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Asparagus!!!! Toplef10Asparagus!!!! 1zd3ho10

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
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.

Asparagus!!!! I22gcj10Asparagus!!!! 14dhcg10

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Asparagus!!!!

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Lavender Debs
quiltbea
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janezee
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Post  janezee 12/3/2011, 6:05 pm

Yep, it's time to start thinking of building them and getting started on the mix. hyper
I recently emailed a grower in Washington state, and asked him if he has trouble with deer eating the asparagus, and he told me no, they just trample them. I also read that asparagus doesn't need as much direct sun as tomatoes, etc.
As a result, I'm building 8" deep beds, and putting a low 18" fence around it, and then covering that with bird netting. I build 3 4x8 beds in a row, so that I can get one 50' soaker hose, and buy 1 male and 1 female 1/2" mender, cut the hose in half, and make 2 hoses to run down the beds. I also get a screw-on plug for the end, and a y-splitter to connect them.
My garden is on a 13* slope, so it works out perfectly for my other beds.

Am I living in a fool's paradise, thinking that the deer won't get my asparagus? anyone out there with experience, advice? What do y'all do? thinking
janezee
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Post  boffer 12/3/2011, 6:32 pm

I've got a half dozen deer that cut across my property every morning on their daily 'route'. They are curious to sample things, but they don't try hard to get to them. Cheap insecure fencing and netting keeps them out and moving along.
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Post  littlejo 12/3/2011, 6:58 pm

My SC deer come thru here all the time. They really don't stop for the asparagus, but, watch out, plant some sweet potatoes and they will stop and eat them to the ground! They know what plants taste better! Jo
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Post  quiltbea 12/4/2011, 10:27 pm

I don't know if deer like asparagus since I just put in my first asparagus this year. The asparagus ferns now, are something else. Mine are so tall that a covered 18" fence around them would not be tall enough. This greenery of fall are 3 feet to 4 feet tall.

Try hanging deodorant soap in net bags on the fencing in a few places. The deer are repelled by the odor. I use it all the time to keep them away from my dwarf fruit trees and it works perfectly. I never got a nibble once I started with the hanging soaps.
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Post  janezee 12/5/2011, 10:47 am

Hi, Bea,
Thanks for the tip, but I'm only going to cover it while harvesting. I don't take any chances with the hoofed rats. Once the ferns grow, I can't see them eating them. The soap could be useful elsewhere, though.

One thing, though. I've read that you can have asparagus twice a year. Just plant twice as much as you want to eat in the spring season, let the second half be in fern all season until you cut it in late summer, and harvest then. I hope the person that wrote that was honest, or I sure will have a lot of asparagus to share in a couple of years! How much is enough or too much?
It kind of reminds me of the saying we used to use in college regarding prunes:
"Is one enough, are six too many?" Very Happy
janezee
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Post  littlejo 12/5/2011, 12:14 pm

janezee,

Yes, you can have fresh asparagus twice per year. If your asparagus is mature (gives good sized cuttings) you can cut some in spring and save some to cut in the fall. In the south, where we have a longer growing season, we can cut it all in spring, cut it all down late summer, and have a fresh crop in the fall.
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Post  janezee 12/5/2011, 8:34 pm

Oooo!!!! I'm so excited for the confirmation on that!!!! cheers Thanks, littlejo! Now I just have to decide what varieties, and whether it's worth it to grow some of it from seed. From other than a financial standpoint, that is. Of course, the money I'd save by starting my own seeds would be consumed by my buying asparagus from the market for a year.
Decisions, decisions....

What did you growers do? :?: :?: :?:
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Post  quiltbea 12/5/2011, 8:46 pm

Jersey Knight varieties work well for SFG because you don't have to bury the crowns as deeply as you need do the Washington series. They also have lots of disease resistance and do well to zone 3.
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Post  janezee 12/6/2011, 10:53 am

Thanks, Bea,
I was wondering about that depth requirement. No double digging for me! I've gotten stronger from gardening, but there's that point that none of us really wants to go past, and that's 9" for me!
lol
The Jersey Knight and Sweet Purple are the two roots sold locally. Smile
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Post  Lavender Debs 12/6/2011, 11:07 am

Mine are purple something. I've never had such yummy asparagus, but maybe that is because I did not think I liked asparagus when my uncle grew them fresh. Once I realized how good they were I had to buy them.

Mine are not in a SFG but are planted as if they were. This is my 3rd year (from 1 year old root stock) and I am anxious to get more than a taste. I should put in some green too but it seems like I can get it anywhere and space is becoming an issue.

Enjoy!

