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does asparagus really need soil amendments?

 
Kelda Miller
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So asparagus is on that 'alkaline-loving' side of the spectrum. But here in this somewhat acidic soils I frequently find it growing all on its own, and it tastes great.

Should I put energy into getting lime to amend our future asparagus patch? What difference will it make? If the plant would indeed be happier, that's a good thing. But I haven't noticed these wayside patches hurting in health or productivity.
 
Leah Sattler
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Its just going to depend on your particular soil. my asparagus responded really, really well to some amendments. I never limed my asparagus patch but I added straw and horse manure to the top all winter (stuff scooped from the pasture)and as much as I could safely as mulch in the growing season. At planting I worked in good compost into the trenches and backfilled as they grew. My asparagus was insanely huge after two years in the ground, I think they were two year old roots. Tall with big thick tender stems (its a myth by the way that the small ones are the most tender, its actually the opposite) nothing like the puny starving asparagus spears from the store. I planted it in a bad spot and after too much ribbing about a messy asparagus bed  by Dh and  a year that they were attacked by insects, I dug them up and tried to move them. The roots were ginormous. They kept getting mowed over after that and eventually croaked.  it was really stupid on my part to not make more of an effort to protect them from mr. mow happy. mmmm eggs and asparagus in the morning mmm.......

http://www.urbanext.uiuc.edu/veggies/asparagus1.html
 
Susan Monroe
Posts: 1093
Location: Western WA
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Asparagus is quite a heavy feeder.  A friend who has them growing wild in the ditches assumes that a lot of nutrients end up in the ditches, and that's why they seem to do so well there.

BUT... do they also collect contaminants in those ditches

Sue
 
                          
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I heard asparagus doesn't PREFER alkaline or salt it just tolerates it better than other plants. So don't salt it (and maybe even don't lime it) but if you have alkali or salty soil try asparagus even if all else has failed.
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
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Location: North Central Michigan
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asparagus loves manure
 
Dave Boehnlein
Posts: 294
Location: Orcas Island, WA
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I would amend asparagus if I were you. A lot of books recommend doing it in the fall. However, in the PNW, it makes more sense to do it in the spring because fall applications can  leach away during the rainy winter and leave very little for your plants come spring.

We always do it here and our asparagus is raging this year!

Dave
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/cards
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