Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Asparagus: You Can Grow That!

Nothing says, "SPRING!" like fresh Asparagus. With no real work on my part, I was able to get a decent harvest of Asparagus this week from my community garden plot. The only thing this perennial vegetable really requires is patience.

Having to three years from the initial planting date was a real test of my patience, but the wait is worth it. They are so tender fresh from the garden that I do not bother to cook them in any way, I just snack on them raw.

To plant them, buy Asparagus crowns via mail-order or in bags from your local garden center. Plant them in a trench about 6-12-inches deep and a foot wide in a sunny spot in your garden. Add in some organic compost when re-filling the hole and then keep the area well-mulched.
I let strawberries encroach in my Asparagus bed as their surface-runners don't really interfere much with the Asparagus roots, but you really should keep it weeded and free of interloping plants.

Other than that, the only other thing I do is tie-up the long Asparagus fronds in the summer and fall with a bungee cord as they like to flop over into the pathways. These get cut back and composted at the end of the growing season.

If I had to do it all over again, I definitely would have started off the first year in my garden plot with Asparagus, instead of waiting for year two. I also would have planted much more of it. I started with only three rootlets and I am harvesting a decent amount, but I am greedy for more, more, more!


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