Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Planting the Asparagus

now that we have some definite plans to extend the Vegetable Garden, i decided we can give up some space to start growing asparagus. asparagus is a flowering perennial known mostly for the tender shoots it produces in the spring. planting them now still means i need some patience, as you cannot harvest asparagus the first year, maybe a for a week or so the second year, but then on the third year you can harvest until the shoots begin to be spindly, signalling that it is time to let it mature and "fern out" so it may send more energy back down to the roots. the spears will also turn quite woody at this point to help support the ferny leaves.

eight crowns with looooong roots.
i dug up an area about 8 inches deep. some say to go deeper (12 inches), some say more shallow (6 inches), i went with the middle ground.
some also say to toss them in and don't worry about mounding them. this i didn't do. i created a mound and sort of spread out the roots.
they are also planted way closer than recommended, but i don't have THAT much space...yet. i can always expand the patch with different varieties.

a closer look at the crown. once mature, this guy can produce half a pound of asparagus.
why are there so many contradictions? almost everything I've read says to just cover them over until they are out of sight, and then go back once they sprout and back fill the area....then i read a garden blog saying to go ahead and fill it in, as it doesn't really matter. I'm sticking to the back fill method. we'll have to wait and see what happens...

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