Questions on planting asparagus
I have ten 2-year old Jersey Knight asparagus crowns that I am about to plant in my garden. Not knowing much about how to plant and care for them them, I am finding some conflicting information on the internet.
It advises to dig a furrow and simply toss the crowns into the furrow, stating "the plants will grow regardless of how they land so don't bother to spread the roots."
It goes on to state "After planting, back fill the furrow to its original soil level. It isn't necessary to gradually cover the crowns with a few inches of soil until the furrow is filled in."
However, I found instructions on "The Tasteful Garden" (http://www.tastefulgarden.com/store/pc/Asparagus-Jersey-Knight-hybrid-62p619.htm) which explain:
"As the asparagus begins to grow, gradually fill in the furrow with soil. (Be careful not to cover any of the asparagus foliage.) The furrows should be filled to ground level by the end of the first growing season."
The OSU Extension also says about harvesting:
"Harvest asparagus by snapping 7 to 9 inch spears with tight tips. There is no need to cut asparagus below the soil with a knife. This may injure other buds on the crown that will send up new spears."
However, the Tasteful Garden says: "Use a knife to harvest spears. Use one hand to hold the top of the spear you are harvesting. Cut the spear off about one inch below the soil line."
Can anyone with asparagus experience help educate me? Should I just throw these crowns into a hole and loosely cover them up? Or do I need to "gradually" fill them in as they grow?
Also, with 2-year old crowns, do I need to wait for a full growing season before harvesting? Or can I start harvesting this summer if the shoots are large enough?