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Post  SusanG on 4/22/2010, 12:26 pm

Thinking of planting a box in asparagus. Mel suggests the male plants as they won't go to seed and are more productive, but I'm going to move to non-hybrid seeds next season so I'm wondering if I should go with the plants that produce seeds or go with the male plants. If the plants do last 20 years, there may be no need to be able to collect seeds as the plants may outlast me. Any suggestions appreciated or comparison on productivity. I do love asparagus so I would like to get the biggest crop possible. Also, thinking of buying 2-year old roots. Again, any suggestions/comments appreciated.

Oh, one more question. Because of the way my boxes are set up, I am concerned about the height of the plants blocking the sun for other boxes/plants. Since you harvest in the spring, could I cut them back for the summer? Mel says they will grow large after harvest--is this needed for the health of the plants?
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Post  Retired Member 1 on 4/22/2010, 1:58 pm

I went with Jersey Giant which isn't supposed to make berries, but two of my plants did anyway. (Go figure!). They are supposed to be much more productive than Mary Washington.

Asparagus needs the top growth for photosythesis, so you wouldn't want to cut the foliage back intil the Fall. Mine get about 4' tall, but they are feathery and I don't think they shade a lot. Just don't have something in the same bed with them and you should be OK.
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Post  AFLfan on 4/22/2010, 10:04 pm

I planted two-year-old crowns of Mary Washington this year, and they are coming up beautifully. I have heard to not cut back until Winter. I'm really looking forward to harvesting next year. I cheated a bit and clipped off one shoot and tasted it early on, and it was FANTASTIC!!!
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Post  SusanG on 4/22/2010, 11:59 pm

Thanks for the info. The forum is so great!
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Post  Idahospud on 4/24/2010, 10:36 pm

This is my second year with the SFG method and hope that this year will be as great as the last. I made a small 2x2 box just for asparagus last year and planted some one year old roots I found at Lowes here in town. I let them bloom out then die before I cut anything off.

Here is a picture of what I have this season. I have picked about 10 spears out and they are great. From what I read it's okay to pick a little the second year but the blooming part is when they really spread the roots. In the picture you can see I planted 5 root sets or whatever you call them. One in each corner and one in the center. I hope next year they will begin to fill the box.

Good luck with the garden!



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