Asparagus Questions

macropora(z5 ME)May 24, 2005

Ok my wife knows how much I love that asparagus so she bought me 16 plants over at HD. I think that I have a clue to what it needs but is there any suggestions on how to raise it?

I plan on planting it in 2 whiskey barrels, is this enough room? Could they all fit in one?

Its in root form.

Its the Mary Washington type.

Also I seem to remember this not being a good type to grow? Am I confused on that? Is there a Martha Washington? I bought some seeds a few years ago and I remember that there is one type that doesnt produce very well. They only cost $2.99 ea. so I am not out that much if they are not worth it. Thanks to all and lets hope for some sun!!


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Golddogs(z5 way downeast)

I think most of the washington types are old cultivars. Newer recommended ones are all Male like: Jersey Knight, Jersey King. They produce thicker spears and supposedly more, they also don't put energy into making seeds.

It is recommended to plant in a well prepared garden bed, digging a trench 3 ft deep, backfilling with a mix of cow manure, other soil amendments( or .org) and soil, maybe some lime or wood ash. Done right it is supposed to last 100 yrs.

Go ahead and try the barrels but have drainage holes and don't let dry out too much. Fertilize for better yeild.

I have seen it growing wild in salt marshes and inland with no care and it does ok.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2005 at 4:09AM
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veilchen(5b southern Maine)

It grows a very extensive root system, and you are way off thinking you can plant 16 of them in 2 whiskey barrels.

They need to be planted 1-2' apart, at least. The ferns will grow quite tall by the 2nd year, so consider this as well when deciding on the spot they will be planted.

And you will not be able to harvest for 3 years.

Golddogs has good advice for how to plant. Do a search for more information before you try the whiskey barrels.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2005 at 7:51AM
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macropora(z5 ME)

I had followed something that I had read a few years ago about planting them in a whiskey barrel for the first year and then transferring them in there second year into there permanent spot. Thats the info I found last spring. So I went by that. I dont plan on keeping them in there for the long run. So for the info that I had found on them I didnt know it was that far off. It was on either the Mary or the Martha Washington. So you go by what you read!

I do have a 6x6 raised bed that I can fill with whatever soil I need sitting in a sunny spot in the garden. I am in no rush to have it growing its just an impulse buy on my wifes part. Maybe its a waste of time?

    Bookmark   May 25, 2005 at 9:35AM
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Not a waste of time at all! We have a few plants that were already there when we bought our house 20 years ago. They are still producing well. The bonus: they make a lovely, fern-y backdrop for on of my perennial beds, so they are decorative as well as useful :).

    Bookmark   May 25, 2005 at 11:24AM
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lilyroseviolet(Maine 4and 5)

my darn geese yanked them out of the ground and ate them all! I have been working on the beds for 7 years!!!!!! whaaaaaannnnnn, >:(

    Bookmark   June 6, 2005 at 10:32PM
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Hi we planted our asparagus last year & this spring it came up great. Its skinny but very tall. Today my friend told us to get more dirt around it , fertilizer & compost. Of course before checking we went ahead and applied more dirt, some of them were tilted over, a handfull of fertilizer, about 2 inches out from the stock, and covered around them with compost. Was this the wrong time and will it hurt them?

    Bookmark   June 24, 2005 at 1:50PM
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lilyroseviolet(Maine 4and 5)

The stalks will need to eventual go to seed and the fern leaf will bring enough energy to the roots to get it through till next year...hopefully the stalks dont rot, otherwise can you move the dirt away a bit? or keep a watch and see, actually I dont have any experience as my darn geese have eaten them down into the roots! And before that it was all my kids pickin and eatin them before they could ever get established well.

I now have to start a new bed and it takes years to get established! still whinning in West Tremont!

    Bookmark   June 26, 2005 at 10:07PM
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my asparagus bed is not very productive. the shoots come up very sparse and huge in diameter. i look forward to thin delicate asparagus and it is not happening. my bed is 4 years old. any advice?

    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 9:05AM
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I know this is an old thread but just had to put my two cents in. There are people who would kill to have huge asparagus. I understand that even the fat ones are tender is you choose a good variety for the home garden. Jersey Giants are supposed to be the biggest ones. Maybe that is the kind you are growing.

If you want thin and delicate you may have to replant.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2012 at 5:24PM
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Good thread. A week or so ago, I bought one "M. Washington" plant at Reny's. Not sure if that's Martha or Mary, but it's a Gro Fast brand, from Ponderosa Nursery in MI. I opened the plastic bag inside the carton, and have been gently watering it for a few days, and it seems to be "awake."

I'll have to get more plants, maybe a different variety, and plant a bunch of them all at once. Make it worthwhile, even if we can't harvest anything this year. As with LilyRoseViolet's voracious geese, I anticipate having to keep our Labragoats from eating them. (Eek!)

How much time do I have before they need to be in the ground? Can I intersperse varieties without problems?

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 2:34PM
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