Asparagus confusion! Help please!

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kit-e-kate
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Asparagus confusion! Help please!

Post: # 233849Post kit-e-kate
Tue May 31, 2011 6:10 pm

Hi all, I planted three crowns of asparagus (bought for one pound each from a sale bin in Morrisons!), two years ago. I'm not expecting miracles here, i just wanted enough for a wee spring treat. Last year they each put up spears, just two or three each, and i was optimistic about this year's potential.
(I expected the number of spears to increase as the crowns developed year on year? :dontknow: )

This year they managed four spears between the three of them and one of the spears is now about seven feet tall! The others are what i think is a reasonable height for unharvested spears to get to (about four or five feet).

So, am i doing something wrong resulting in few very energetic spears? :dontknow: Or am i simply expecting too much of my three little crowns? :scratch: Would their vigour be improved if i cut some spears next year? :dontknow: Or should i leave them alone again? :scratch: And (most importantly) how can i grow enough Aspargus to have for lunch sometime??? :dontknow: :scratch: :lol:

All thoughts gratefully received!
Kate :icon_smile: :iconbiggrin: :icon_smile:

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chickenchargrill
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Re: Asparagus confusion! Help please!

Post: # 233850Post chickenchargrill
Tue May 31, 2011 6:19 pm

I've never grown asparagus as I read somewhere you don't harvest any for the first two years, then the third you harvest the spears when they get to about 6in high during the season. Leaving some at the end.

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Re: Asparagus confusion! Help please!

Post: # 233866Post Zech
Tue May 31, 2011 9:19 pm

If you leave the spears alone, they grow big. If you cut them off, the plant puts up new spears. It sounds like you have some good strong plants there, but keep a close eye on them next year and don't let those spears get away from you!
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Re: Asparagus confusion! Help please!

Post: # 235140Post PlainQB
Mon Jun 13, 2011 5:22 pm

Hello,

Mr. QB grows asparagus and this is his advice:

- What variety do you have? Conifers collosus (please read that phoentically) produces thick tall spears, it's also one of the most abundant varieties on sale. Other varieties can produce thinner spears
- Next year cut the stems while they're a hands length high, this will encourage more stems and will starve the plant so it will start producing thinner stems which are more tender.
- Each crown does only produce a few stems, we get about 5 off each per year and ours are very well established.
- Asparagus can be effected by drought so do water it to make sure it's getting enough, if it's not it will put up fewer spears. Signs the crowns aren't getting enough water are: spears wilting over, the tips of spears being bent over and deformed where they've had to push too hard to get through rock hard ground, groves along the spears as if they're slightly deflated because they've not had enough water to fill out and become round.

Hope that helps,

QB

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Re: Asparagus confusion! Help please!

Post: # 235143Post kit-e-kate
Mon Jun 13, 2011 5:29 pm

Brilliant help, many thanks! I'll see if i've got room for a couple more plants and definitely cut my established ones next year. Thank you, and Mr QB too! :icon_smile:

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Millymollymandy
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Re: Asparagus confusion! Help please!

Post: # 235177Post Millymollymandy
Tue Jun 14, 2011 7:03 am

That's not many spears per plant then :? Maybe I should be planting more? I have grown from seed and was keeping 12 and haven't been able to give away the last 6 or 7 remaining (managed to get rid of tons of them!). I need to research spacing for them too!
boboff wrote:Oh and just for MMM, :hugish: (thanks)
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Re: Asparagus confusion! Help please!

Post: # 235216Post grahamhobbs
Tue Jun 14, 2011 3:09 pm

When you planted out the asparagus did you fan the roots out flat? The normal way of planting asparagus is to dig a trench about 200mm deep, 400mm wide and then form a 100mm high ridge down the middle sloping down to the sides of the trench, then spread the asparagus roots over this ridge so they are almost flat. The plants are then spaced about 400mm along the trench. The trenches are then covered back in of course. You then want a minimum of 800mm between rows, more if you want a path between them.
Flattening out the roots encourages more spears, planting the roots more vertically will encourage bigger but less spears.