Hoofed rats? I love the little Whidbey Island deer....but I do not have to deal with their appetite for good food.
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Post  janezee 12/6/2011, 11:22 am

Debs, I'm so glad to hear that about the purple. The snake oil descriptions in the catalogs make it sound good, but....lol
You're right about being able to get the green anywhere. I remember paying $3/pound 38 years ago, straight from the farm. LOTS of money in those days. Shame on me when I balk at $3.49 these days.

My mom used to serve creamed canned asparagus on toast when I was little, and it's a miracle I ever ate fresh after that. Two totally different animals. She loves all the stuff from my garden these days, and is looking forward to that thick grass.

Yes, those huge hoofed rats think that I grow all that for their enjoyment. And hooves are not kind to soaker hoses. Evil or Very Mad

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Post  Lavender Debs 12/6/2011, 11:44 am

I wish I had a picture of my grandfathers garden at Greenbank (I think there is—or was-- a bed and breakfast on the old place) The garden fence seemed crazy tall. The entrance was a door with a frame hasped and locked (maybe there were more than hoofed rats?) The fence was a good 5 feet taller than the door frame. Apparently those miniature island deer have access to magic reindeer corn. Oddly enough, his corn and potato bed were not fenced and apparently not bothered by either kind of rat…..unless that is where santa grew his corn....and thus the tall garden fence.
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Post  janezee 12/6/2011, 4:12 pm

The 'new folks' from California bought some nice land next to the highway in southern Coupeville to grow 'u-pick' and market raspberries. Lots of raspberries. After they had cleared, plowed, and were getting ready to plant, neighbors asked what they were planning on using for protection from the deer. "Protection?" they asked? Shocked
They fainted when they were told that the deer love raspberries, despite the thorns, and that a fence for an area that big would cost $40,000! affraid
They built it themselves for 20-25% of the cost, which is still a lot of money, but they have a fortress there, and have cornered the market for raspberries on the Island. They grow Meekers, and gave me some. Damned if the deer didn't crawl under my net fencing to get at those raspberries! lol Live and learn! Rolling Eyes
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Post  dixie 12/19/2011, 11:41 pm

Check out Simmons Plant farm. I have ordered from them before and they have excellent quality & prices. I ordered the HYBRID F2 OF UC157 (50 roots/$20), blueberries & thornless blackberries. Extra large plants.

As to the deer, they have never bothered my previous unfenced patch & they are a terrible problem around here.
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Post  janezee 12/20/2011, 5:48 am

thanks
Thank you for pecking an answer for me, Dixie. It's good to see you're back. At least you picked a good time of the year for the surgery!

I'm really glad to hear that about the deer. Now I'm not going to have to put the asparagus inside the deer fence, and I can have more raspberries in there!
rock on
j
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Post  ashort 12/20/2011, 10:16 am

dixie wrote:Check out Simmons Plant farm. I have ordered from them before and they have excellent quality & prices. I ordered the HYBRID F2 OF UC157 (50 roots/$20), blueberries & thornless blackberries. Extra large plants.

As to the deer, they have never bothered my previous unfenced patch & they are a terrible problem around here.

I have a solution to your deer problem....

Asparagus!!!! Smiley-character00110

BLAM! Twisted Evil
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Post  dixie 12/20/2011, 11:23 am

Ashort- we have lived here in the boonies on 10 acres since 1975 & DH has never shot one, but hates them as much as I do. We allow 2 guys to hunt here, but he won't.

I planned my surgery date carefully - as soon as my jewelry season was over I had it done so i would be ready for spring.
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Post  nycquilter 2/22/2012, 2:06 pm

Deer really are just very large rats--they eat almost anything, even things they reputedly dislike. However, that said, they have not ever eaten or walked across my asparagus beds. I did them in SFG boxes, without a bottom. The deer, in my area, also allow me to grow zucchini and gourds and winter squash without fencing them in. Also, my perennial herbs (catmint, elecampane, motherwort, borage, california poppy, valerian, oregano, lemon balm, echinacea, tansy) are not fenced either and the deer let them be.
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Post  JK 2/22/2012, 4:22 pm

Last year I wouldnt say I had a garden but I had tomatos and peppers in a few pots. Deer ate the peppers, nibbled the tomatos, and devoured the roses that were growing two feet from the front door....

Not sure how your deer are but I absolutly need a fence when I build the garden this year.
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Post  nycquilter 2/23/2012, 9:11 am

JK, I need a fence too and built a new fenced-in garden last year. But the deer don't seem to eat some things which I learned by observation of neighbors' yards/gardens and experimentation. I could never grow tomatoes without the fence because of the deer who also ate my holly bushes, witch hazel, pussy willow and elder bushes last year. I netted them (and the azaleas and rhodies which I've netted for years) and so far, so good. but the mild winter means the deer just aren't as hungry.
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