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Propagate wild Asparagus  RSS feed

 
Konstantinos Karoubas
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Does anyone have any experience propagating wild asparagus?

I have been in the process of creating a living fence around the perimeter of the farm for multiple reasons, including protection from intrusion, having edible plants and possibly fire protection.

I placed cactus pads every 3 feet or so outside the fence – they will provide food and possibly act as a fire barrier.

Now I am trying to propagate wild asparagus.

Young wild asparagus plants are dug up from an area where they grow abundantly and as shown in the picture below, the roots are cut to about 5 cm long.

Along the perimeter of the farm every meter or so, a small hole is dug, about 5 – 7 cm and the root is throw in and covered with soil – along with the asparagus root I threw in an apricot seed.

I know the apricot seed will produce a tree – I am not sure the asparagus will grow – has anyone tried it?

In the spring I will also place seeds from wild asparagus, if I find enough of them.

I am also thinking of planting wild blackberries (Rubus spp) – any thoughts?

In any case I will keep you posted this spring and summer on the progress of no progress of the wild asparagus.

Thank You

Kostas







wild-asparagus.jpg
[Thumbnail for wild-asparagus.jpg]
Wild Asparagus - Cutting its Roots for Propagation
 
Lance Kleckner
Posts: 123
Location: West Iowa
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Asparagus propagates pretty easy from roots, how's the wild stuff much different than cultivated? Seems like cultivated has seeds that are eaten by birds and goes feral in places.
Thorny blackberries would be a good thing to prevent people, they suck walking through. I guess one needs to keep them contained somehow though, they keep spreading.
 
Jose Madeira
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Hello Konstantin,
I just finished registering on the forum because of your post.
I also have this idea of propagating wild asparagus and will wait for next "seed season" to reinforce nature's endeavour.
My property is in the Douro region in Portugal. Schist soil, kind of 40cm deep with soil and then hard or not that hard schist rock.
This also means that in winter soils are soaked very fast and, with hard rains, form small lines of water or simply wash the surface taking soil away.
Well, this is also because most soils are cultivated with vineyard and the rest is almond trees and olive trees. They are plowed once a year. The vineyard every now and then twice a year. But this is another problem.

I noticed the following about wild asparagus (so far have found very little info on the net and elsewhere):
. they like to grow close to olive trees trunks, where other plants of the same size grow together.
. they like to grow from the walls (made of schist rocks, so with plenty of holes showing the dirt beneath).
. when they grow from the walls, I can hardly remember see then on a north wall face, though plenty on any other direction (east, south or west by subjective order).
. never seen a large extension covered with wil asparagus, only a few plants together, and some other rather far.

The rain comes from south over here.
My conclusion, they need moist soil to pass through summer, inspite of a leaf system that looks so economical on the "transpiration" factor.
I wonder if they have some "linkage" to olive tree roots.

We had hardly any plants in the property a few years ago.
They have been spreading along the walls. In two ways:
. in bush, i believe some how ny enlargement of the root system,
. spaced by 50 meters or more, wich could mean the wind would have spread the seeds (I hasked that nobody picks the asparagus on the property).

Another conclusion your post provoked: both ways of spreading should work fine.

Well, I'm gonna try both methods this year. Root spreading in february and seed recolection on late summer.
Don't know yet what should be the best procedure for the seeds but I'll try to emulate other asparagus info that I'll be able to find.

Be sure that I'll be reporting advances here to share at least with you.
Do you have any hints, ideas?
Ciao
 
Walter McQuie
Posts: 49
Location: Northern New Mexico
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A fellow gardener transplanted some into a community garden I was involved in years ago. I recall that it transplanted well, as well as commercially sourced roots. I also recall that he was told that most of the wild asparagus in the area was probably escaped, just as Lance suggests.
 
Konstantinos Karoubas
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Hello Walter, Jose and Lance – thank you for your comments.

Sometimes I forget to mention that I am in what is considered zone 8 - 9 in Northern Greece near the City of Thessaloniki – sometimes we go from late April until late September with no rain and hot dry weather – difficult conditions.

My objective is to produce food naturally and with as little effort as possible. This means no water other than what falls from the sky and no machines with gasoline, fertilizers or outside inputs. In addition the soil fertility of the land must increase year by year. These are my self imposed parameters.

