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Beginner Gardening: Thinking of starting asparagus this year...some questions, 1 by nancynursez637

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In reply to: Thinking of starting asparagus this year...some questions

Forum: Beginner Gardening

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nancynursez637 wrote:
Pick your asparagus bed carefully. It can last with planning 15-20 years. Once planted it needs to ber kept weed free, beccause you cannot turn the bed or cultivate deeply.

I have 4 beds, 4' side and 12' long. I planted them in good soil, with lots of compost. I dug 3 trenches a foot deep, and back filled it with about 4 inches of compost. then a foot apart, I planted the asparagus root, spreading the roots out in the hole. (crowns pointed upward) Then covered the trench with 8 inches of soil. Every year, I keep it well watered, add about 2 inches of compost to tthe bed and every 2 or 3 years, add a mineral supplement such as Excelerite an organic source.

I take cuttings until mid-july then let it go to fern. I do not cut the fern down until it yellows, then remove and burn it. You may find a small red bug on it, pick those off of the fern and destroy. If you get fern with seed pods on them, I do harvest seed, and start new plants. You will lose some plants from time to time, I use the new ones to fill in or expand the bed. I am in a mountainous zone 5-6, so I mulch my bed with 4-6" of straw every winter, removing it in March before things start to come up. You may not have to do that where you live.

But keeping the bed weed free is critical because you cannot till or turn the soil once planted, in my experience. I do grow some lettuce in the bed as mulch from time to time. My first bed is now 10 yrs old and continues to be very productive, the others will be producing this year. I wait for the 3rd year before taking any spears to allow the plant to mature. This is my experience, I am not an expert by any means, hope it is helpful to you

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