Anyone here growing asparagus?
I have started asparagus, my dad used to grow it, and we would eat fresh straight out of the garden.
I've had an asparagus bed about 5yrs. Jersey knights and I believe the other is Martha Washington. I mulched a lot and tended to them for the first couple of years,but they've been on their own since. Still producing, but not as prolific. So, in the Baton Rouge area yes, you can grow asparagus.
jgrow, I've heard they don't really produce for the first couple years. You're on year 5 and they're already slowing down? That's not too encouraging.
The reduced crop is due in large part to my neglect. Too many weeds and aggressive vines have taken over and I haven't attended to them in years-yet they still try to survive.
Here in west central Miss., we've been growing asparagus since the 1970's. In fact, I cut a bundle of spears from that old bed this week. I have about 75 producing hills. Have staggered planting over the years, and will plant another 80 crowns this week. Whoever put out the message that asparagus doesn't do well in the south was either ignorant, lazy, or both. The secret is in the first summer......they have to be well-watered, with soil intermittently added every couple of months..Think of them as neonates who need care. Once they're established, they're the easiest, most dependable food to produce! If anyone is interested, I'll write more details....
I had asparagus at my old house here in Meridian, MS (east central). I did not plant nearly enough crowns (25, as I recall) to ever get a good crop, but they did grow and were still doing well when I left the garden six years ago. moonsugar is right. Give them a good start, keep them weeded and mulched and they're easy.
I'm in Baton Rouge and have a 4x8 raised bed (18 inches high) prepped and waiting for a delivery of Jersey Knights. I check the mail every day ... waiting.
I've got two trenches 2 feet apart in the bed. I have yet to decide if I'll put seven crowns in each trech or try and squeeze in eight.
I grew Asparagus as a kid in the Mississippi Delta. The first batch was divided from an old, old clump (this is probably the best way to get the best cultivar of a plant that "won't grow in the South"). A few years later, I grew some from a commercial seed package. They did well, too: but on a lake bank, with great drainage and that ideal waterside microclimate. Anyway, the 'old, old clump' came from a clump in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Hattiesburg is very wet and very warm.....definitely zone 8.
The flavor of your own fresh-cut Asparagus is better even than the nine-bucks-a-pound fresh organic Asparagus from the health food co-op. BTW, I never throw away the tough 'heels'. I puree them in the Quisinart, then add them to soups, Sicilian-style eggs, or grain dishes. Everybody probably knows this, already, but Asparagus foliage is the absolutely most handy greenery for floral arrangements. If for no other reason than that, you've got to have a clump.
The phytochemical that gives Asparagus its signature taste is extremely healthy....borderline medicinal.