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depth for planting asparagus

Posted by skunk_cabbage CO (My Page) on
Wed, Feb 25, 09 at 13:42

I was wondering how deep a bed to build for planting asparagus here in western CO. My neighbor had plants in a regular garden that froze when planted at 6". Should I go with a 12" bed (4x4, SFG), or will 6" do if I insulate with hay bales in the winter?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: depth for planting asparagus

I have no personal experience but found an article from Canada that mentioned the deeper you plant the crowns, the less production you'll get. But you can plant up to 16 inches deep in areas of deep freezes.

Are you planning on using mel's mix for your asparagus? I'm starting a bed this spring too and wonder whether I should amend the soil deeper than 6 inches. Or just till a little, then fill the top 6 inches with mel's mix.


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RE: depth for planting asparagus

Asparagus roots go strait down are heavy feeders and need a sweet soil (alkaline). I prepared my bed last fall and spaded leaf mold to a depth of 10" with a 10" box above that. I filled the box with 100% horse manure compost and several buckets of wood ashes. You must have miss read the article. There is no way you can plant the crowns 16" deep and have them survive.

John

Here is a link that might be useful: Johns Journal


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RE: depth for planting asparagus

Your depth of crowns is a given, as explained above. Mulching is the answer, straw bales will do it.

Dan


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RE: depth for planting asparagus

Also, I would not use Mel's Mix. the sphagnum peat is acidic and should not be used. Use coco coir or something natural.

John

Here is a link that might be useful: Johns Journal


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RE: depth for planting asparagus

I landscaped all my friends' yards in CA and put in asparagus beds, as much manure as you can pile in there with the soil the better off you'll be. Spend the time before you plant and do it right. As jbest said, two feet down is fine, and your root crowns only 6-8". One friend had to fence off his bed because the dog would beat them to the spears...

Dan


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RE: depth for planting asparagus

Personally, I wouldn't plant asparagus (or most perennials) in raised beds. An asparagus colony will almost certainly outlive the bed - think on the 10-15 year scale, sometimes 20 or more, and 3 or more just to get started. I also don't think asparagus especially appreciates friable soil. It definitely won't want much peat - too acidic, and breaks down very slowly.

In my experience, asparagus are best planted in native or improved native soil, somewhat compacted, and then not disturbed other than to lop off the shoots when they grow to eating size, after the plants have established themselves, and mulch with a foot or more of organic matter once the season is over.

Practically the opposite of the SFG method. :)


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