The asparagus is ready and waiting for the spring.

With limited time available to me I thought about what would be the best job that would make the most impact and allow me to cross something off my list.  A quick scan across the patch drew my eye towards the asparagus beds.  Ok so it wasn’t all that urgent, coming in at number 19 on my great big list of things to do.  But I had all the gear to do it and it is best to do it in mid-winter and I’d be able to knock it off in the short time I had.  So the asparagus beds it was.

The wonky wheelbarrow makes a great mixing bowl!

The wonky wheelbarrow makes a great mixing bowl!

I had previously weeded the beds, chopped down all the ferns that had gone yellow and done their job sending goodness to the roots and so there they were all ready for my task.  I took my wonky wheelbarrow and parked it beside the beds and filled it full of compost, blood and bone, general fertiliser, a sprinkling of lime to  sweeten the soil and loads of sheep poo pellets and mixed it all in well. Kind of like making a cake, but on a grander scale and with some really weird ingredients.  OK it is nothing like making a cake at all – except for the verb to mix.

I took a photo of where the new plants will go so I know not to eat them for the first couple of years.

I took a photo of where the new plants will go so I know not to eat them for the first couple of years.

Now is also an ideal time to plant asparagus and I had noticed that there were a few gaps in my beds where some plants hadn’t made it.  But I’m realistic enough to know that the conditions in the swamp aren’t the best for asparagus growing and so every year I sow some seeds and grow them up to be one year old crowns that I can plant if I need them.  If I don’t then I give them away.  The beauty of this, is the asparagus that survives and grows strong will be a case of survival of the fittest and I will end up with asparagus plants that thrive in my conditions – I just need to persevere to find the strong ones, even if it means replanting a couple of crowns every year until I have my full bed!

Check out this crown I grew from seed last year!

Check out this crown I grew from seed last year!

Once I planted the year old crowns I spread my nutrient enhanced compost over the top and then job done.  Now all I have to do is wait for the first fresh tender spears in a couple of months’ time.  I can hardly wait.

Under this soil is buried treasure!Under this soil is buried treasure!

Under this soil is buried treasure!

Come again soon – I think I need to mow again, it’s looking all messy.

Sarah the Gardener  : o )

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22 Comments on “The asparagus is ready and waiting for the spring.

  1. I long to grow asparagus, but i really need to do my research as i know nothing of it except how good it tastes. I’ve been given some aspargus seed and am happy to wait and grow my own crowns-do you plant your seed now too?

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    • Hi Max. Seeds can be sown about now to Oct – Nov. I normally sow them in a deep pot with half nutrient rich compost/potting mix and the top half seed raising mix. You need a deep pot because they send down long roots before they sprout out the top. I normally let these grow all year and repot into a larger pot after about 6 months or so – depending on if it looks like they need it. Then after a year I plant them out in the garden, but in the first year in the garden I don’t harvest any and in the next year I pinch one or two spears, but generally leave them alone. In the the third year you can have as many as you want – but stop at Christmas time and let them grow into tall ferns. The ferns get chopped down in June-ish when they go all yellow. – you do this with the younger one ones in the garden as well. It is quite easy. The hardest part is the waiting – but it is worth it as once established they can last up to 20 years! I hope this helps.
      Cheers Sarah

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  2. Hi Sarah, I always thought Asparagus took up masses of room. How big is your bed and how many plants do you have in it? I

    f we could slot in an asparagus bed somewhere Mud would be over the moon as it is probably his favourite vegetable but prohibitively expensive in the shops when it’s at its’ best and not as nice when on offer at the end of the season.

    Thanks x

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    • Hi Elaine. I have two asparagus beds and they are both 1 metre by 2 metres and have approximately 8 plants in each.
      You need to decide where exactly you want to have them as there is no moving them – not because they don’t like it – but they get really heavy. I nearly killed Hubby the Un-Gardener when I got him to move some after a year in the ground!
      Fresh asparagus is so much nicer than shop bought stuff. Once you have tasted the good stuff – You’ll never go back to paying for it!
      Good luck with this one – it is so worth it!
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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  3. You made that look very easy! Like the comment above I always assumed a lot of space is required with asparagus with very short return for the space made so have never invested any time towards it but it looks like you might be proving me wrong!

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    • Hi Sophie. Asparagus doesn’t take up too much space. It’s more that it’s a long term permanent crop – once it gets going it can last for a couple of decades! And the favour is amazing – so sweet. It would definitely be worth giving up a small corner of your garden and the saving come from not having to pay for them at the supermarket.
      I hope this helps.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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  4. I have only just managed to get to “S” in my RSS Feed Reader and there were 10 posts! Please consider this my comment for the 10 ;). We have asparagus growing all over our property. Someone planted some once and when it went to seed the birds carried the seeds everywhere. I am letting it grow wherever it wants to grow. Who wants to complain about free asparagus? Not me! 🙂

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    • Hi Fran.
      I have gotten a little behind on my comments, which I imagine is just a taster at what it is like to take forever to get through your RSS Feed Reader. I admire your dedication to keep on top of all your blogs.
      Free, no care asparagus would be the best thing – lucky you!
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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  5. We’ve debated about doing asparagus. I think what holds us back is the waiting period before you can actually eat them! I’m amazed at the root system.

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    • You have to wait on fruit trees too…but, the wait is well worth the product, both for fruit and asparagus.

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      • The first year after planting you should nip the fruit off the trees (shortly after budding) so they can put energy into developing good, strong, deep roots. If allowed to fruit, they waste that energy on the fruit and you’ll have a less than vigorous tree.

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      • In the wild and grown from seed, the trees don’t require the removal of early fruit because they’ve spent their entire lives building a good root system in the same place. With transplants, you have nip the fruit because the process of transplanting is stressful and damages roots, no matter how careful you are. The tree has to have the chance and energy to re-develop the root system.

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    • Hi there. Asparagus is definitely a veggie to test your patience, but once you get to try fresh asparagus – harvested minutes earlier, it all becomes worth it. While I was able to diligently wait for the asparagus – I’m not so good at the fruit tree thing. My poor trees never had the luxury of establishing their roots in that first year, (well the ones that fruited) because I got greedy and when I saw those baby apples and plums… well.
      They seem to be ok now – a few years on so hopefully I didn’t do any long term damage in my desire for a homegrown apple.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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  6. Wow! That crown you grew from seed looks FABULOUS! The crowns I’ve purchased (2 year old crowns) didn’t look even half that good. What a good idea to keep a seeded bed of asparagus at the ready…I may have to follow suit.

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    • Hi Jenn. Growing asparagus from seed it quite easy and there always seems to be some other seedlings or plants that need to be watered and taken extra care of throughout the year, so it isn’t too much effort to keep them going for a year before planting them out. Mind you you will still be three years from sowing the seeds before you get to eat them properly.
      I love my asparagus as they are one of the first veggies of the season and just keep giving until you can’t take it any more! Definitely worth the wait.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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  7. I had no idea that you can grow crowns of asparagus from seeds. I now have a new winter project. Ya! As for lists, I keep rewriting mine as I cross things off. Hard to keep numbers when you do that. I admire your ability to even number a list. Love your posts.

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    • Hi Lucinda. Asparagus is quite easy to grow from seed – although I’d recommend sowing the seed into a deep pot as it sends down the root first and then the shoot, so it may seem like it is taking ages, but it will come up.
      The list is what is keeping me motivated to garden when it is cold outside. If I stay on top of the list then then everything should get done and the order of it all becomes unimportant. If I drag things out then somethings will become urgent. Luckily its not like the heady days of spring when there is so much going on and the list has lists of it’s own!
      Thanks for your kind words.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

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