Planting Asparagus

truckaduck(5)February 24, 2013

I am planning to plant asparagus this spring. We have clay soil that we will need to amend. Any suggestions specific to asparagus in the Denver area? Also, when would be the best time to plant? Seeking any and all asparagus tips and stories.

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gjcore(zone 5 Aurora Co)

Are you starting by seed or with crowns?

I would definitely double dig or till in a lot of compost.

If you're starting with crowns you can probably start them sometime soon as long as your soil isn't frozen or waterlogged.

Getting a PH test or a full soil test would be a good idea as an asparagus bed can be productive for 20 years.

Prior to planting solarizing the soil with clear plastic for a couple weeks might be helpful to get a head start against weeds.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 9:38AM
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I agree that a ton of well-aged compost is the best idea, especially in a raised bed. Agree with Greg's advice, if you are planting seeds I'd wait until the soil is warmed through to about 55F before sowing.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 7:56PM
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Lesuko(5, Boulder CO)

We're hoping to plant asparagus too- from crowns. For the front range, how much sun do they need? Is morning or afternoon sun better, or does it matter? With our space issues, I would rather plant them in our front yard which gets afternoon sun, I can put them off more to the north-west side of the house if they would only need partial afternoon sun, 3-4 hrs.

There are not many varieties of asparagus- well, I haven't found many. Is there a benefit to getting all males vs the combo male and female?


    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 3:30PM
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gjcore(zone 5 Aurora Co)

Morning sun might be better as along the front range it tends to be cloudy more often during the afternoons during the warm season.

3-4 hours of direct sun probably isn't enough for asparagus to be vigorous.

I have male and female plants. Supposedly females are less productive but tastier, I haven't really noticed much difference.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 10:31AM
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Lesuko(5, Boulder CO)

Thanks. We've decided to plant in various areas around the yard since we don't have any one good spot. Someone once mentioned to me to plant asparagus behind a rose bush to hide the ferns (?). I'm going to plant some behind a peach tree hoping that the asparagus will be up before the tree is fully leafed out.

Has anyone tried this before? I think it's a good experiment. And then, some will be in the front getting 3-4 hrs of afternoon sun. We'll see what happens.


    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 11:09AM
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Oops! I posted my question, then got busy, and forgot to return! Thank you for your comments.

In the meantime I have turned over the soil and mixed in some compost from our bin (not enough I don't think). The beds are raised, but not particularly high, so there will be some clay involved in the environment.

We are going to purchase more garden soil/compost.... do you think it should be a mix of the two and then dug in together with the clay soil? Or just compost dug in? Or just garden soil on top of what I've already done?

We ordered Jersey Knight crowns from Burpee, supposedly they are supposed to arrive in April... hope that isn't too late.

I love the solarizing tip... there are definitely some established weeds. I will be doing that next week. Thank you and sorry for the delayed response!

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 11:02AM
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