Asparagus : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I have failed miserably at growing asparagus but would like to try again. My question is how deep should the trench be to begin with? Some of the seed catalogs specify 2", some 4". I will buy 3 year crowns this time and really want to grow this veggie. Can anyone help?

-- Lynn(MO) (, January 31, 2001


It's been years since I grew asparagus, but I remember digging a trench over a FOOT deep!. We dug it in the winter, put in a good manure, mulch, dirt mix, fanned out the roots very carefully, and just barely covered them. Then we slowly filled in the trench over the next few weeks as the stalk began to pop through. It was a glorious stand of asparagus and was just coming into great production when we moved. By the way, the roots should be plump and healthy looking, not dried up into stringy, brittle things.

-- melina b. (, January 31, 2001.

I cheated and it worked fine. 1st i just dug a little trench 6 in.deep and spread out the roots and covered. They grew fine,if i noticed that they were pushing up to much i throw compost on them. maybe try a few and see what happens.

-- renee oneill{md.} (, January 31, 2001.

I did mine just like Melinda did. Big deep trench, filling it in all year as it grew up. Remember you can't sneak any spears the first year, once winter comes, I fold all the frawns down as they die, and cover with a huge layer of mulch. Easter day, I take all the mulch off, cut back all the frawns, and wait. The second year you can easily take a few nice meals a week, then by the third year you can really harvest! Good luck! Vicki

-- Vicki McGaugh TX (, January 31, 2001.

I think the nice deep trench, although more work, provides a longer lasting and better producing asparagus patch in the long run.

-- diane (, January 31, 2001.

Last year a friend of ours was clearing some chicken litter out of our chicken house. He asked me if I wanted some on my asparagus bed. I told him that would be great and boy did he dump it on there! It had to have been about 3 inches thick!!! I was scared that it would kill them! I have never in my life seen so much asparagus!!! Some of it was almost an inch around and very tender!!!(he dumped it about Feb. I would guess) Wow! I have also heard that some people salt their asparagus beds because the asp. like it. I have never been brave enough to try that. It sounds kinda funny to me! Hope you have great luck!

-- Nan (, January 31, 2001.

But, I thought with 3 year crowns I would get a crop the first year. I know you can't with one year and possibly 2 year. Please advise. Thanks

-- Lynn(MO) (, January 31, 2001.

Nan, I remember reading somewhere that asparagus is salt tolerant and that by spreading salt, you kill off the weeds. I've never been brave enough to try it.

Lynn, the idea is to let the crowns get established but I'm like you, I had to sneak some the first year. It did help that I had a volunteer patch out in the pasture. Anyway, my rule of thumb, and I don't know where I picked it up, is that you can continue to pick it until the spears become as thin as a pencil. A friend of mine extends her harvest by leaving half her patch mulched until the first half is slowing down. Then when she uncovers the second half she has almost the same amount of time to pick it as the first. I don't know if warmer weather has an effect but it seems to get woody in the second bit even though the spears are still short.

Lynn, I also fudged on the depth of my trench but backfilled it with good aged manure instead of soil and it's gone great guns. This will be its third year but there was plenty last year to pick. My husband doesn't like it so that just means more for me!

-- marilyn (, January 31, 2001.

I was just laying my plans for a similar idea. One source I was reading cited that you could get a crop from purchasing 3-year crowns to plant (but I haven't seen anything more than 1- and 2-year crowns) and some 1 & 2 year ones to establish a bed for successive years. They said that the younger crowns establish more easily than the older ones do, and with harvesting the 3-year crowns the first year, you may lose them, but if you are determined, it is one way to get a first year crop. No first hand knowlege on that, I only cite it for interest.

The more manure you can give them (rotted) the better is what I have always heard. They are very heavy feeders and like every year additions of manure (French farmers swear that sheep manure is best, for those of you with sheep!). I plan to raid the furthest back horse manure pile at the barn where it's about 2 years old.

-- Julie Froelich (, February 01, 2001.

Julie..the 3 year crowns can be ordered from Henry Fields.

-- Lynn(MO) (, February 01, 2001.

I also failed miserably trying to grow asparagus,especially the trench part but my wife saved me. We started seeds indoors in the early spring and when the sprouts were 4-6 inches tall we cut the growth into 4 parts (like cutting a pie) and transplanted them outside after all danger of frost had passed. All summer long they were fed a generous amount of fresh manure from the barn. Today we have a beautiful asparaagus bed thanks to my wife and two .89 cent packages of asparagus seeds after spending way to much money on "crowns". Good luck!!

-- charles isaacs (, February 06, 2001.

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