How many asparagus plants for a large family?

bigoledude(SE Louisiana)January 5, 2009

I have 4 married sons and daughter's-in-law. We are blessed with 10 grandchildren. Everyone loves asparagus, including me and my wife.

I've seen on other posts where members plant over 100 asparagus plants. Would it take that many plants to provide a decent quantity of fresh asparagus for a family this size?

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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Easily. We have many more than that - several year old beds so don't know the exact count but likely150-175 rough estimate - and we feed half that many people.

Based on all the past discussions here and my own personal experience, plant as many as you have room for. Some will likely not survive and production will be slow and light the first few years so this is one case where More is definitely better. ;)

Dave

    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 1:34AM
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marlingardener

Dave is right--plant as much as you can! I would also suggest that you not plant all your asparagus in one bed, and that you have at least two varieties to minimize any soilborne problems or airborne pests. We have 60 plants to feed two people (and the occasional neighbor) which gives us enough to eat and to freeze a bit.
Asparagus is a wonderful vegetable, and I'm sure your whole family will appreciate the fresh spears you provide.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 7:55AM
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skagit_goat_man_(WA)

We kept a 150 crown row at our last garden just for the two of us. We only had room for 100 crowns at our new home and am concerned it won't be enough. For the family size you mentioned above I'd suggest starting with 250 to 400 - if you have the space and can keep up with the work. Tom

    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 9:54AM
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hercules(PA 6a)

Hi folks,

I've been growing asparagus for quite a few years, have contributed my experiences and shared my knowledge many times here on GW, and now must admit I'm totally baffled by the quantity of crowns recommended by recent contributors to this forum.

I have one row of only 25 Jersey Knights in my latest bed (about 6 years old now). From this bed I harvest enough every day thoughout the 8 week growing season for 2 to 3 people. We love asparagus, too, but can't eat it EVERY day, so we share a lot with family and neighbors. I sometimes wish I had kept a log of the number of pounds of harvested spears, but I haven't. A little math would reveal an approximation, but it still stuns me when I read of those recommending hundreds of crowns. WOW! I can't even imagine what I'd do with the production from 50 crowns, much less several hundred!

To "bigoledude", take this for what it's worth....it's my honest experience with 'gus. The only caveat I'll offer is that we really "pig-out" during the 8 week harvest season, but we do NOT freeze. That's a personal decision....we don't care for 'gus frozen to be eaten later. That said, I remain totally baffled by the suggestions of planting hundreds of crowns. I'd need a road-side stand to take advantage of all that production! :-)

Cordially offered,
Hal in Cent. PA.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2009 at 5:21PM
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knittlin(8b)

Why are you stunned and baffled, Hal? Did you miss that BigOleDude's family numbers twenty people? That's about ten times the number of your household (I'm guessing when you said "2 to 3, that meant a neighbor or occasional guest?), so they'd need almost ten times the plants you have ~ probably atleast 200+ plants for fresh eating alone (that's allowing for small grandkids that may not eat that much and not giving much if any away). And he can count on doubling that number (if not more) if he wants to put up enough for everybody all year. Ag services and extension agents recommend 10-15 plants per person for fresh eating and that many more for putting up (freezing/canning). That's a LOT of asparagus for a family his size ~ an asparagus patch forest!

    Bookmark   January 6, 2009 at 7:04PM
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susandonb(NC 7)

Hal,
Sounded like alot to me too, I have 35 crowns and get a ridiculous amount of gus. I have it in raised beds that do wonderful. Plenty for my husband and I and we give a lot away. I would advise starting with 30-50 then see how you handle the care of it and harvest amount. I was able to find beautiful 3 year old crowns through Henry Field's catalog or web site and they are doing great. They give you a jump start being 3 years old.
Susan in NC

    Bookmark   January 6, 2009 at 7:12PM
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bigoledude(SE Louisiana)

Thanks for the response guys.

Due to the cost of soil, plants and lumber, it will take a couple of seasons for me to arrive at the suggested numbers.

Our state extension service suggests the plants be 12 inches apart and the rows 3 feet apart. I'm using raised beds, not rows. The first bed I will build this year is gonna be 4 feet wide and 25 feet long.

How should I space the plants? How many can I grow in this space without over-crowding?

    Bookmark   January 7, 2009 at 2:35AM
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