preparing an asparagus bed, and asparagus varieties

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wasthiswise

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preparing an asparagus bed, and asparagus varieties
« on: January 04, 2013, 16:36 »
Thinking of planting an asparagus bed. Couple of years back my allotment neighbour added one, and he spent hours and hours riddling the soil in a large trench in preparation. Whether this was to get rid of weed roots or stones, I dont know. Then he added loads of manure and topped it with mushroom compost after planting the crowns. It took him a looong time. Just wondered,  is it worth it to go to this extent in preparing the bed. And how deep would you dig it? My plot is clay-ish and rather heavy going so I plan to mound it up a bit to improve drainage, and dig in lots of manure.

Would also be interested in views on asparagus varieties. Was thinking of Mondeo, which is only available from T+M. There was a piece in the telegraph about it.


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Yorkie

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Re: preparing an asparagus bed, and asparagus varieties
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2013, 16:45 »
Lots of info on the main website about asparagus etc.

Given that the plants will be in for 15+ years, it's always worth doing as much preparation as possible  :)
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sunshineband

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Re: preparing an asparagus bed, and asparagus varieties
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2013, 17:32 »
Pacific Purple and Ginjlim are both very tasty and extremely productive.

Do at least remove all perennial weeds from the bed of they will become the bane of your life, I promise you. A few stones however, do no real harm.

Asparagus is a greedy plant and will be there many years: it does repay a bit of effort though  :D :D
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JayG

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Re: preparing an asparagus bed, and asparagus varieties
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2013, 17:40 »
I'd say that drainage is the single most important thing you have to get right with asparagus - dig as deep as you can bear to (their roots speak Australian!) and incorporate some sharp sand as well as the manure and you should be OK (planting the crowns on a mound of sand will also help.)
Sow your seeds, plant your plants. What's the difference? A couple of weeks or more when answering possible queries!

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angelavdavis

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Re: preparing an asparagus bed, and asparagus varieties
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2013, 20:50 »
I am doing exactly the same but will be building a 2-3 plank high raised bed (ie 2-3 x higher than the others) and filling it.  I am planning to plant Ginjlim crops, which I am hoping will arrive from Kings seeds soon.

I have to say though I will NOT be riddling soil, etc.  I will mix rotted manure with HM compost (not sieved), topped with newspaper watered well and planted through the paper.
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gazza975526570

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Re: preparing an asparagus bed, and asparagus varieties
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2013, 23:01 »
I would love to plant some but the thought of knowing how long i would be committing to my plot scares me. Not that i have a commitment issue mind!!! :wub:

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wasthiswise

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Re: preparing an asparagus bed, and asparagus varieties
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2013, 08:46 »
Thanks for all the advice. Will now add sand to the mix. And dig just about as far as I can bear it.

Anyone know which are the earliest and latest varieties worth growing, so as to lengthen  the picking season?

Also, noticed on the main site it says plant 12-18" apart. If I go for 12" I can get a lot more in to the space I have available. Will I realistically get a bigger crop this way or should I go for bigger spacing and just be patient?
« Last Edit: January 05, 2013, 08:49 by wasthiswise »

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JayG

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Re: preparing an asparagus bed, and asparagus varieties
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2013, 09:00 »
When in doubt, compromise! I think 12" is a bit tight as each crown can eventually spread up to 2' across and you don't want to be too unkind to them. 15" should be fine.

I've got at least 3 varieties but unfortunately can't remember which is which - at least a couple of them are Ginjlim and one of the least productive is a female plant - male plants usually produce the thickest spears as they don't waste energy producing seeds.

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sunshineband

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Re: preparing an asparagus bed, and asparagus varieties
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2013, 10:09 »
I'd go for at least 15 ins apart.  Mine are in rows two feet apart and 15ins apart per plant and they seem to be just fine

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wasthiswise

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Re: preparing an asparagus bed, and asparagus varieties
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2013, 21:55 »
JayG, when you say 'eventually' to 2ft across, how long does that take?

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JayG

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Re: preparing an asparagus bed, and asparagus varieties
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2013, 09:06 »
JayG, when you say 'eventually' to 2ft across, how long does that take?

The reason I have 3 different varieties is that some of the original planting failed to prosper and were replaced, although some recovered by themselves after a few years.

The plants vary from about 10 to about 6 years old, and of those, some spread to crop over a 2' diameter after about 4 years, but some are still no more than half that, so probably never will reach that size.



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