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There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

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SFG Asparagus?

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Post  rrsmith60 2/20/2012, 1:52 pm

@tomperrin wrote:or per 1 square foot?

I planted 4 per square foot as per Mel's recommendation; I also used 2 year old crowns for my starts.
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Post  quiltbea 2/20/2012, 3:27 pm

rrsmith....Thanks for your quick answer. I cut my ferns back in late fall and will compost early this spring. Right now my garden is still under snow cover.
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Post  nycquilter 2/20/2012, 5:12 pm

Hi all. I planted asparagus four years ago. I used a 4x6 box without a bottom and filled it with MM then about 21 plants. I didn't know (didn't read) to dig a trench, yada yada. so I didn't. Anyway, the second year I got about 1/2 a pound. That was enough to know it was beyond heavenly delicious. So I added another bed, 4x8, and another 25 plants. My harvest this past season was about 5 pounds. A portion for four for five or six weeks running. This year, I am hoping for even more. I will also be adding another 25 plants. So, even if you do it wrong, it works. That's the point of my message. And you will think what sells as asparagus is so blah after eating fresh... just like home-grown tomatoes vs. store bought in the winter. I cut the ferns back in late fall and add compost to the beds at the same time. and I think that the ferns are attractive. They make great filler in bouquets.
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Post  plantoid 2/20/2012, 5:27 pm

@Square 1 wrote:Thanks for all the insight this is a great forum. I did know that asparagus would last up to 20 years. This is our 1st SFG year and my original intent was to grow asparagus in an amended raised bed. I was concerned about the placement due to the height of the tops. Maybe I'll put them in a completely different location in the backyard and see if I can keep my dog out! Last year she managed to move the fence and ate my watermelons and cantelope clean! Even snuck off with a green pepper. She was nice enough to pick them off the vine.SFG Asparagus? - Page 2 889526

Because of the 20 yr longivity of asparagus , everytime I've grown it I have made a dedicated bed using bricks & mortar and a proper concrete base for the brick work .

Each time i built the beds they were around 5 feet in diameter so I could reach the middle from all side and the wall height was a minimum of 30 inches . The soil in the bed was coned up in the middle , well manured and dressed with home made compost each autumn after cutting down the yellowing ferns.



When I grew the asparagus it was all done from seed for a very special reason as not only is it much cheaper ... I can grow forty to fifty plants and see which is male or female . Once I saw it produce berries I destroyed each plant that produced berries ( the female plant ) and only kept the males as they give better crops.



Over here a three year old male crown sells for silly money & I'm not prepared top pay it for 20 plants .



It was so easy to then plant up the raised bed with 20 odd male plants .



I've done the same with this last bed but had to make the diameter a bit smaller as I cannot now stretchthe 30 inches to harvest the crop. The bed is also best kept totally weed free .
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Post  snibb 2/20/2012, 6:00 pm

That is genius!...pulling the female plants when you see they have berries. Wow...that is really great thinking. As you said, you can do it so cheaply using seeds vs. crowns....I enoyed that read
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Post  AvaDGardner 2/20/2012, 7:10 pm

I love the picture.

Asparagus = MM Chia pet

@rrsmith...do you know what variety you are growing?

I looked at what I bought...Martha Washington variety. And they are 2 yo crowns, about $0.25 USD each. Since they are 2yo I could have results sooner (can you tell how much I LOVE asparagus?). I would rather have something more productive though.

5lbs of tender spears...yeah, I could eat that!

@nycquiter...do the ferns have thorns? There was an asparagus fern growing on the patio when we moved in. It's thorns were the worst! I think it was the mid-west houseplant gone amuck. It was interlocked with a double ficus, and the fern was incredibly root bound!

