Storing Asparagus Crowns - Knowledgebase Question

Keswick, VA
Question by jsbaskin
May 13, 1999
I have received several bunches of asparagus crowns but I just don't think that I can get them planted this year due to the work involved to do it right. Any suggestions as to storing them until next spring? I don't think that I will be able to get them in this fall either. I could put them under hay or leaves in a shady spot.

My wife was told that one couple actually brought in a back hoe to do the trenches.


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Answer from NGA
May 13, 1999

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I'm not sure what kind of soil you're working with, but a backhoe seems a bit of an overkill! The Asparagus crowns need to go into the ground as soon as possible because the foliage they develop this spring and summer will direct energy to the roots, and help them store the energy for next year's growth. No matter where you put them, they will sprout, so you might as well plant them temporarily while you prepare the permanent bed. Site your asparagus bed in a sunny area and amend the soil with aged-compost or other organic matter. The trenches for the roots need only to be 6"-8" deep and about 12" wide. Once you've dug the trenches, set the plants on small mounds of soil or compost so the roots can drape down naturally. Then top with about 2" of soil. In two weeks, add another 2" of soil. Continue adding soil every two weeks until the soil is slightly mounded above the surface of the surrounding soil, to allow for settling. If you need to move the crowns, do so in the late winter, or very early spring.

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