Thursday, March 31, 2016

Asparagus syndrome

When I started square foot gardening, I followed the recommendation to place the beds close to the house, to improve the chances one would provide them adequate care. At least that is my excuse for where I put the asparagus bed. I have to admit it was handy to step out the patio door and cut a handful of spears for a meal. However, as my backyard became more crowded, the placement of the bed became more problematic. It was just plain in the way.

Meanwhile, I had started a second bed of asparagus (purple) in the garden proper. While the 4x4 bed by the house was fairly densely populated, the 8x4 one was not. Hence, yesterday's project to combine the two arose.

My original thought was to dig up all the crowns from both beds, then lay them out again, just like new. That idea quickly fell by the wayside, as digging up asparagus is a LOT of work. (One source suggests just starting over with newly purchased crowns rather than trying to relocate an existing bed. Now we know why.)

Thanks to the upper body strength of my SO, we were able to unearth the 4x4 bed. In the process, we learned something new: an asparagus crown will develop a LOT of roots and/or create NEW crowns. So while I may have planted 20 crowns, we wound up with a LOT more to plant.

Instead of digging out the 8x4 bed, we scooped out furrows between the existing rows and laid the "new" crowns in them. Then all was covered with a mixture of garden soil and horse manure. Today Mother Nature is watering in our efforts. Later, I will check to make sure everything is still underground.

A week or so ago, I succumbed to the store-bought asparagus siren call and purchased some grown in California. In NO way did that compare to what comes fresh from the garden. Establishing a productive asparagus bed takes time, but I am willing to wait.

1 comment:

Jason said...

Yum! I love homegrown asparagus.