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Baby Asparagus 2015

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Post  llama momma 4/3/2015, 4:31 pm

Today in one dedicated bed there are three tiny asparagus sprouts just breaking the soil surface. I feared the horrid cold winter would kill off the whole crop.
This one is located above the rock just left of center.  I think it is purple passion showing pink before it turns purple(?).  There were a couple varieties planted. Anyway I'm so pleased to see anything survive this past winter.
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Post  Elizabeth 4/3/2015, 5:13 pm

Looking good!

Years ago I grew asparagus for a number of years.  As much as we eat asparagus I really should dedicate a box to growing those lovely spears. 

I am just soooo impatient!

Good luck
Elizabeth
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Post  quiltbea 4/3/2015, 7:48 pm

I don't think you'll ever be sorry you grow asparagus.  My son and I never ate it but my DDIL and grkids did so I started a bed a few years ago.
They are the best-tasting things in the world.  My son and I both love them now and my DDIL says she's never tasted asparagus so good as our home-grown.  I roast ours with a lemon vinaigrette. 
Mine are Jersey Knight and they just keep increasing every spring.  You know how they tell you to harvest them before they get too tall if you want good flavor, well I've cut mine when they were over 16" tall and they still tasted great.  They seem to grow 6-8" overnite sometimes.
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Post  Cajun Cappy 4/3/2015, 9:06 pm

How good are our [url=#]freshBaby Asparagus 2015 Arrow-10x10[/url] picked BBQed asparagus??  Ask our [url=#]doggiesBaby Asparagus 2015 Arrow-10x10[/url] Very Happy 

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbPiXZ-JxOM
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Post  CapeCoddess 4/4/2015, 12:56 pm

quiltbea wrote:I don't think you'll ever be sorry you grow asparagus.  My son and I never ate it but my DDIL and grkids did so I started a bed a few years ago.
They are the best-tasting things in the world.  My son and I both love them now and my DDIL says she's never tasted asparagus so good as our home-grown.  I roast ours with a lemon vinaigrette. 
Mine are Jersey Knight and they just keep increasing every spring.  You know how they tell you to harvest them before they get too tall if you want good flavor, well I've cut mine when they were over 16" tall and they still tasted great.  They seem to grow 6-8" overnite sometimes.

16 inches??? Seriously?? I have Jersey Knight also and can't wait! But I think I have another two years before I can harvest some. I just planted them last year.
No
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Post  quiltbea 4/4/2015, 1:45 pm

Yes, CapeC, seriously.  Sometimes I don't get out every day to the patch and when I do, there's one or 2 that are so tall, you'd think they were past it.  But no, once cut at the base and brought inside, I cut them in half to match the others and roast them.  Marvelous even tall and rangy.
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Post  Elizabeth 4/4/2015, 2:40 pm

You have convinced me.  I really do need a dedicated box for asparagus.  We eat asparagus at LEAST every other day.  We go through 2 or 3 market bunches per week when my DH is home.  When he is out of town I  go through 1 or 2 bunches. 

Our Favorite way to eat asparagus is pan grilled

Pop the hard stems off
Season with sea salt and fresh ground pepper
Zest of a small lemon
1 tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
Enough imported, extra virgin, first cold pressed, robust olive oil to coat the spears and have a small puddle on the plate.

I have a large, non stick skillet that I use to pan grill vegetables.

Heat a skillet on medium high.

When hot  toss in asparagus with the puddled oil and lemon juice.  Cook quickly tossing  frequently until you have nice char marks on the spears but they still have a little crunch.

They are wonderful as is.  I REALLY love to top them with a Beurre Blanc sauce.

I frequently pan grill a combination of asparagus and quartered Brussels Sprouts.  I never liked Brussels Sprouts  until I tried them pan grilled.

