Planting asparagus

lazy gardener

Crossing the Road
7 Years
Nov 7, 2012
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CENTRAL MAINE zone 4B
Ok, here's a topic for discussion. How many of you have planted an asparagus bed, and how did you plant it? (variety, age of crowns, or started from seed, distance between crowns, depth of crowns at initial planting) What is your soil like, and how do you manage your bed? Size of bed? Age of bed? How much do you harvest from your bed? And how do you maintain fertility in your bed?

It seems that the old time recommendation was to get those crowns in a very deep trench, and gradually back fill it as the newly planted crowns sent up spears. The more recent information I'm reading says to dig your trench 6 - 8" deep, and set the crowns so the eyes are about 1 - 2" deep. This makes a whole lot more sense to me, b/c as I was digging holes last night to set some crowns in a bed that is not productive, I noticed a lot of thick roots from existing crowns running all over the place just under the wood chips. BTW, I have harvested some nice fat spears from this bed, and am hopefully optimistic that the asparagus will thrive with BTE!
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Grateful
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 16, 2015
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My original bed we planted them deep and than filled as they grew. That bed got taken over by an invasive weed, that I haven't identified, so that bed is no more. It was fairly productive, and was about 3x10.

Our new bed is slightly raised, and I didn't plant them that deep. It's year 3 or 4 and we get okay harvest from it. We put manure on the bed in the fall, and mulch with grass clippings during the summer. It's still a young bed.

I also have a few plants cropping up in my flower beds, either self seeded or planted by birds maybe. They seem more vigorous and productive than the one's I bought. Which I believe we're both the popular type who's names evade me at the moment.

Around here asparagus will grow wild in the ditches and fields if you can find them, and they are way more productive than my planted bed, not sure why, maybe from the lack of weeding and disturbing of the roots.
 

lazy gardener

Crossing the Road
7 Years
Nov 7, 2012
27,615
27,024
917
CENTRAL MAINE zone 4B
I've heard that asparagus actually likes salt a bit. For that reason, cabbage makes a good companion plant for asparagus. It's nice to be able to use that space a bit in the summer so you can get an other crop. I've also heard that if you mark those wild plantings in the fall, you can return in the spring and harvest the crowns to start a new bed. I'm guessing it would be hard work, and they would be very heavy, not to mention that they would have a lot of weed roots mixed in with them.

Thanks for your input, OH.
 

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