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Re: Asparagus confusion! Help please!

Post: # 235236Post kit-e-kate
Tue Jun 14, 2011 4:47 pm

Thank you grahamhobbs! Well, i did try and flatten them as much as possible, and put them little mounds. One of my old gardening books contained instructions similar to the ones you've just posted, and I was trying to follow that as best i could. Sadly, the small dry stick-like objects (that I loving soaked and kept moist til planting) bore absolutely no resemblance to the long straggly rooted things shown in the photo in the book! Frankly, i was amazed anything grew at all! :lol:

If i cut them back now will they concentrate on growing the crown more? Or should i wait til the foliage has died back? What does anyone think?
Thanks
Kate :iconbiggrin:

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Re: Asparagus confusion! Help please!

Post: # 235242Post grahamhobbs
Tue Jun 14, 2011 6:36 pm

Leave well alone now, except stake them if they are likely to be blown over and remove any seeds that form. Let them die down and keep your fingers crossed they do better next year. Given the poor condition they were in when you planted them, they are just going to take a little longer before you can start cutting them to eat.

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Re: Asparagus confusion! Help please!

Post: # 235269Post Millymollymandy
Wed Jun 15, 2011 11:18 am

grahamhobbs wrote:Flattening out the roots encourages more spears, planting the roots more vertically will encourage bigger but less spears.
How do you do that when you have grown from seed and you have young plants in pots with just normal roots i.e. not great big fleshy things that I see when I google planting asparagus.
boboff wrote:Oh and just for MMM, :hugish: (thanks)
http://chateaumoorhen.blogspot.com/

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Re: Asparagus confusion! Help please!

Post: # 235280Post grahamhobbs
Wed Jun 15, 2011 12:05 pm

MMM, guess you grow them on in a nursery bed before planting out into final positions

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Re: Asparagus confusion! Help please!

Post: # 235351Post Millymollymandy
Thu Jun 16, 2011 6:38 am

I don't have one, was just going to dig the asparagus bed some time this summer then plant them out whenever we have finished doing that.

I did read somewhere to plant them deeper than in the pots - but so far have only trawled through a bit of the minefield of info there is on planting/spacing/growing from seed. :shock: Of course everyone has different opinions (like looking for a specific recipe and finding 100 different versions of it and not knowing which one to pick!) on spacing - I'll just have to read a bit more then just go eeny-meeny-miney-moe, I think. :iconbiggrin:

Anyway I don't know if this is good or bad but each of my little plants has 4-5 fronds and are still pushing up 'spears' occasionally, so I can only guess this is a good thing.
boboff wrote:Oh and just for MMM, :hugish: (thanks)
http://chateaumoorhen.blogspot.com/

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Re: Asparagus confusion! Help please!

Post: # 235365Post kit-e-kate
Thu Jun 16, 2011 8:15 am

Millymollymandy wrote:Anyway I don't know if this is good or bad but each of my little plants has 4-5 fronds and are still pushing up 'spears' occasionally, so I can only guess this is a good thing.
:shock: Wow! Maybe i should have started with seed too! Yours sound much more lively than mine! :salute: I'm jealous! :iconbiggrin:

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Re: Asparagus confusion! Help please!

Post: # 235377Post Millymollymandy
Thu Jun 16, 2011 12:02 pm

Yes but we are talking about 1mm wide spears here. :lol: I have high hopes for about 2015. :iconbiggrin:
boboff wrote:Oh and just for MMM, :hugish: (thanks)
http://chateaumoorhen.blogspot.com/

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Re: Asparagus confusion! Help please! UPDATE!

Post: # 238747Post kit-e-kate
Wed Jul 20, 2011 9:04 am

Well, now i am even more confused! In the last few days my three rather feeble asparagus crowns have put up another four shoots. I thought they only did this in spring? Or could it be that the warm and very rainy weather have fooled them? :scratch: :dontknow: Any ideas anyone?

Kate :icon_smile:

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