Asparagus -- add clay soil or sand?

midlin(5B)April 24, 2012

Hi, planted 200 crowns of Jersey Supreme.

Had hoped to get Jersey Knight since I have clay silt loam (not heavy clay, but a really thick loam). Trenches are 'loosely' covered with 3-4 inches of heavy loam (as loose as heavy clay silt loam can be!), and will be 6-7 inches deep when filled in.

Any problems with Jersey Supreme in non-sandy soil? Does Jersey Knight really do better in soils with clay? Anyone add sand into the asparagus when filling?

Extensions say not to get too wet, so I had not watered until now. Subsurface stayed moist but the surface got really hard so I started to water lightly. The asparagus has not come up after 9 days. Some are close, and some have only started budding. How long do they take to come up (cool/light frosts)? How much have others watered to help emergence?

The area is on a slope, and I would rather not have drainage soak into just the sand and rot the crowns unless sand has helped others.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
planatus(6)

Be patient. A couple of crowns I moved last year are just coming to life, though the established plants are well on their way.

Have you mulched the surface with something biodegradable? I think that will be much more useful than taking any other step. The roots will move up or down to find their most comfortable depth over a period of years, and it all works best with good top-down fertility that creates habitat for night crawlers and suppresses weeds.

Asparagus is a great plant for a slope. Stop worrying, the drainage will take care of itself.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2012 at 7:40AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
buckyz4

Can anyone tell the difference in the different Jersey varieties?
4 years ago I planted 10 crowns of Jersey Knight, Jersey Supreme and Jersey Giant.
I cannot tell much of a difference, though I haven't kept track of how many spears I have harvested from each plant, just looking down the row it looks about the same. I am thinking with just a few plants it won't make much difference, maybe if you had acres it would show a difference in volume.
This year I wanted 20 more plants and the Garden Center I bought from only had Jersey Knight and Jersey Supreme so I bought 10 of each. I planted them March 20 and as of last night I can see 18 plants. I live in WI and it was 80 when I planted them but now we are much more normal with getting frosts almost every night.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2012 at 8:54AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
midlin(5B)

Thanks Planatus- no mulch yet (trenches only part filled). What works well for asparagus? Wood chips?

Thanks Buckyz4 - will be patient. Had read emergence in a week through 6 inches, but that must be an over-generalization and too short a time.

Did you fill in the trenches all the way at planting?

    Bookmark   April 25, 2012 at 2:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
planatus(6)

Right now I'm throwing grass clippings on my asparagus, but that supply will soon run short and I'll switch to a mixture of weathered sawdust and wood chips. My garden soil "eats" a lot of wood and has a good appetite for the stuff.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 7:45AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dab07

I planted 40 Jersey Knight crowns in clay soil last May; it was cold and wet until June. I read conflicting information about planting in clay soil, whether to amend it, what depth to dig the trenches. So I loosened the soil about a foot deep, forked the subsoil a little and replaced the original soil mixed with compost and a few natural amendments to within 6" from the top. Planted the crowns, covered them with a couple of inches of soil and compost. It took about a month for all the spears to come up. Of 40 planted, about 38 came up.

So far only about half have come up this spring, but I expect most if not all to emerge. They look pretty healthy.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 12:46AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
hand pollinate broccolini?
Thanks to you guys, I realized that I bought Broccoli...
NewTXGardener (8a Dallas)
what varieties of watermelons are you growing?
what varieties of watermelons are you growing?
gridgardener
gardening math for beginners and those still learning
to help newbies and other people who have trouble knowing...
gridgardener
Woody Parsnips
What causes parsnips to develop wrinkly skin and woody...
qbush
Best kind of mulch for vegetable garden
What kind of mulch is recommended for a veggie garden?...
Peter
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™