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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.
Just checked the price of giant asparagus seed on the internet. 44 cents a seed.
Going back to the asparagus patch and harvest more seed pods. Guessing, I must currently have $80- to $100- worth of seed seperated from the pod and drying.
I have an excuse. CRS.
I haven't had much luck with my 'gus at all. Although I prefer the smaller spears, I do enjoy slightly larger ones but not the stuff you find in stores. Ughhh can't stand that at all. I think I am going to try the roundup in the spring and see if I can get things under control. It has been darn near impossible this year. Spring started out well but with all the rain we have had, the only thing that really grew well was grass and weeds. Course been pretty busy. Gonna find some new stock and plant it and see what happens.
I planted asparagus last spring and fertilized it and just let it go. It came up great, but ti still didn't look big enought this spring, so I let it go this spring. Then the unthinkable happened, Trugreen sprayed it. It curled up and looked pretty bad, so I tilled it under and bought some more crowns. Before I got a chance to plant the crowns, the old asparagus came up better than ever. I planted the new crowns and now I have a plot about 8x10 that looks great.
I plan on harvesting for the first time next year and I think I will get planty for Sheila and I.
From what I understand, you can use salt as a herbicide with asparagus because it is salt tolerant as others have already stated.
Also, as long as you cut it all down, you can spray Roundup and you wont hurt the plants since there is no root action. You just have to make sure there isn't ANY green from the plants showing.
Finally, it is a fertilizer hog. I keep fertilizing ming in hopes I will get a good harvest next year.
Rudi, seriously the giant spears from mine are just priceless. Besides the tiny ones fall between the grate openings in the grill .
For weed control I usually throw a layer of my compost or store bought composted cow manure after the 'harvest' is over (end of June for me). The asparagus will poke through it, but it smothers the weeds.
1971 Cub (Rufus) 1950 Cub (Cathy) 1965 Lo Boy Fast Hitch (Nameless III) 1970 Cub 1000 Loader & Fast Hitch (Lee)
Larry, I just might do that. I have a number of bags of good sheep dip and that would act as a nice fertilizer/mulch/winter warmer blanket. I wonder if that will be ok around our herbs and such as well. We had to cut down them popples along the sideline between me and my neighbour Roger (hence part of all of the cutting/splitting in the last 3 weeks - about 4 or 5 cords for next year's wood supply) and the roots have heavily invaded our herb garden. I do want to put roundup down on some of this stuff primarily weeds but don't want to lose my desired herbs such as rosemary, lavender, chives, elephant garlic, parsley and a few others.
Matt, I really do want some asparagus to grow. Ever since I kinda killed Em's original stock (it shouldn't be in the main garden where a tiller or plow can get to it ) I have been trying like the dickens to get it to grow and so far just the one sprig has made it. Gonna try some new Martha in the spring too I hope.
Bill. probably going to do the Roundup thing in a week or so - very selectively. Have to do the tomato garden as well. Probably have to do the larger garden in the spring to kill whatever grows before the main planting. Em missed her gardens this year and has made me promise to get it done early this year.. so hoping the weather works with me and not against like it did this year.
Oh yeah.. Summer started the 19th of September and officially closed 2 days later... wettest spring/summer since 1948 with very few sunny days. However it was good to do some things.. mostly indoors though.
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