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Julia Franke
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Location: Berks County, PA
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Hi folks,

I live in PA between Harrisburg and Philadelphia. In December, I was received 10 crowns of asparagus in the mail and I planted them. They have not started to sprout from the ground yet. I would think they would have, as they are one of the first crops of Spring. I was wondering if I planted them wrong, or if this is typical for first year asparagus? I actually did a blog post about it, so if I messed up, maybe you can tell me where? http://simplicityforjulia.blogspot.com/2013/12/planting-asparagus.html

Or am I just being impatient? I appreciate any insight.

Thank you!
Julia
 
Patrick Mann
Posts: 303
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
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You planted 6 inches deep and mulched on top - that may be too much for those little crowns to be able to push through. Or maybe that just slowed down warming of the soil so that they are very slow to emerge. I would remove the mulch.
My own mature asparagus didn't start poking up until a week ago, so just be patient.
 
Julia Franke
Posts: 66
Location: Berks County, PA
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Thanks! I'm going to try that when I get home tonight.

Hopefully I didn't kill the roots. I'm learning. Slowly but surely, I'm learning!
 
Adam Klaus
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Location: 6200' westen slope of colorado, zone 6
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No worries Julia, it's just too early for your asparagas to come up.

Your depth is fine. IMHO, a little shallow, if anything. I plant asparagas crowns 12-16 inches deep, and they have no problems. The old books on vegetable growing, like my favorite 'the vegetable garden' by Vilmorin, published in 1885, indicate that deeply planted crowns are more productive than shallow ones.

All you need is a little patience. Once they start coming up, give them a bunch of top dressed compost and good water.

One key thing about asparagas- dont harvest any spears for the first two years. This lets a strong plant develop, and you'll be set for decades of good spring eating.

good luck!
 
Alder Burns
pollinator
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Location: northern California
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I just planted 90 one-year old plants this past winter, out of gallon pots. In one garden they came up just fine, but I noticed them being sluggish in the second garden. After seeing a few suspicious stubs and stunted looking shoots, I did a little night time inspection, and found them mobbed by pill bugs, earwigs, and slugs! Some of the plants might have not made it if I hadn't caught it in time and got the mulch off from over them and dusted over the sprouts with DE and ashes….(my default insect dust …..cutting the DE with about 75% ash is nearly as effective and stretches the DE a lot!)
 
Rick Roman
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Location: Pennsylvania Pocono Mt Neutral-Acidic Elv1024ft AYR41in Zone 5b
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Hi Julia. I'm just north of you in Pa and my asparagus have not broken ground. I will let you know when they emerge. Good luck and happy gardening!
 
Peter Ellis
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Location: Central New Jersey
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Adam Klaus wrote:No worries Julia, it's just too early for your asparagas to come up.

Your depth is fine. IMHO, a little shallow, if anything. I plant asparagas crowns 12-16 inches deep, and they have no problems. The old books on vegetable growing, like my favorite 'the vegetable garden' by Vilmorin, published in 1885, indicate that deeply planted crowns are more productive than shallow ones.

All you need is a little patience. Once they start coming up, give them a bunch of top dressed compost and good water.

One key thing about asparagas- dont harvest any spears for the first two years. This lets a strong plant develop, and you'll be set for decades of good spring eating.

good luck!


Adam, interesting about the depth. I just read an article with comment to the effect that current research says shallow planting produces more

I suspect it may have more to do with other conditions than depth of planting alone, and that the right choice for each location should probably be determined on the spot.
 
Adam Klaus
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Location: 6200' westen slope of colorado, zone 6
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Peter Ellis wrote:interesting about the depth. I just read an article with comment to the effect that current research says shallow planting produces more


For me, considering the nefarious motivations of 'current research' projects, I find it to be a confirmation of just the opposite.

You know, like, whatever you do with your diet, DONT follow the FDA and their brilliant suggestions.

Good times we're living in. Thank God they didnt manage to burn all the old books.

just my 2cents
 
Peter Ellis
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Remember that the books from "back then" were the "current research projects" of their day, and every bit as likely to have some questionable motivation as any today.

What I found intriguing was simply that different sources came to different conclusions. It happens all the time, but at least with something like asparagus, we can test for ourselves in our situations reasonably easily.
 
Adam Klaus
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Peter Ellis wrote:Remember that the books from "back then" were the "current research projects" of their day, and every bit as likely to have some questionable motivation as any today.


Not even close. A century ago, our Agricultural Resarch Stations were government funded by the American taxpayer. Now they are funded by chemical manufacturers and biotech corporations. The results speak for themselves.

