Asparagus - How many per square & roots?

Post  Lavender Debs on 3/28/2010, 10:03 am

Swirp have ever seen mature asparagus? It is impressive. About 6 feet tall and quite brushy. The sprigs you see in the market and in spring are the little shoots that come up. I have never known anyone who thought eating the sprigs the first year was wise. A taste or two the next year is fine but it is the 3rd year that you can actually start harvesting. The first year the root needs the sprout to give energy to the root. After that it starts to spread just a little and put up more shoots. One more year of Mexican asparagus then you will be free!

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Mel's response

Post  Retired Member 1 on 3/28/2010, 12:19 pm

Here's what Mel says on the website:

Q: Can you grow asparagus in a SFG ?
A: Yes, asparagus can be easily grown in a square foot garden.
Because it is a perennial and takes several years to even get started before the first harvest and since people like a lot of asparagus and it only produces one crop a year, we suggest you assign or plant an entire 4x4 in only asparagus. Have you ever grown it before? The plants get very bushy throughout the summer and need quite a bit of room to spread out so leave good aisle space around it. (After you have harvested the asparagus, consider using the feathery leaves as filler in flower arrangements.)
Traditionally, you plant one per square foot, but I've found that if you can afford enough of the roots, four per square foot will produce a much bigger crop earlier and I think you know the conventional way of planting them is to put about half or 3 inches of your Mel's Mix down, determine your spacing, make little mounds of Mel's Mix at each plant location and then you drape the roots, which you buy in the nursery or through mail order, over each one of those little mounds and then pour in the rest of the 3 inches of Mel's Mix. That would cover the roots an inch or two and that is about all you have to do.
On all the rest of your square foot garden, remember we advocate a different crop in every square foot and that has as many different advantages as explained in the "What Is SFG?" and "How to SFG".
Mel B.

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asparagus how many?

Post  Kiffany on 3/31/2010, 4:41 pm

Okay, so am I reading this right. 4 asparagus roots to one square foot, so a 4x4 square would have 16 plants?

seems too crowded

Would a long row be better, for instance a 20 ft by 3 ft box?

Thanks

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Re: Asparagus - How many per square & roots?

Post  nanapatti on 4/13/2012, 1:44 pm

I have the opportunity to transplant well established asparagus. Does anyone know when and how to do this without killing the plants? I can't imagine 16 asparagus in a square foot! They are very tall and bushy!

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2nd Year Asparagus

Post  Shoda on 4/20/2012, 11:24 pm

Last spring, I planted asparagus in a dedicated 2' x 8' SFG Box. The box was two high (12"). Before I planted, I asked the local nursery for advice. They suggested putting the roots in 6" of mix and covering with about an inch of dirt (i.e. Mel’s Mix for me). Then as they start to grow, add more cover until they main root ball is about 6" down.

I purchased enough of the bare root starts for 4 per box. Yes, you can choose to put one per square and it will fill in BUT I was greedy and wanted more sooner!

This year we have been harvesting the fat stalks (bigger then a finger) based on several recommendations I read. We haven't taken every stalk that came up and most of the root starts seem to have taken hold pretty well.

Second year harvest - We have been enjoying Asparagus for the last two months. Most harvests have been around 1/2 a pound and I just wash and put in the fridge till more come up.

Hope that helps!

- Lisa

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Re: Asparagus - How many per square & roots?

Post  at2wooden on 2/26/2014, 4:31 pm

Exactly what I needed to know about asparagus!!
Sounds like I need to add another dedicated box on the north side of my garden.
Can anyone suggest a reasonably priced source of mail order 3 year old bare root crowns?
What time of the year are they available?

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Re: Asparagus - How many per square & roots?

Post  at2wooden on 2/26/2014, 10:20 pm

Will asparagus even grow in zone 10?
If so, what kind?
I see some that will grow in zone 9.

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Re: Asparagus - How many per square & roots?

Post  camprn on 2/26/2014, 10:52 pm

@at2wooden wrote:Will asparagus even grow in zone 10?
If so, what kind?
I see some that will grow in zone 9.
Asparagus needs a dormancy period and I believe that is not something that can happen in your region.
http://gardeningsolutions.ifas.ufl.edu/giam/plants_and_grasses/fruits_vegetables/vegetable_faq.html

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asparagus in Hawaii

Post  kauairosina on 2/26/2014, 11:43 pm

We can grow asparagus here in Hawaii.  I have 48 purple passion males ordered from Itsy Bitsy (is that a name or what?).  

I am torn between following Mel's advice of 4 to a square and planting one to a square foot.  I might try some of each.

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Re: Asparagus - How many per square & roots?

Post  at2wooden on 2/27/2014, 1:36 am

Good to hear. I thought they might need cold to go dormant.
Looks like Stark Brother has purple asparagus plants 10 for $13.99 and they claim they will grow in my zip code. Hmm. 

http://www.starkbros.com/products/garden-plants/vegetable-plants/purple-passion-asparagus;jsessionid=BBDC3A8443C408E104ED4685C89F4022

Think I'll grow 25 in a 4X4 square with garlic as a companion in between.

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Re: Asparagus - How many per square & roots?

Post  camprn on 2/27/2014, 7:20 am

@kauairosina wrote:We can grow asparagus here in Hawaii.  I have 48 purple passion males ordered from Itsy Bitsy (is that a name or what?).  

I am torn between following Mel's advice of 4 to a square and planting one to a square foot.  I might try some of each.
I would reccommend to always follow the planting instructions that come with the crowns.

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1306-other-gardening-books

Outlander is outstanding!


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Re: Asparagus - How many per square & roots?

Post  llama momma on 2/27/2014, 9:23 am

Last Spring I planted a 4 by 4 box with 38 crowns.  Some squares have 4 crowns, some have 2 and even 1 per square. Other squares were filled with parsley that was very happy in the shade of the taller asparagus.  Asparagus easily grew to 5 ft tall or so.  Here' s hoping most of it survived the brutal winter.   Just remember we can jam in more plants than row gardeners due to the richness of home made compost and the pure genius of Mel's Mix.

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Re: Asparagus - How many per square & roots?

Post  donnainzone5 on 2/27/2014, 10:35 am

I grew asparagus when I lived in Zone 10 in Southern California. My main problem was lack of sunlight, but I did harvest enough for several servings.

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Asparagus on the Maine Coast?

Post  nancybriggs on 3/15/2014, 5:09 pm

My neighborhood Expert (non SFG) says I MUST plant new asparagus in 12" raised boxes. Six inches is not enough. I'm on the Maine Coast.
Any input would be appreciated.

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Re: Asparagus - How many per square & roots?

Post  rabbithutch on 3/15/2014, 5:41 pm

@nancybriggs wrote:My neighborhood Expert (non SFG) says I MUST plant new asparagus in 12" raised boxes. Six inches is not enough. I'm on the Maine Coast.
Any input would be appreciated.

I grew them a few years back in a raised bed (non SFG) garden.  The beds were 8x8x16 concrete block with landscaper's bedding soil mounded across a 4' span.  The natural soil beneath was black with a lot of clay.  The asparagus did very well.  I don't remember the variety.

I am planning to make a 4x4 sfg at ground level and dedicate it to asparagus.  I will probably use double height 2x8s which will come to around 14" of MM.

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Re: Asparagus - How many per square & roots?

Post  camprn on 3/15/2014, 6:22 pm

Nancy, with a plant like asparagus I recommend that you follow the planting instruction sheet that comes with the crowns. Also contact your county Co-op Extension Service for the best regional advice.

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There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Re: Asparagus - How many per square & roots?

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