I mentioned cactus pears before because they fit the above requirements.

Cultivated asparagus will not grow by itself where I am – it needs watering and “care” – this means drawing on the limited water supplies and time (both are in short supply).

Wild asparagus on the other hand, grows, often under the conditions mentioned by Jose – It would be nice if it will grow without any help around the perimeter of the farm simply by throwing a piece of the root in a hole as I have done.

We will see.

Kostas
 
Jose Madeira
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Hi, just found this page refering an italian who is way ahead in his research of asparagus and olive trees.
Hard to find the paper online though.

http://www.foodinitaly.org/blog/tag/mixed-farming/

Bingo! Here's the paper.

http://www.agricoltura24.com/agri24/pdf/Bozza-OO-2011-08-020.pdf

and following articles referenced, this great paper:

http://hortsci.ashspublications.org/content/42/5/1163.full

Where these researchers tested wild asparagus production and report their techniques, yelds, conclusions!

And now, even a Manual (in italian)!

http://sito.entecra.it/portale/public/documenti/manuale_olivo_asparago_pollo.pdf

 
Konstantinos Karoubas
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Hello Jose,

Sorry it took so long to get back to you – I was away and had poor net access.

The articles about wild asparagus and Mixed Farming are very interesting. Thank You – this is a good find – I wonder if the article about olive trees and wild asparagus is available in English?

The idea of Mixed Farming is a very good one and I have seen it work very well – it’s how farming should be.

Depending on the location, capers may also be used under the olive trees. Capers are a weed in southern Greece – my father, before he passed away, always complained that no matter what he did, he could not eradicate these large caper plants that grew in his olive fields – I remember they were always loaded with capers – its noteworthy that these plants were never fertilized and never watered.

When I read these articles by agronomy professors and researchers, they always discuss watering, weeding and fertilizing to increase production. It’s not something I am willing to do. I am looking for plants like the capers I discussed above that will do well on their own, with minimal interference or labor.

I will also try to introduce capers by seed to my farm this spring – I want to see how they do.

I should also mention that lavender and rosemary plant fall under the do nothing plants

Kostas
 
Jose Madeira
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No sorries... it's great hearing from you. It's great to exchange ideas and quite fruitfull when you're looking for something very similar.

I'm looking and evaluating possibilities (it's cheaper and maybe faster then growing...). To start I thought about "importing" species. Capres was one. There are no capres in Portugal, but for what I saw capres enjoy more sedimentary loose to calcareous soils (like Sicily?). Could you tell me what kind of soil do you and your father have/had? My piece of land is in the Douro regio of Portugal. Shale, loose earth with rocks maybe 30-50cm deep, then compact rock. It means potentially very rich soil, but rapidly soaks in winter and dries fast in summer.

Also thought about mixing some pistachio, ... came back to basics, trying to use or give another use to local stuff, also it had to be financially interesting. We do have rosemary, though the kind we have gives less flower.

I had some trouble finding the manual. I believe there are no translations. I don't read italian myself. Kind of read it across like it were portuguese and a few times, specially some words that would unveil the contents of the phhrase, i simply used google translator. You could try it.

In regard of the chickens, the idea for me would be getting another resource, in this case meat. I fear for the long-term "desert" effect. I've been reading about paddock rotation but hardly find "i did this i got this result". Mostly i find "i did this" (or wil be doing - like me). I tried to get some Allan Savory stuff but nothing in specific, no guidelines. Guess i'll have to go through trial and error.
 
Konstantinos Karoubas
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Hello Jose,

As far as Capers (capres) – instead of soil conditions etc – look around your area and see if they are growing wild – near my father’s farm, the grow even on rocks – thru stone walls, in hard to believe places – they are a strong summer plant with a deep strong root system.

I have limited know of the soil layers at my father’s farm – the surface layers is a mix of sand and clay – I do not know how deep it is. I will try to grow this spring/summer from seed – we will see how it goes. If it’s meant to grow somewhere it will by itself, with almost no help.

Kostas
 
Terri Matthews
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Location: Eastern Kansas
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When I planted asparagus seeds I failed. But, when I planted seeds in pots in summer AFTER IT WAS WARM I got a good stand!

I meant to plant them out last fall but it did not get done. Maybe this spring.
 
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