Vegetables and Fruit forum: Help with asparagus

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Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
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kqcrna
Jun 3, 2012 7:06 AM CST
I've never grown it, know nothing about it.

Bought a package of Mary Washington at Home Cheapo. How do I plant these things? Pkg. says 2" deep, but google results say everything from 3" to 8" planting depth.

How far apart?

Is 6 plants enough to start a little area? Do I need 10 times as many? There are only 2 of us to eat them?

And how many years to harvest asparagus?

Summers here are hot. Too hot? I read that they like cool summers and cold winters. The cold winters I have, cool summers I don't have.

Any help appreciated.

Karen
Name: Linda
Carmel, IN (Zone 5a)
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mom2goldens
Jun 3, 2012 8:36 PM CST
Karen, can't help you with any of the specifics, but we have lots of asparagus growers in our area so I know the climate will be OK for you.

I seem to remember that you have to wait until the 2nd or 3rd year to harvest. Not sure about how many plants you need for 2 people, but I'm sure somebody else will weigh in.
Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
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kqcrna
Jun 3, 2012 8:42 PM CST
Thanks, Linda. I thought the same when I read that they like cool summers: our summers are not cool, but I know people grow them locally.

Karen
Name: Carol Noel
Hawaii (near Hilo) (Zone 10b)
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AlohaHoya
Jun 4, 2012 12:28 PM CST
I think you could grow them....
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Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Jun 4, 2012 2:59 PM CST
Karen, I agree that your climate should be fine for the asparagus. I don't think you want to put in 60 plants, but you might want more than the 6; I think I have about 30 (or maybe more like 25), and we get LOTS (as in, it's about the only vegetable we eat for a couple of months other than salads, and I also pickle some for use in Bloody Marys -- yum!). I'd suggest maybe 12 or 18 plants for a nice little patch, depending on the space available, of course. And I would plant the roots maybe 4" deep or so, meaning 4" of dirt on top, not 4" to the bottom of the hole. Make a little mound of dirt in the bottom so you can spread the roots out over it, kind of pointing down. The recommendation years ago was to plant considerably deeper than that, but they seem to seek their level of happiness on their own. And yes, unfortunately it takes at least until the 2nd year or possibly the 3rd; the general rule of thumb is to not pick anything smaller than a pencil. Let the fronds grow and feed the roots over the course of the summer and then cut them down and dispose of them in the fall, as well as cleaning up the ground under the plants, to help eliminate pests -- keep a close eye on the plants, especially early in the spring, for asparagus beetles -- they can really do a number on the plants, plus they will lay eggs on the stalks that you want to harvest, which I don't find very appetizing even though it's easy enough to wash them off. If you have compost, throw some of that into the planting holes, and I fertilize at least once a year with a balanced fertilizer. I also use a mulch of grass clippings in the paths and between the plants, which helps hold moisture in the ground for them and helps control the weeds. All of that is a lot easier to actually do than to type out, it's really pretty care-free compared to a lot of the garden plants ! Smiling
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Name: Ginger
Fountain, Florida (Zone 8b)
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gingin
Jun 4, 2012 3:18 PM CST
I planted some...love it. NEVER got a crop...my bad..as soon as it poped up I poped it into my mouth. Whistling and my "attempt" at a bed goes back at least 10 years. Let it grow you will harvest...graze at first sight and for get it. Big Grin
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Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
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kqcrna
Jun 4, 2012 4:16 PM CST
Thank you both! Your information is very helpful.

Geez, I had no idea we'd need that many plants for 2 people! I don't know if I can fit that many into the space I was planning. I guess I could dedicate a little more space there and move the basil to the tomato bed. I'll just wait until fall, after we pull the basil, and get a few more plants for that area then.

Karen
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Jun 5, 2012 7:09 PM CST
Karen, you don't necessarily "need" that many; even with just 6 after a few years you'll be getting a nice amount, so just go for it!

I grow way too much of everything -- a dozen plants would probably be a very generous amount for 2 people, so naturally I have twice that many... Hilarious!
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Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cut Flowers Winter Sowing Charter ATP Member Seed Starter
Echinacea Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: Ohio Region: United States of America Butterflies Hummingbirder
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kqcrna
Jun 6, 2012 6:50 AM CST
Weedwhacker said:Karen, you don't necessarily "need" that many; even with just 6 after a few years you'll be getting a nice amount, so just go for it!

I grow way too much of everything -- a dozen plants would probably be a very generous amount for 2 people, so naturally I have twice that many... Hilarious!


I think that's a symptom of a disease common among gardeners. Hilarious!

Karen
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Jun 6, 2012 4:13 PM CST
kqcrna said:

I think that's a symptom of a disease common among gardeners. Hilarious!

Karen


I agree (it's my "no plants left behind program" ...)

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Name: Melissa
Southwestern Ohio (Zone 6b)
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Melissa
Jul 10, 2012 11:18 AM CST
I'm really wanting to put a bed in as well. I was thinking fall might be better for starting the bed? I was thinking about 50 or 60 plants for my family of 5 that always has company? I'll happily freeze what we don't eat fresh. Should I do more? When I cook it, I usually cook 2 "bundles" from the store. My oldest son would live on asparagus if he could!

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