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How to plant asparagus?  RSS feed

 
Benton Lewis
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Got some asparagus rhizomes this weekend. I have Mary Washington rhizomes. When watching videos on how to plant them I seemed to get different ideas.

How do you plant them and get them to grow back year after year?

Here are the main questions I seemed to get different answers to when watching the videos:

Do you bury the crown?

How deep do you cover the part of the asparagus plant you

How far apart do you plant each asparagus plant?

Do you spread the rhizomes out laterally or plant them all pointing downwards?

How did you guys plant yours?

 
Marianne Cicala
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Location: south central VA 7B
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I dig a hole as deep as the roots are long. In the middle of the hole, I made a hill. I spread the roots around the hill , with the crown resting on top of the hill. then cover up the hole. Only the top of the crown should be at ground level. I don't know where you are, but in zone 7, I mulch 2-4 inches this time of year. At least a foot apart.
 
Benton Lewis
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Marianne Cicala wrote:I dig a hole as deep as the roots are long. In the middle of the hole, I made a hill. I spread the roots around the hill , with the crown resting on top of the hill. then cover up the hole. Only the top of the crown should be at ground level. I don't know where you are, but in zone 7, I mulch 2-4 inches this time of year. At least a foot apart.


Thanks! I'm in zone 8 and just read they should be planted in spring as soon as the soil can be worked. Well I have them now so maybe I can plant them now? So should the top of the crown be at ground level but not above ground level so that the crown will not be exposed to air?
 
ev kuhn
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Location: N-E edge of Atlanta
books food preservation forest garden
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guess I put a little more elbow grease into it than Marianne did
but I started with "GA red", a clay that makes concrete turn green with envy
so I did dig a hole the size of my planned bed and since on a slope the lower end knee, the upper end almost hip deep,
filled it with 2 yards of compost and 2 yards of old wood chips, shaped in humps a foot tall
and a foot and a half between hump #1 and hump #2 and #3 far enough off to have a trail between hump #2 and hump #3, for the 3 rows planned
sat my crowns onto the hump like octopuss, about a foot apart
and filled with more compost, decayed wood chips and old horse manure,
I filled to two or 3 inches above the top of the crown, the first rain will settle all the loose material some and you do not want the crown to peak out of the soil
the 1st year I let them grow without harvesting much, mulched with more old chips and manure in fall,
cut the foliage back when it turned yellow

 
Casie Becker
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Is this 'red clay' that substance that I've heard called "red death"? I've heard of it here in Texas, but never given such a forgiving name before.
 
Benton Lewis
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Okay so I've read and watched a little more. Seems like I should dig a trench about 7 inches deep and 12 inches wide. Then make an "updside-down v-shaped" mound in the middle of the trench with the top of the V at about soil level. Then drape the asparagus over the top of the v-shaped mound and letting the rhizomes run downward to the bottom of the trench. Then put dirt over the asparagus until the crown is covered by about 3 inches of dirt.

I think the first year I'm supposed to let the fern develop and then wait until about the forth year for full harvesting.

Anyway I think that's how I'll plant them for now (unless I am convinced of a better way on this forum) cause it should keep them alive! Then if I learn a better way I can dig up and do a better job next year. Also learned maybe I should get a newer variety that is all male so they will produce better and not be devoting energy to reproducing.

Here is a video that really helped me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5jaOYly-jI
 
Marianne Cicala
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It may be important to find out what zone that video is from. I have never put soil over the top of the crown; it's deep enough so that it is level with the soil (not sitting proud), then I mulch. rule of thumb is no harvest 1st year, harvest for 1 week second year, 2 weeks on their 3rd year and then go for it. Your results will not be as good, if you do not harvest for 4 years.
 
Benton Lewis
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Marianne Cicala wrote:It may be important to find out what zone that video is from. I have never put soil over the top of the crown; it's deep enough so that it is level with the soil (not sitting proud), then I mulch. rule of thumb is no harvest 1st year, harvest for 1 week second year, 2 weeks on their 3rd year and then go for it. Your results will not be as good, if you do not harvest for 4 years.


You are in a colder hardiness zone than me in zone 8, seems I should not have to bury my crown more than you as long as I mulch too. I am in central Georgia and just finished watching a video by a guy in south georgia where the guy said to wait until after the last frost, dig a trench about 8-10 inches deep, put the crowns in facing upwards then covered with 2 inches of soil. Then he said as the asparagus grows he will add dirt until at soil level. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5QPyPLrhAow#t=367.101

I've read about and watched many different methods on growing asparagus; didn't expect that. Probably just different climates like you hinted at.
 
ev kuhn
Posts: 55
Location: N-E edge of Atlanta
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Marianne Cicala wrote:... rule of thumb is no harvest 1st year, harvest for 1 week second year, 2 weeks on their 3rd year and then go for it. Your results will not be as good, if you do not harvest for 4 years.

does it not depend on how old the roots are, when you plant them?
you can get 1, 2 or 3 year old, depends on how much you are willing to pay

Benton, I am still in an asparagus-learning-phase
I put in one row each Marr Washington, purple Knight and purple gigant something
harvested little last year, to give them time to get established

 
Benton Lewis
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Got them planted and thanks for the help! I'll enjoy cooked smilax tips while I wait for my asparagus to thrive!
 
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