More Asparagus!

Monday, April 26, 2010

I want to start by saying I am not a gardening expert. I LOVE to garden but you'll read very few posts on gardening at Faithfulness Farm. Mostly, because it is an area in which I feel I have much more to learn than teach. I had comments on my homegrown asparagus, and my thought was, *if you only knew HOW easy it is to grow*. That said, I thought I'd share some of my limited knowledge/experience and point to a great article that says it all.

If you don’t have asparagus in your garden yet, this month and next are the time to plant it. This is not a vegetable that can be grown in a container, so you will need to give it a dedicated space in your garden. Growing asparagus is quite easy, but does require a little patience. You can start with seeds, but most gardeners plant crowns (dormant roots) because you can harvest a year earlier.

To plant asparagus, dig a trench that is 12″ deep and 12″ wide. Set trenches 3-4′ apart. Set the crowns about 18″ apart and spread the roots out evenly. Asparagus is a heavy feeder, so backfill the trench with compost or well-rotted manure, then add more dirt. Water well and then keep the asparagus well-watered throughout that first summer, but don’t drown it either. Spread about 2″ of mulch over the area to suppress weeds. For some reason, asparagus doesn’t tolerate weeds, but a good layer of mulch should mostly keep them out. After that, it will be easy enough for you to pull out the odd weed that does appear.

That’s it. You’re done. Now all you have to do is wait. And wait and wait. And then wait some more. The plants need a few years to grow and spread. You can harvest a few spears after one year, about half the year after that, and then all of the asparagus every spring after that. The plants multiply like rabbits (but not in an invasive way) and an asparagus bed can last for years, possibly even decades. About a dozen crowns will feed one adult well during a season; two dozen crowns will net you enough for a family or to freeze some asparagus for later eating. The great thing about asparagus is that after your initial planting effort and then patience while the plants get settled, your reward will be years and years of fresh asparagus.

Want to know more about growing your own, here is an article from Mother Earth News from a few years ago, THE FINE ART OF GROWING (AND COOKING) ASPARAGUS.

9 comments:

  1. Beth said...:

    Thanks for answering my question! I had no idea either that that is how asparagus in planted and grown.

  1. Our last town was a place where they used to plant, pick and can asparagus. During the season, you would see people parked along the side of the road picking wild asparagus and a few farmers still had "u-pick" fields. It was wonderful. I don't find it locally around here, but we are heading to MI in a few weeks at prime time for their crop. I'll be bringing some home.

  1. Johanna said...:

    Hi, this was very interesting. We have a lot of asperagus plantages in our surrounding. Alas I have just a small yard and asparagus are big plants. Maybe,. sometime I will plant some crowns. Thank you for the explanation.
    Greetings, Johanna

  1. OhPioneer1806 said...:

    I am so impressed that you grow your own asparagus! I just wish I wasn't the only one in my household that will eat it or I'd give this a try.

  1. Jenny said...:

    I grow them here in Arizona but the plants tend to die out every few years. I had a big patch in Ohio and it was amazing how fat the stalks were. Yours looks delicious.

  1. Debbie said...:

    I would LOVE to grow our own asparagus. It and broccoli are my two favorite vegetables. we didn't try it this year because we are (OK..HE is) just starting up some square foot gardens after years of not gardening at all. Maybe next year, he can devote a whole plot to it. Of course, that means that I will have to wait yet another year... sigh.

    And btw. Your music is lovely! I must have had my speakers off the last time that I was here.

  1. Kathleen said...:

    I have to try that, Gail..I wonder if the deer will eat them?
    Your chicken looks delicious too!

  1. Diann said...:

    Hi Gail!

    We are so excited to see are asparagus coming up! We have been patient for the last few years sice we planted them. This year should actually be a "crop" year for us!
    We have a lot of wild asparagus growing around here and you can find us parked along side any road with a small ditch picking asparagus. Michigan is a great wild asparagus state.

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