Thank you for the  inspiration.
Elizabeth
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Post  quiltbea 4/4/2015, 2:58 pm

Roasted Asparagus with Lemon Vinaigrette

Preheat over to 400*F
Cut off ends of asparagus and discard
Lay spears on sheet pan over alum foil (for easier cleanup)
Sprinkle with olive oil, salt, pepper.
Roll them around to coat.
Roast 10 min.

Lemon Vinaigrette recipe
In small bowl, add the juice of 1/2 lemon, 1 teaspoon mustard, 1 Tablespoon olive oil.
Wisk together til blended. 
Drizzle over the roasted asparagus when its cooked.

I often double the recipe so folks can add a bit more vinaigrette when served,

So far all who have tried this recipe have enjoyed it.  Even I, who never ate asparagus before, eat it made this way.  My son was another convert. 
Home-grown and cut fresh is how we all like it best.
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Post  llama momma 4/4/2015, 4:13 pm

I found this interesting --
Ohio State University says to plant one year old crowns and begin harvesting the following year for about 3 weeks. It says there is no need to wait 2 years and that light harvesting stimulates more bud growth.  
There is more on the asparagus fact sheet under the topic of harvesting:
http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/1000/1603.html
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Post  CapeCoddess 4/4/2015, 4:21 pm

llama momma wrote:I found this interesting --
Ohio State University says to plant one year old crowns and begin harvesting the following year for about 3 weeks. It says there is no need to wait 2 years and that light harvesting stimulates more bud growth.  
There is more on the asparagus fact sheet under the topic of harvesting:
http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/1000/1603.html

smiles
rahrah
thankyou
you rock
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Post  Turan 4/4/2015, 4:23 pm

Congratulations LLM!

I just came in from doing some weeding around the asparagus bed. 
Mad @&*#((%@ Evil or Very Mad  quack grass.
So as I was digging in the path chasing grass roots I came across these big thick long roots.  Not grass, I thought maybe sorrel?  I followed them back....  under the beds boards.  Yup. asparagus roots exploring the big world beyond the box Very Happy 

Sooooooon we will have asparagus to eat.  
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Post  llama momma 4/4/2015, 4:34 pm

CC and Turan
You both made me smile, and Elizabeth you need asparagus because you don't have to wait so long afterall! Lol.
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Post  donnainzone5 4/4/2015, 5:35 pm

Turan,

When I lived in the Los Angeles area, I also discovered some strange roots growing far from the asparagus bed.  I guess they like to explore the territory.

Sometimes I wonder if they are meant for raised beds....
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Post  Turan 4/4/2015, 8:29 pm

Donna, Maybe they prefer berms, where there are less rigid boundaries Very Happy 
I know they do not like flat ground in my area.

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Post  donnainzone5 4/4/2015, 8:37 pm

Turan,
'On second thought, probably I should allocate an entire 4'x4'x12" bed, since our soil is riddled with large rocks/boulders/sheets of lava, and not far beneath the surface.

Thoughts?  (I already have a 2'x4'x12" asparagus box.)
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Post  llama momma 4/4/2015, 9:13 pm

Ohio State Univ. garden info says you could expect up to 1/2 pound of spears from one crown.  I planted 4 per square as Mel says.  And made a bed just for them. Maybe this will help you figure how much to plant.
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Post  donnainzone5 4/4/2015, 9:31 pm

LLM,

It isn't so much a matter of how much to plant, but HOW to do so!  Raised beds, or more open spaces.  

I probably need about 8 more crowns; I planted mine one per square foot, so 18-24 crowns should do it for my needs.  So far, I've only lost three spears in this late cold spell, and I'm determined to save a fourth.  I'm using a large Christmas wreath and plastic as cover.
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Post  Turan 4/4/2015, 9:58 pm

Donna, I have two successful plantings, at least so far.  Both are Jersey Knight I think.  One is quite old and is in a gravel flower bed that used to have iris but now has peonies and the aspargus and a very thorny rose Rolling Eyes .  The other is a 4'x8'x12" bed that I planted 1/sq in Jersey Knight and Martha Washington for 3/4th of hte bed.   The MW froze out. I think the important point is drainage and a hardy variety.   So rocks and boulders might be fine if the drainage is good and there is some nutrients in the soil up top.  A berm might be easiest because it does have good drainage of a raised bed and they can move around abit if they want.  My thought was to have the crown at almost ground level and then about a foot of soil blanketing on all sides at least.  

