Asparagus in a container?

mayberrygardener(z5a, Broomfield, CO)May 2, 2009

I garden entirely in containers due to the bindweed and pretty much lousy location of any sunny spots in our yard. I was hoping to do a few asparagus plants, but I don't know if that would be pushing my luck too far. I use mostly Garden Patch Grow Boxes, very similar to Earth Boxes in size and design--and depth of soil.

Am I crazy for even contemplating asparagus in a container? From what I have read, the crowns need to be pretty deeply planted, but I would probably go a little more shallow in containers...

Please, give me your 2-cents worth!

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Asparagus do not need to be deeply planted, that is old school advice.

While I am a firm believer than darn near any plant can be container grown, asparagus is one of those plants I question if it's really worth it.

Yes, I am certain it can be done and done well, but the amount of harvest is going to be small given the area. It would be much less expensive to just buy at the store.

If that doesn't discourage you and you wish to do it anyway, then by all means have at it. Sometimes it's fun to do the impractical, simply because we can.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2009 at 10:03PM
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mayberrygardener(z5a, Broomfield, CO)

It was one of those "weak moments" at Walmart--yes, Wally's!--when I saw some bareroot perennials that I wanted, and had been reading about asparagus; my question was asked after I had already purchased the crowns! For the record, it's more of an experiment than anything (the crowns were only 6 bucks), but hey, it sure would be cool if it could work.

Anyway, I planted them in a Grow Box this afternoon--there were more than the 6 crowns that the package said, but they were little, so I figured I could get away with overlapping the roots a little bit. Anyway, they're on top of only about 2-3" of soil, and only about 2-3" on top, with the intention to further cover them throughout this season as if they were in the ground--all the directions I have seen indicate to dig a 1-foot trench & only cover the crowns w/ 2-3" of soil, but continue covering them little by little as the sprouts come up until the filled trench is level with the ground.

I'm not married to this yet, so if someone has a suggestion at this point, I'm all ears! I'm a little concerned that there being only 2" of soil beneath them will not be enough; I AM planning on bringing the container into the garage for overwintering, to avoid the roots/crowns suffering hard freezes.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2009 at 12:22AM
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Asparagus can be grown in a Square Foot Garden, which is only 6 inches deep. Of course, it takes a few years for it to produce anything that you can actually use, but they grow. I started some this year and planted about a month ago and the first sprouts are coming up now.

They seem to be doing fine...

    Bookmark   May 4, 2009 at 2:12AM
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mayberrygardener(z5a, Broomfield, CO)

Asparagus in a SFG; I hadn't thought of that. What is the spacing per foot? Do you center the crown? By virtue of the box's design, the crowns are on the outside edges with the roots towards the middle, in their current configuration. I think I'll leave them as is for at least this year (unless someone comes in and says that I need to put more soil underneath them).

How do you plan to overwinter yours homer? I'm not sure what zone you're in, but we get pretty cold here in Colorado...

    Bookmark   May 4, 2009 at 9:44AM
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mayberrygardener(z5a, Broomfield, CO)

Okay, so after a viciously cold winter, and having miscommunicated with hubby about which boxes to move into the garage for winter (he couldn't comprehend moving a box of dirt in? come on!), the asparagus is probably going to be a "well, chalk one up to 'it was a good experiment.'" So far, only ONE plant is up, and it's one that I got at a nursery--all the wallyworld ones are mysteriously dormant (or worse). Of course, having never grown the stuff before, I don't know if I'm being too impatient, and the one that did come up might be an early variety, so maybe in a couple weeks I'll change my tune.

However, the ones that ARE up? Skinny minis. Not much eating. Not that I expected much, but based on what I've read about growing asparagus, you're not supposed to harvest them at all when they're that skinny. On the upside, I'll have another container for... something else! if these don't start impressing me soon!

I love garden experiments--sometimes, they even work!

    Bookmark   April 20, 2010 at 10:52PM
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Hi, I am experimenting too as I bought a six pack of asparagus plants earlier this year. Against all the advice I planted them in a big pot as I rent and didn't want to put them in the ground in case we decided to move...
So they're doing well so far.
Check out my pictures! i just put a bunch of pictures from when I first got them til now.

I think maybe in a year I will be able to harvest perhaps a meal's worth? (Or enough for garnish at least??!)

Here is a link that might be useful: Click here to see my container asparagus!

    Bookmark   November 5, 2010 at 2:42PM
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I planted bare root crowns last Spring (2010) in a 12"pot and let them grow into plants like the advice goes. Some crowns, I left poking out of ground and some, buried like any other crowns, an inch or so below the soil.

This year, I've already got stalks coming out of the pot. The deep planted ones survived whereas the ones planted over the ground rotted. Out of the survivors, one or two were healthy and then I got a couple as thin as a pencil. However, I've been harvesting every one for eating (my 4-yr old loves them!) -- so far I have not been able to taste any since my little one has been grazing on whatever little I have.

I postponed doing this for number of years thinking of the feasibility. It's true that it's unlikely that I can fulfill my family's needs for asparagus; however it's been a great novelty item. Some time in the future as and when I do find the place that I can commit to, I would definitely love planting them in the ground; but for now I'm happy just pulling out 6-7 stalks each year from my pot.

My lesson is, that instead of wondering and second guessing, I should have started the experiment a long time back. By now, I'd be in my 3rd year of enjoying them!!

Hope this helps -- and thanks everyone for sharing their experience.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2011 at 4:58PM
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