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Growing Asparagus (How To)

Having decided a while ago to try growing Asparagus for the first time and due to the recent rainy weather I began to scour the internet trying to find the best price for some Asparagus crowns. As the seeds can take some time to germinate I thought crowns would be a quicker option. I finally found a good price at www.crocus.co.uk where I purchased 30 crowns @ £2.49p for 3 crowns (Connovers colossal). The crowns duly arrived at the end of last week, they were well packaged and several packets contained an extra crown.

Preparation of the ground and planting are the keys to successful Asparagus growing. I spent most of Saturday digging over the area to be used removing weeds and stones as I went. Asparagus usually fare better in sandy well drained soil, in a sunny sheltered area and do not like waterlogged ground. I chose the best draining area of ground, on N1 Plot, for their bed. The soil was already fed with well rotted compost. On completion of the digging the soil was raked level and a few more stones removed. Trenches approximately 8 inches (20cm) deep were dug to which was added a mound of compost along the central length of the trenches. The Asparagus roots were spread out and each crown placed on top of the mounded compost, spacing them at about 12 inches (30cm) apart. The crowns were then covered with soil and more compost was added on top of the soil. I was dubious about planting the crowns this early in the year into damp, cold, ground but despite the recent wet weather the soil at the top end of my plots has been workable for a while now. Crowns are normally planted in Spring or Autumn into warmer soil.

Asparagus Planting
Asparagus Planting 12/Jan/2014 (1st Row)
The Asparagus is a perennial plant and should yield its spears for at least 15 years, so obviously it needs a permanent area of ground to grow in. The plant comprises ferns, crowns or rhizomes and roots. The spears which are what we harvest are immature ferns. There are male and female Asparagus plants. One draw back with Asparagus is that it is not wise to harvest spears in the 1st year after sowing or planting, in fact it is probably best to wait until year 3 before harvesting any spears, so as not to weaken them. Asparagus are also heavy feeders so the addition of mulches/manure onto the Asparagus bed is essential, the more the merrier. Asparagus does not appreciate competition from weeds either, so a weed free bed is essential, especially in the preparation stage. Leave the ferns to grow and do not cut them back until they have yellowed and started to die back in the late Autumn, because they put energy back into the plant whilst growing. Feed with a general fertilizer in Spring. In Summer keep the plants adequately watered as they have a shallow root system. After the dead ferns have been removed in the Autumn, add well rotted manure to the crowns to keep any frosts away from them.


There's Always Tomorrow!!

Comments

  1. We have a couple of asparagus that I grew from berries but I grew them to go with cut flowers and have never harvested the shoots - maybe we should try one!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I tasted Asparagus a little while ago (braised in butter & lightly cooked). I was impressed by their mild flavour and delicate texture. I'm not sure that January is the best time to plant them although the weather is extremely mild here now.

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  2. I have a bed of Asparagus which is now about 5 or 6 years old (I can't rightly remember). It contains only 10 plants, which have been very variable - about 3 of them are very productive, but some of them produce hardly any spears. I'm giving them one more year to perform well, and if they don't they're coming up!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Mark, perhaps you have a few female plants out of the 10. As far as I know the male plants are more vigorous and close spacing of the plants can cut down on their production also.

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