Need help planning an asparagus bed
Hi everyone, I have a small backyard where I've been growing some tomatoes and basil in raised beds. I'm hoping to expand my garden over the next few years and have decided to plant asparagus crowns next spring.
I've ordered 25 crowns and figure I need to create a bed or beds that provides at least 40 feet of growing space while being at least 2 feet wide (please correct me if this sounds ill advised).
Since getting down on my knees is physically difficult (and getting up is even harder) I'm planning on doing this via raised beds (which I prefer anyway since they're so much easier to maintain). I've been trying to read up on asparagus planting here and other sites and am coming to the conclusion that I'll need to still prepare the soil underneath the raised bed area as well. Based on what I've been reading at this site, I'm thinking the best approach would be to cover the existing lawn by putting down a layer of newspaper, wetting it thoroughly and applying a layer of used coffee grounds (thank you Starbucks) and then filling my raised bed with some version of Mel's mix (compost, vermiculite and peat moss).
My questions are:
Will preparing this bed this fall give this plan enough time? (I'm hoping to plant next spring).
Will the wet newspaper and coffee grounds layer do enough, quickly enough to improve the soil underneath the raised bed? If not, should I plan on turning over the lawn, and if so, to what depth? (the raised bed will be about 5" deep on its own). Also, if 5" does not sound like a deep enough raised bed, I can double up to create a depth of 10".
Thanks for any advice or suggestions you can offer. I'm not particularly experienced and I find the information and advice on these forums to be invaluable.
One last thing. I'm using raised beds in part because I'm a big fan of their ease of maintenance, but also because I live in the suburbs and am trying to create a pleasant looking backyard. I have some plans for decorative elements such as a park bench and small pond, plus plants designed to attract bees and butterflies. I'd like this garden to be a place to relax as well as produce food.
thanks for all your help (and I'd be happy to return the favor by answering any photography related questions anyone might have).