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Help me with spacing for asparagus in a raised bed

Posted by bigoledude z9b Chalmette,Louisi (My Page) on
Sat, Jan 10, 09 at 17:40

The raised bed I'm preparing for my asparagus is 3 feet wide and about 25 feet long. How should I space them?

Is it OK to plant 3 plants across for the entire 25 feet length?

The literature from our county agent gives information for row planting only. They say to plant them 12 inches apart on the row and, space the rows 3 feet apart.

It's sorta embarrassing to admit but, I've gardened seriously for 35 years and, never even seen an asparagus plant! Ray


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RE: Help me with spacing for asparagus in a raised bed

You could do 2 rows 25' long with the plants 10-12" apart but no closer. 3 rows on 3' wide bed would be too crowded. Stagger the 2 rows of plants.

X - X - X - X

- X - X - X

Assuming adequate feeding and all the crown head will rapidly expand to fill that 10-12 inches within 5 years. And the massive root system will fill the bed in about that same time so over-planting/over-crowding needs to be avoided to avoid die-off.

Link below shows a guys hand holding what looks to be a 2 year old crown. Just scroll down the page a bit.

Dave

Here is a link that might be useful: Asparagus


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RE: Help me with spacing for asparagus in a raised bed

Hey dirt

What a great site you linked me to. Evidently, the asparagus crop has a larger economic impact in Virginia than it does here in Louisiana. Our extension service has a skimpy one-page article.

I'm kinda worried about the water table issue. The site warned about having a water table less than 5 feet from the ground's surface. Sometimes, the water table is less than 2 feet deep here. I guess that's why hurricane Katrina put 13 feet of water in my house. We live below sea level.

I am seriously reconsidering growing asparagus.


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Shallow trench planting for stronger plants thicker spears

Asparagus crowns can be planted up to 8 inches deep. Why? Deeper planting will result in fewer but larger, disease-free spears. Use the staggered spacing described by Dave above, but also: for each staggered row make a trench about 12 inches wide and 8 inches deep. Mound up soil in the bottom of the trench--use loose, manure-enriched soil--this mound will be about 3 inches high. Spread the claw-like asparagus roots gently on the mound, spaced 12 to 15 inches apart. Then cover the crowns with 2 inches of light soil. When the shoots emerge later in spring gradually over the season fill in the remainder of the trench with soil--never fully cover the growing tips. Continue until the end of the season when the trench is filled, then cut off the foliage. Next year--first limited harvest year--you will begin to reap the benefits of this method: stronger plants, thicker spears.

Here is a link that might be useful: HarvestToTable.com


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RE: Help me with spacing for asparagus in a raised bed

I'm kinda worried about the water table issue. The site warned about having a water table less than 5 feet from the ground's surface. Sometimes, the water table is less than 2 feet deep here.

You can still grow it. You are building a raised bed, right? Can you just make it more 'raised'? Make it a foot or more deep instead of just 6 inches and then plant at 6". It's a little more shallow than recommended but you can add more filler as the plants grow. As long as it is filled with a fairly well draining mix you'd be fine.

Dave


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RE: Help me with spacing for asparagus in a raised bed

I planted my asparagus bed 20 years ago in clay soil and it is still doing well. Only later did I learn that lighter soil is recommended. Yours may do okay even with the high water table, especially if you have a raised bed. Perhaps you can give it a try with a smaller bed first.

Lots of people have no idea what "grown up" asparagus looks like or how it grows. At least you're willing to learn and give it a try. My husband thought you could plant seeds like you do with most veggies and harvest the asparagus a few months later. He was very surprised to hear it would take several years from seed and even a year or two with crowns/roots.


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