asparagus

CrealCritter

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We had a pretty nice asparagus patch at my in-laws. I recall making raised beds, we dig deep and back filled with rotted manure, when we planted the bare roots.

Unfortunately with my father in laws' ALZ. He couldn't tell the ferns from weeds and killed quite a few of them weeding. Then I think he just forgot all about them and pulled up the raised beds and flattened the area out with his tractor and box blade. The asparagus obviously didn't survive.

So now I would like to plant an asparagus patch of my own. What's your thoughts/experiences with different varieties? Should I do a block or a row? Full sun / part shade or shade? Soil PH?

Decisions decisions decisions & so much to discuss...

 
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Lilbitsnpieces

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We had a pretty nice asparagus patch at my in-laws. I recall making raised beds, we dig deep and back filled with rotted manure, when we planted the bare roots.

Unfortunately with my father in laws' ALZ. He couldn't tell the ferns from weeds and killed quite a few of them weeding. Then I think he just forgot all about them and pulled up the raised beds and flattened the area out with his tractor and box blade. The asparagus obviously didn't survive.

So now I would like to plant an asparagus patch of my own. What's your thoughts/experiences with different varieties? Should I do a block or a row? Full sun / part shade or shade? Soil PH?

Decisions decisions decisions & so much to discuss...

Hello..im new to site, and this caught my eye. I have grown apparagus for 35 years..my patch was started by my grandmother, over 75years ago. I have Mary Washington (who doesnt love free plants& the birds eat the berries) though some argue for all male. I also have Jerseys and 5 years ago started adding purple passion.
What makes my patch so different is grandmaw planted in a circle, (she was scotch irish) saying all things in nature are round & we should work with nature not against.
The original bed was 15 feet across, with a trench surrounding it. Potatoes are planted in the trench, Tomatoes in the middle of the circle. They both repel apparagus beetle while the apparagus repels nematodes. After potatoes are harvested raw compost is placed in trench and covered. This feeds the apparagus. Then after tomatoes are harvested. All peelings from fruits harvest and other cannings are placed in middle after ferns are burned. This is all covered with leaves so everything breaks down over winter. If i want to expand circle or replace plants this is also done before i cover with leaves.
Then in early spring i turn ducks into area and fill trench with water...ive never rotated or deviated from this. My harvest are long and consistent. No bugs ever. I do change the variety of potatoes and tomatoes periodically. I now have three of these growin with much success. Original bed is now 25ft across as ive added plants over the years.
 

CrealCritter

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Planted 100 ft row of asparagus today.

Here's what the roots looked like in the bottom of the kiddie pool. No way to separate this mass. so I cut 50 chunks with a garden spade, making sure I had a few crowns in each chunk. I planted them about a foot deep on 2 foot spacing.

Root mass
IMG_20221123_124420729.jpg


Left bed is asparagus
IMG_20221123_140342979~2.jpg


Hopefully they send up asparagus ferns early spring.

Jesus is Lord and Christ 🙏❤️🇺🇸
 
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Lazy Gardener

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Hello..im new to site, and this caught my eye. I have grown apparagus for 35 years..my patch was started by my grandmother, over 75years ago. I have Mary Washington (who doesnt love free plants& the birds eat the berries) though some argue for all male. I also have Jerseys and 5 years ago started adding purple passion.
What makes my patch so different is grandmaw planted in a circle, (she was scotch irish) saying all things in nature are round & we should work with nature not against.
The original bed was 15 feet across, with a trench surrounding it. Potatoes are planted in the trench, Tomatoes in the middle of the circle. They both repel apparagus beetle while the apparagus repels nematodes. After potatoes are harvested raw compost is placed in trench and covered. This feeds the apparagus. Then after tomatoes are harvested. All peelings from fruits harvest and other cannings are placed in middle after ferns are burned. This is all covered with leaves so everything breaks down over winter. If i want to expand circle or replace plants this is also done before i cover with leaves.
Then in early spring i turn ducks into area and fill trench with water...ive never rotated or deviated from this. My harvest are long and consistent. No bugs ever. I do change the variety of potatoes and tomatoes periodically. I now have three of these growin with much success. Original bed is now 25ft across as ive added plants over the years.
I'm loving your system. I have 5 questions: #1:"Then in early spring i turn ducks into area and fill trench with water." Does the water stay, or do you just flood the trench to make a "mud soup" for the ducks? My soil wouldn't hold water. #2: I had to read your post several times to wrap my head around the "burning of the ferns. Do you burn them in place? #3: What kind of soil do you have, and when you put in new asparagus plants, how deep do you put them? #4: What is your growing zone? #5: Do you have this area fenced in to keep the ducks in?

One thing that I especially like about your post: It totally debunks the "crop rotation" theories. I can see the benefit of crop rotation in mega-Ag. farming. But... for the back yard gardener: it's just not a sensible or logical plan IMO. If the soil is well fed, disease is not likely to ever be an issue.
 

CrealCritter

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What happened to the kiddie pool?
IMG_20220722_170353942~2.jpg


Everyone who sees it for the first time asks me "what is that?" I say asparagus that I started from seeds indoors over winter and transplanted into the kiddie pool early spring. I get all kinds of responses and questions, but the common one, is a look of confusion 🤔 I just laugh 😂

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CrealCritter

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I suppose I done asparagus transplanting correctly. Read up on how to transplant asparagus AFTER I already done it 🙄

Might be useful for someone else.

Jesus is Lord and Christ 🙏❤️🇺🇸
 

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I wouldn't get too big for the present time. You are going to be transplanting them to a permanent bed so that ought to do fine. You need a place for them to develop some and feeding them will take care of that. Crowns need a little more depth than they need width... I would use what you have and make sure they can grow down so the crowns develop a root system below them.
 

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The big green ones in approximately the 11:00 position, have about a week or so head start being transplanted outside in the kiddie pool. They seem to like the limed duck poop & sawdust barn scraping, so I went ahead and transplanted the rest. Picture taken the April 24th, after transplanting. I got them packed them in there pretty tight.
Screenshot_20220428-192858~2.png


While researching, I found this picture of mature asparagus root system. It's pretty wild to see what goes on underground.

Credit for picture:
Asparagus Root System - Innovak Global
Screenshot_20220424-225023~3.png


Good info here https://web.extension.illinois.edu/veggies/asparagus.cfm

Jesus is Lord and Christ 🙏❤️🇺🇸
 

CrealCritter

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FYI... I did experience some fern dieback. From the second planting only. Although the test planting plants are doing great. If I had to guess the reason for fern back, is transplant shock, I didn't harden them off or I might have let them dry out a little too much, IDK... But the roots are obviously happy because they are sending up new ferns to replace the ones that died back.

Asparagus is such a strange plant... I have to think about what is going on in the soil that I can't see. That's what needs to stay happy. The ferns are just a reflection of what's going on underground.

Fern dieback
IMG_20220513_171020156_HDR.jpg


Replacement ferns close up, they are so thin and tiny, not asparagus yet 🙄
IMG_20220513_171103679_HDR.jpg


If I were to do this over again. I would fill the kiddie pool with 1/2 barn scraping, 1/2 peat moss mix well and add a healthy dusting of barn lime. I would fill the pool with water and let it soak a day or so then pop my drainage holes around the bottom. I would direct sow seeds, broadcast right on top of the soil mix, then cover with a couple inches of peat moss around the end of March and set it out in a semi sunny spot. And then baby sit them, supply their water needs. They take a long time to fern, about 4 to 6 weeks or so.

Jesus is Lord and Christ 🙏❤️🇺🇸
 
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