I agree that it is great that we can do our own research, and believe that in an era of misinformation like the one we live in, personal research is the way to go.
 
Peter Ellis
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Adam Klaus wrote:
Peter Ellis wrote:Remember that the books from "back then" were the "current research projects" of their day, and every bit as likely to have some questionable motivation as any today.


Not even close. A century ago, our Agricultural Resarch Stations were government funded by the American taxpayer. Now they are funded by chemical manufacturers and biotech corporations. The results speak for themselves.

I agree that it is great that we can do our own research, and believe that in an era of misinformation like the one we live in, personal research is the way to go.


Woah. A century ago, our agricultural research stations had a tiny fraction of the information we have today. Major corporations had huge influence in government, with the difference being in terms of that influence being associated with a family name more than with a corporate logo, say, DuPont, as one example.
There has been an enormous amount of legitimate research and bona fide discovery over the last hundred years, some of which has supported beliefs from that era and some of which has incontrovertibly disproven widely held understandings.

If you just accept the old stuff without critical examination you are going to get some bad information in there along with the good.

Baby is in the bath water, both now and then, be careful what you throw out, and what you keep.
 
Adam Klaus
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Peter Ellis wrote:
Woah. A century ago, our agricultural research stations had a tiny fraction of the information we have today.


We have forgotten more about good farming over the last century than we have learned. Easy.

The past was certainly not perfect, but progress has been a myth, especially within agricultural academia.

Of course, YMMV.
 
Peter Ellis
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Adam Klaus wrote:
Peter Ellis wrote:
Woah. A century ago, our agricultural research stations had a tiny fraction of the information we have today.


We have forgotten more about good farming over the last century than we have learned. Easy.

The past was certainly not perfect, but progress has been a myth, especially within agricultural academia.

Of course, YMMV.


This has moved completely away from the topic and into an area that should be discussed down in the Ulcer Factory, where I can't post (insufficient apples).

As for asparagus, it is still early, Pittsburgh had snow today and i am expecting frost tonight in New Jersey. Hopefully my sprouts in the outdoor beds can handle a little nip and the greenhouse will keep all the seedlings in there safe.
 
Rick Roman
pollinator
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Location: Pennsylvania Pocono Mt Neutral-Acidic Elv1024ft AYR41in Zone 5b
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Hi Julia Asparagus crowns planted in late summer to early fall last year have emerged here in the Poconos, PA.
 
M.K. Dorje Jr.
Posts: 127
Location: Orgyen, zone 8
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I love asparagus! In my experience, asparagus does best when planted from seed in trays, transplanted to one-gallon pots and then transplanted out into the garden the next year into triple-dug beds that are well-supplemented with compost, sand, lime and organic fertilizer. I plant mine fairly shallow and then add compost as mulch as they get older. I like Purple Passion and Connover's Colossal- these varieties seem to do well in Oregon. By contrast, crowns of Jersey Knight have always been a disaster for me and don't last long, even when given good soil. Maybe they do better back East. But I really don't like the all-male hybrid crown varieties- so much work for zero harvest here. They can't give you seeds for new plants, either!
 
Victor Johanson
Posts: 371
Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
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Asparagus doesn't work planted deep here--the soils are cold and they never warm up enough to do much.
 
Moody Vaden
Posts: 55
Location: Maryland
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Hello, I live on the Susquehanna, just into MD. My bed is in its 4th year. I just started picking Asparagus.
 
Meryt Helmer
Posts: 395
Location: west marin, bay area california. sandy loam, well drained, acidic soil and lots of shade
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I have a little booklet about growing asparagus and it recommends planting them at different depths so that the shallowest ones will be ready to harvest first and the deepest ones ready to harvest last. i have a bunch of barer root asparagus to plant and a flu and fever so I am hoping my plants do ok waiting until I am well enough to plant them. My husband planted 6 the other day but he is sick too and busy. we will try and plant the rest this weekend.
 
Julia Franke
Posts: 66
Location: Berks County, PA
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I just wanted to let everyone know about the progress of my asparagus that you so kindly gave me advice on.


I four small asparagus stalks from what looks like 4 separate crowns. They are skinny and sad, but they are there! I'll let this year's asparagus go to seed and I hope next year, I"ll get a better crop.

I let the deep covering on some of them, and removed the dirt from the top of the rest. So which ones do you think came up?

the answer is: both worked and both came up. So while it was not 100% yet, both ways worked equally. Who'da thunk?



 
We should throw him a surprise party. It will cheer him up. We can use this tiny ad:
paul's latest kickstarter
https://permies.com/t/65247/permaculture-design/permaculture-design-alternative-technology-live
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