I am trying to decide if I should plant more crowns in the empty squares or let them fill in naturally.  The strawberries in that bed are spreading and maybe this year we will see if hte asparagus is spreading in more places than the path.

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Post  Goosegirl 4/4/2015, 10:25 pm

LLM - No worries as to the horrid cold winter harming your 'gus.  It grows wild in the ditches all through our county and it survives -25F just fine!
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Post  llama momma 4/4/2015, 11:38 pm

Great!
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Post  NanSFG 4/5/2015, 2:56 am

Turan wrote:Donna, I have two successful plantings, at least so far.  Both are Jersey Knight I think.  One is quite old and is in a gravel flower bed that used to have iris but now has peonies and the aspargus and a very thorny rose Rolling Eyes .  The other is a 4'x8'x12" bed that I planted 1/sq in Jersey Knight and Martha Washington for 3/4th of hte bed.   The MW froze out. I think the important point is drainage and a hardy variety.   So rocks and boulders might be fine if the drainage is good and there is some nutrients in the soil up top.  A berm might be easiest because it does have good drainage of a raised bed and they can move around abit if they want.  My thought was to have the crown at almost ground level and then about a foot of soil blanketing on all sides at least.  

I am trying to decide if I should plant more crowns in the empty squares or let them fill in naturally.  The strawberries in that bed are spreading and maybe this year we will see if hte asparagus is spreading in more places than the path.

I am new to SFG.  Are strawberries and asparagus companion plants and can share the same bed?  That would be great for me.  It would be worth putting in another bed as soon as I finish my first one.
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Post  donnainzone5 4/5/2015, 12:27 pm

GG,

I know that Jersey Knight (the variety I grow) is quite hardy--as long as the spears haven't yet appeared!

I had the same problem last year, although it wasn't quite as severe.  We had a warm winter here for the most part, so naturally, everything woke up prematurely.

It isn't just the asparagus; the hyacinths were in full bloom but are rapidly turning brown.  So far this month, low temps have been 19-27F.  

I've been covering the asparagus, blueberries, blackberries, and as much of my lilac thicket as possible.  Snow is expected off and on through mid-week.
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Post  Turan 4/5/2015, 3:08 pm

NanSFG wrote:
I am new to SFG.  Are strawberries and asparagus companion plants and can share the same bed?  That would be great for me.  It would be worth putting in another bed as soon as I finish my first one.
It just seemed a logical pairing to me and so far is working.  Asparagus roots are down so deep and hte strawberries are pretty shallow rooted.  Asparagus does not make a deep shade so the strawberries should be fine.  But I did find that you got to plant hte asparagus first in its trench and fill that in as it grows.  THe strawberries get planted at the to be ground level.  So I planted strawberries along one edge and they are now spreading into the asparagus.  Other wise I would of planted hte strawberries the following spring.

Here is an article on this in MEN~

Companion Planting: Strawberries, Asparagus, Rhubarb and Horseradish

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Post  kauairosina 4/5/2015, 3:24 pm

Loved the asparagus thread   Our asparagus (Jersey Knights) are so thick that strawberries would have a hard time finding a place 

We used parchment paper instead of aluminum foil when roasting.  My favorite way.

I got too conservative and stopped harvesting too soon.  Fortunately, here in Hawaii, we can harvest year round.  Who knew?
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Post  quiltbea 4/5/2015, 7:27 pm

Well, I had another convert today.  A 7-yr old who would never eat asparagus tried mine today at Easter dinner and lo and behold, he had seconds.  Loved them.
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