Rudi, I grow and sell a small amount of asparagus
each year about 400 pounds. There is a lot of opinions on the growing of it and I don't want to change anybody's opinion, If something is working for them then that is what they should do. First. Yes aspargus did originally grow near salt water but salt is not necessary for its growth and I do not use it. Years ago it was used for weed control since the aspargus could tolerate more of it than could the weeds. Today it is roundup and 24D. There is about a 10 day to 2 week period between when the grass turns green and the asparagus
emerges. Roundup time. After the picking season is over I lightly scrape the rows and use 24D for a quick kill of broadleaf weeds. Preen applied before picking starts along with fertilizer and lime. Weed control $$$$$$$ but cultivation not realistic after first year, too much root damage. Depth to plant. Depends upon the soil. If you have clay aparagus will not do well although I'm sure that will be disputed. Best bet in heavy soil is about 2 inches which is about where the plant will grow naturaly (they will migrate to that level anyway in clay I'm told). Light soil up to 8 inches. I use 6. The deeper planting will produce fewer spears but larger spears. Some people prefer the smaller spears believing they are more tender. Not so says OSU. I don't think so either. Good asparagus
is about 3 days from emergence to pick. Grocery store crap is 5. Keep an eye on PH. Asparagus
likes sweet soil. Will do good upper 6's to 7.3. It is a fertilizer hog. I used to apply 12-12-12 preseason and manure when done picking. Dairy farmer next door got rid of his cows so now it is two applications of 12-12-12. I can't remember rate. I set the spreader once years ago. The only post I will disagree with is Beaconlight if you want maxi pounds/acre. Then you want male plants not female. The female plant uses energy to make seeds and thus makes less asparagus
. Go to a seed catalogue and you will find all male plants but not all female. No difference in eating quality. I use 1 year roots but have experimented with seed for sweet purple. All it does is add an extra year to full production. Two year roots are a waste of money. The big boys about 20 miles west (fields that supply the canneries) used to use two year because the they could tell the female plants and throw them away. Most of my info is from Ohio State. If you think I can be of any help please PM me. Vern
EDIT. OSU may not have been the one to run the hyd crush test for tenderness. Don't cover a crown more than 2 inches. If planting deeper cover with 2 then fill trench in as plant grows. Ok to fill the first year.
Another edit. I don't know what I was thinking! PH is upper 6's to 7.3. This stuff doesn't grow in lye!!!!!!!
Last edited by v w on Wed Sep 28, 2011 7:58 am, edited 1 time in total.