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  1. #1
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    Default Growing asparagus?

    After watching HFW at the River Cottage last night, I thought I might have a go at growing asparagus in the garden. I've already got some raised beds of which one will be earmarked for the asparagus, but I just wondered if you can grow anything else once the asparagus has finished - I was thinking of something like squash or pumpkins? Also, does the bed need to be contained, or can I just set aside a bit of one bed for the asparagus?

  2. #2
    Capsid's Avatar
    Capsid is offline Early Fruiter
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    Asparagus is a perennial plant that will last many years; you should set aside a dedicated bed. A sunny position is best with plenty of well rotted manure dug in.

  3. #3
    Paulottie is offline Banned
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    Asparagus are pretty big plants with large root runs and 6 ft ferns. You don't want to be disturbing the roots and the top growth will shade most things out. Maybe a few lettuce along the edge but that's about it. The ferns are not cut down and burnt till November at which point you add a mulch. I'd suggest it is simpler to keep the bed just for sparrow's grass.

    A raised bed would be ideal as drainage important. It needs to be cleaned and plenty of muck added, as after you start the crop will be there for 25 years. You don't want the ground to be quickly worked out or full of perennial weeds. A double row would be ideal (although it is just about possible to fit 3 staggered rows in 4 ft width if you have permeable paths to the edges) plants a foot to 15" apart.

  4. #4
    gojiberry is offline Early Fruiter
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    Drainage is crucial. I started a bed 2.5 years ago and it did reasonably well last year though I didn't harvest any. This year only 25% came up and the rest of the bed had rotted during the winter, I did however harvest about 18 spears and they were fab. The point being that when planting they need to be planted on a mound of sharp sand, The top of the mound should be about 6in below the normal surface, if that makes sense.

    Ian

    gojilottie updated 27 May 08

  5. #5
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    Thanks for your advice. I think I've got a nice patch for them - its about 3 ft wide x 7 ft long, nice and sunny and the drainage is great. I quarter filled it with manure when I filled the beds up initially, but I'll get some more manure this weekend so it can start rotting down ready for preparing the beds this autumn

  6. #6
    craigpugh is offline Germinator
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    I'm having 'rotten ' luck with mine, like gojiberry above all mine have rotted, i have had 3 sprouts of sprue in 3 seasons, the rest when i had a poke today are sodden and rotted to pulp.

    Worst, i cant find any for sale to replace them- can anyone help????!!!! I dont want to wait until autumn, or next year. I mean, i am happy to be patient but 4 years would be tooo much!

  7. #7
    Demeter's Avatar
    Demeter is offline Cropper
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    There are some websites doing plants as mail order (can't get crowns this time of year though) Here are a couple, or get googling!

    Asparagus Crowns and Plants - 1 Year Old Connovers Colossal, Mary Washington & all male F1 Hybrids
    Asparagus Plant 'Jersey Knight' (Asparagus officinalis 'Jersey Knight')
    Warning: I have a dangerous tendency to act like I know what I'm talking about.

  8. #8
    Waffler is offline Tuber
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    I have some on order from a company called 'vermisell' online. They are plants rather than crowns due to the time of year. Can't remember the varieties, but there were 3; actually I think 1 was connovers collosal; didn't go for that as thats the one available everywhere.

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