Weekend Gardening: Starting an Asparagus Bed

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For me, spring means asparagus and I anticipate asparagus season as much as I look forward to strawberry, cherry, and blueberry season. Michael actually tried growing asparagus early in our courtship, but the crowns never took and we ended up with an empty raised bed and dashed hopes. We finally decided to give it another try this year using Jersey Knight hybrid plants we purchased from Debaggio’s Herb Farm & Nursery.

Andrea Meyers - Michael removing sod for the asparagus bed.

We selected a spot on the north side of the backyard, which gets full sunlight. Michael dug up the sod and moved it to some of the bare spots in the yard, then he filled the space with a mix of topsoil, manure, peat moss, and compost.

Andrea Meyers - Michael preparing asparagus for planting.

I arranged the asparagus plants about 8 to 12 inches apart, according to the instructions from Debaggio’s. We started with six plants, then depending on how these do we may add more next year.

Andrea Meyers - Michael preparing asparagus for planting.

Michael put each plant in the ground, making sure the root system was covered but not too deep. Once we start mowing the yard in a couple weeks we’ll mulch the bed with grass clippings to discourage weeds.

Asparagus needs time to develop roots and produce enough shoots to eat, so they should stay in the ground for two years before the first harvest. That seems like a long time off, but we’ve planted many things that require similar patience, such as rhubarb and the fruit trees and bushes. When it comes to asparagus, we don’t mind waiting.

Resources

Mother Earth News – Growing Asparagus

Wikipedia – Asparagus

[An original post from Andrea Meyers: making life delicious. All images and text copyrighted, All Rights Reserved.]

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Comments

  1. says

    I did not know this about asparagus- that it needs a couple of years to get settled. One of my most potent food memories is from my uncle’s garden on the plains; he chopped fresh asparagus out of the garden and we walked back and sauteed it right then… 15 minutes from garden to belly.

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