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Asparagus

Posted by fernsk z2 Canada (My Page) on
Wed, Mar 14, 07 at 10:59

I am thinking about growing some asparagus this year - we putting it in. I only have a small space available - you know I've said it before 17 x 17.5 ft yard - making a rose/cottage garden - with an herb bed close to the townhouse. A friends mom has a volunteer asparagus that comes up every year - doesn't harvest it at all and it is a beautiful wispy plant. How much space would be needed to grow this for eating a bit and leaving some to grow? Dumb question likely but I'd like to encorporate different plants in my tiny space.

Thanks for any advice on growing Asparagus

Fern


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Asparagus

Hi Fern, I grow asparagus. They do make a nice airy bush and look nice. An asparagus root would have to be fairly old for you to be able to harvest enough to get a meal from though.

I started with roots, but they didn't do very well for me....so I sowed seed. The seed is doing very well...but they take many years to produce eating stems. Its hmmmm probably about 5 or more years now.....and its just getting to eating size.

Good luck with your garden planning.

Sierra :-)


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RE: Asparagus

Thanks Sierra

I was thinking of cheating and buying a plant - I saw them at Dutch growers last year and thought of it then - it might take a year or 2 off the process and patience is a virtue that I'm still working on

Fern


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RE: Asparagus

Fern, I bought a Martha Washington root cheap at Walmart... just stuffed it in the rose bed and it grew fine. I like the look of the foliage as an ornamental too. It didn't do much the first year. I was going to wait 3 years to eat any of it, but my dog beat me to it the second year >:(

Still it made a nice backdrop to roses and lilies...
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As to how much space it takes up, the asparagus will grow tall enough to survive pretty crowded conditions... I would say mine had about 10" square to itself. You can divide it if it gets big.


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RE: Asparagus

Wow - that is so pretty - my friend's mom's looks like a beautiful soft bush - I don't think that I'll be able to devote 10 sq ft to it but I think that the look is nice enough to give it a shot.

Fern


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RE: Asparagus

Fern, that's only about 10 square inches per plant. I started harvesting mine last year after 3 years and I'm thinking of replacing a few of my female plants with male plants. And then transplanting those female plants into the flower beds as ornamentals. Is that correct that the female plants produce the skinny, hard as rock shoots?

I love it with the lilies. Might have to try that. I did take Pudge's idea of baby's breath in the lily bed and it looked great, too.

Shauna


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RE: Asparagus

Inches Fern! LOL! 10 inches. That was crowded, but still it has a small footprint. Realistically, if you wanted to eat a bit of it, you should find space for four or five roots spaced around. Don't cut it for two years, then harvest only a third of the shoots until the June and let the rest grow. I think that's the proportion, if I'm wrong someone please correct me.


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RE: Asparagus Inches

Okay - I'm a little bit hard of reading I guess - well I can afford a couples of spaces with 10 inch squares : new question - How do you know what the sex of the plant is?

Fern [dazed and confused but then it is snowing like crazy here in Saskatoon]


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RE: Asparagus questions

That's where I'm confused, too, Fern. Brenda, was it you that said that the skinny shoots where female and the thick, tender shoots were male? How many female plants do you need to male plants? Is there any way of telling the difference by looking at the plants? I think it is the females that produce the berries, correct? Oh, I'm so confused. Honestly, if someone can find a good website on this info. I would be forever grateful. None of my books have this info and I haven't been able to find it on the web. I must not be looking in the right sites.

Shauna


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RE: Asparagus

First off are you all planting roots? If you start with roots, you are supposed to be able to harvest the third spring....well that is if you get good roots.

From seed it takes a lot longer....if you start harvesting the smaller shoots, there is less to feed the plant for the next season, and it will take that much longer to mature.

northspruce is right with saying that you are only supposed to harvest about a third of the shoots, because the ferns leaf out and feed the plant for the following year.

The males are supposed to get larger and more shoots, this also depends on the variety. The female plants produce berries...and fewer smaller shoots.

Sierra


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RE: Asparagus

Like Sierra said, you can tell a female plant because it makes berries. If memory serves, males make little white flowery things. There is disagreement about whether male plants are really that much better producers than females. Lots of times when you buy roots they are sold as all males. I personally don't mind if I have males or females.

Shauna, you can grow all males, all females, or any mix, there is no necessary proportion.


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RE: Asparagus

Great - that answers my concern about whether I need both sexes - not to be sexist or anything

Fern


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RE: Asparagus

This is probably a really dumb question... do deer eat asparagus?


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RE: Asparagus

I have had asparagus in the garden here by the house for the past 12 years. The deer have never touched it. They go for my lilies, daylilies, hostas, etc instead. They even eat the hollyhock that self seeded into the middle of the asparagus patch. Raw asparagus tastes like fresh peas and apparently the deer are suppose to like asparagus but for some reason they do not eat mine. So, the answer to your question...do they eat asparagus...well, not mine (yet) so if you want to try planting it chances are that they will not eat yours either.

Brenda


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