For the past year I've been seeing tiny little asparagus ferns popping up near where we pulled it, even though that is a rose bed now. They come up in the cracked slab, around the rose that occupies their old home...15+ years later.
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Post  nycquilter 2/20/2012, 10:50 pm

honestly, I'm not sure. I love their look in the garden so only really talk about cutting them...plus, who wants to decrease the photosynthesis that feeds the roots that grows the asparagus? Not me sunny
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Post  rrsmith60 2/21/2012, 6:47 am

AvaD

We grow Jersey Knight.
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Post  igolfat8 2/24/2012, 1:27 pm

Last year I tilled under a 25 year old 5' x 20' Asparagus bed. The bed was so root bound it was like tilling up concrete tree roots. One of the most difficult tasks that I have done with a tiller. Now we are going to add several smaller 2x2 beds, along our drive way in our Hosta beds. Our thinking is the Asparagus ferns will provide more shade for the Hostas. Our Hostas do well even though they are in full sun but in August they usually get some burn out from the hot sun. In Mel's newest book he only advises to plant them in a 6" bed. No mention of if there is a bottom landscape fabric BUT I suspect there is since he did not specify. Has anyone here experience with a successful 6" bed WITH fabric in the bottom? Me thinks it would work quite well.
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Post  Rhianna78 2/24/2012, 3:21 pm

Has anyone ever grown asparagus where it floods A LOT? We have at least 2 floods a year, if not more. I'm opting for a raised bed for my SFG but with roots as deep as asparagus can they survive a flood, or several floods? I know it can take upwards of 3+ years to see a harvest if you're starting at the very bottom rung but I'm not sure if 2 year old roots would be able to take a flood & come out okay. Any input?
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Post  walshevak 2/24/2012, 4:37 pm

I don't grow asparagus, but I do have lilies, iris, and bulbs in my flower beds and they can rot in kept in soggy ground. Normally I would recommend putting asparagus into a dedicated bed in the ground in a permanent site, possibly raised with no weedcloth or wire on the bottoms. HOWEVER, flooding is a prime reason to have not only raised beds but raised above the gounds beds or tabletops.

How deep does it usually flood, and how long before the water receads. My yard "floods" during heavy rainfall, but the water soaks down within an hour or so. And the entire yard does not flood, just the edges.

SFG Asparagus? - Page 2 Noe_ea10

I would think flooding that lasts more than just an hour or so would cause the plants to drown, but I'm going to defer to asparagus growers.

THOUGHT: Is this a case for a 2ft deep bed sitting 1 foot or more above the ground. Wink Something to ponder.

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Post  Rhianna78 2/24/2012, 6:05 pm

Around us, come a Nor'Easter we can can flood for 2 days. If a hurricane beats up the Hampton Roads (or even the Outer Banks in NC, or the Eastern Shore of VA) we can flood for a week. Our house/lot is the lowest on our street so we flood more often, and for longer. That said the highest I've seen was the Nor'Easter in 2009 which was a good 4' deep. It was down to about 2' within 3 days, but then another week before it was down to being able to walk on the driveway without puddles - the ground was still a quagmire though.

I I love you fresh asparagus, but I'm afraid I may just have to accept that buying it is the only way. We're about 8ft above sea level, about 1.5 miles from the Chesapeake Bay/Back River so water is a constant concern - way too much of it!

SFG Asparagus? - Page 2 Poquos10
That's a minor flood.


SFG Asparagus? - Page 2 Poquof14
That's the Nor'Easter of 09.


Last edited by Rhianna78 on 2/24/2012, 6:22 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : added pic)
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Post  walshevak 2/24/2012, 6:39 pm

Yep, you are a prime candidate for tabletops. I love mine.

Kay

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Post  Rhianna78 2/24/2012, 6:49 pm

Oh I'm doing a tabletop for the standard garden but with the root depth of asparagus I don't see that as being feasible. If someone DOES have table tops that support asparagus, PLEASE show me how. I'd love to learn!
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Post  plantoid 2/24/2012, 7:22 pm

Perhaps several two foot diameter plastic pipe street water drain pipe three feet or more long and set in the ground so the tops are well above the usual flood peak & filled with MM and a couple of crowns in each tube is your answer .

