asparagus

CrealCritter

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The female shoots are bigger than the male shoots.

My asparagus bed is approximately 5' wide by 20' long. It started at 3' wide and keeps spreading from seeds.

I started with Martha Washington and Jersey Giant. Later I added Purple Passion. Now it is a mix of those plus hybrids created by the original plants. The hybrids have a distinctly different taste. The taste is just different and not any worse or any better than the originals.

There isn't anything comparable to asparagus picked fresh from the garden and then cooked to your preferences.
I thought males were the bigger shoots and females were the smaller shoots with red berry seeds on their ferns?
 

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.
 

Mini Horses

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Very interesting and informative. Thank you. I'm considering a small bed. May do it now.
 

wyoDreamer

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I have been moving wild asparagus plants from areas that are going to be disturbed to my garden area. So far so good. Luckily we have a tractor with a backhoe, those asparagus plants grow deep...
 

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.
 

farmerjan

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@Lilbitsnpieces very interesting.... can you draw a picture or take o picture of your asparagus bed... with the potatoes and tomatoes ... so I can get an idea of the size of the tomato "center" and such????? I just moved to a house that has some flower beds but I want to put in an asparagus bed.... and maybe a couple of round ones would work better.... just really curious to what they look like.... I'm intrigued...
Thanks.
 

Lilbitsnpieces

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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.
Im apoligies for late reply..im not a "phone hugger" and rarely check..
plus this has been an exhausting week..
I live in the eastern side of Nebraska around the Omaha area. My ducks are turned into different gardens as needed. They root (think aerate) but do not destroy as chickens do..AS LONG AS AREA IS NOT TOO WET, so as to create mud, which would then be compacted. Even with snow on ground, they are sometimes turned out. So the trench is filled with broken down.leaves and snow from winter. I do not remove this. We usually experience some type of rain around good friday, which is when i plant potatoes
 

Lilbitsnpieces

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Im apoligies for late reply..im not a "phone hugger" and rarely check..
plus this has been an exhausting week..
I live in the eastern side of Nebraska around the Omaha area. My ducks are turned into different gardens as needed. They root (think aerate) but do not destroy as chickens do..AS LONG AS AREA IS NOT TOO WET, so as to create mud, which would then be compacted. Even with snow on ground, they are sometimes turned out. So the trench is filled with broken down.leaves and snow from winter. I do not remove this. We usually experience some type of rain around good friday, which is when i plant potatoes
My apoligies im very tech challeged🙄 After potatoes are planted Is when i flood the trench, usually with water from duck ponds..this waters and fertilizes newly planted spuds. Ducks are usually turned into that garden the followin day.
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.
I agree with you, not that i NEVER rotate, but when i do its for a specific reason. EX. beans to set nitrogen where i planted onions the year before. Im about zone 5? but plant as if zone 3, good thing to as last few years we have had 20 below TEMPS in winter months.
#2 #4 i cut ferns (after they are dead) and pile them in middle with dead tomatoe plants..this is into our fall, usually sept/oct so plants are dried and its usually cold. I burn them in place. If its going to rain i cover the material with a tarp so it stays dry and burns quickly..if it hasnt rained i water around the plants to contain the burn. Some ash is sprinkled around the bed, while most left in middle. Then the Peelings from apple and pear harvest are dumped on top of ash in middle or in trench, NEVER on the aparagus plants, to help feed over winter. Then leaves Collected are used to cover complete bed. This bed is then "finished" and "prepared" for winter.
#3 After years of doing this my soil is dare i say close to perfect? In spring i Do not remove leaves i simply plant in them..so potatoes are laid on top of the leaves then covered with enough dirt to "bury" the eyes of that particular one. Usually about a pint of soil does the job. One could cover whole trench with dirt but I found that a waste of time, effort and soil. Then more leaves to cover. I water, to fill trench, and give taters a good drink, again usually with pond water as they need drained and cleaned anyway.. Ducks are turned into garden next day..This step usually around GOOD FRIDAY..so it can be a couple months before tomatoes are planted..i do not put tomatoes in the ground until mothers day..
I have some in civered beds and houses but not in this circular bed.
 
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