Maybe they could be set up so they look like an artistic display , a bit like the office desk pen & clip holder tube things , so that they produce a show of geenery / flowers etc at differing heights .
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Post  walshevak 2/24/2012, 9:13 pm

@Rhianna78 wrote:Oh I'm doing a tabletop for the standard garden but with the root depth of asparagus I don't see that as being feasible. If someone DOES have table tops that support asparagus, PLEASE show me how. I'd love to learn!

It shouldn't be hard to build. Just get 12" lumber and double it up for a 24' BED. Like on the earlier page of the thread but on legs.

Kay

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Post  tomperrin 2/24/2012, 9:20 pm

@walshevak wrote:
@Rhianna78 wrote:Oh I'm doing a tabletop for the standard garden but with the root depth of asparagus I don't see that as being feasible. If someone DOES have table tops that support asparagus, PLEASE show me how. I'd love to learn!

It shouldn't be hard to build. Just get 12" lumber and double it up for a 24' BED. Like on the earlier page of the thread but on legs.

Kay

I think a lot of legs are called for. I'm not much on physics or math, but a 2'x4'x4 table with wet dirt is gonna run about 1600 lbs more or less. Probably more. So maybe at least 6 6"x6" legs would make it stable and safe. Thoughts?

Tom
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Post  boffer 2/24/2012, 9:35 pm

Tom made the 100,000th existing post!

My post is 100,001

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Post  Rhianna78 2/24/2012, 9:41 pm

Wet soil is a major concern of mine. Last I figured on a 4x4 bed was near to 2000lbs of soil being held in by some wood & screws - very bad idea imo.

I do like plantoid's idea though! I honestly had never even though of those pipes but that sounds like it would work well, allowing for stability, potting above ground, plant protection from floods & plenty of 'root' room to boot. Very Happy
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Post  RoOsTeR 2/24/2012, 9:52 pm

@boffer wrote:Tom made the 100,000th existing post!

My post is 100,001

SFG Asparagus? - Page 2 117110

Lol. Glad someone is paying attention SFG Asparagus? - Page 2 3170584802

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Post  walshevak 2/24/2012, 9:55 pm

@plantoid wrote:Perhaps several two foot diameter plastic pipe street water drain pipe three feet or more long and set in the ground so the tops are well above the usual flood peak & filled with MM and a couple of crowns in each tube is your answer .

Maybe they could be set up so they look like an artistic display , a bit like the office desk pen & clip holder tube things , so that they produce a show of geenery / flowers etc at differing heights .

That would be a great set up for somebody with a pickey HOA. Lawn art with ferns. Now just because somebody harvests the early shoots of the ferns, well!!!!!! Rolling Eyes

Kay

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Post  tomperrin 2/24/2012, 11:58 pm

@boffer wrote:Tom made the 100,000th existing post!




Embarassed

Tom
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Post  camprn 2/25/2012, 1:00 pm

@boffer wrote:Tom made the 100,000th existing post!

My post is 100,001

SFG Asparagus? - Page 2 117110

HOORAY TOM!

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Post  RoOsTeR 2/25/2012, 1:29 pm

Should I feel lucky I have wild asparagus growing all over my property? We have all we could ever use and don't have to do a thing other than pick them Very Happy

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Post  AvaDGardner 3/19/2012, 12:24 am

@rrsmith60 wrote:RR...what are those outer edges near the bottom of your boxes? Do you have an outer box and an inner box? Why? Do you get weeds between?

I found male "jersey hybrids" at Walmart. Found a fat package, and I think it was $5. Inside there were 8 2yo crowns.

Planting crowns is rather like planting roses, if you do the cone method. I watched several youtubes about them, and gardeners didn't think there was much difference between the cone method or laying them down. So I confiscated the east end of one of my beds and planted them there (using the flat method). They are probably too close. I thought I had 5 crowns until I got to planting...after soaking, of course! (So much like roses!)


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