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Asparagus

Posted by scarletdaisies 7 (My Page) on
Thu, Aug 26, 10 at 11:50

I've got some pitiful small asparagus plants, but they are just now producing skinny asparagus. It's their first year, so these are my babies for next year I guess. What do I do with them, when do I cut them off, and does it matter how tall they get? I know they are planted cut about 7 or 8 inches to grow for next year, but how do I go about the process?

Thanks beforehand, I appreciate all the help I get from here.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Asparagus

scarletdaisies - Let them grow ferns and in late fall when the ferns turn brown cut them off and remove them and clean-up the area. Next spring when they are in their second year you can snap-off the small-tender asparagus spears of a size to your liking.

Greg
Southern Nevada


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RE: Asparagus

That sounds good. I'll wait until they turn brown, right now they are just little things. I was surprised to see them still alive after the 2 week 100 degree weather here. My okra's leaves all fell off and are now making a comeback too. Most of my garden is gone accept a few areas.

Thanks for the help.


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RE: Asparagus

You ought to try the temperatures we get here in the desert, yesterday it was 114 degrees on my front porch and humid. Then of course I won't have snow up to my armpits in the winter and freezing cold all the time either. I'll take the desert...

Greg
Southern Nevada


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RE: Asparagus

It is recommend that the spears be the thickness of your little finger before you start harvesting. Any that come up smaller that than next year need to be left alone so they can grow to ferns again.


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RE: Asparagus

I'll let the seedlings grow as big as they want just for seeding, but when I go to harvest next year I'll make sure they are not thicker than my pinky. Their new home will be in a bed next year, so they will grow healthier. I hope they shoot out a lot of seedlings from each.

They say 114 without humidity isn't as bad, but I won't take your desert for all the money in the world. I'll bet you plant your garden in the winter to make it grow. I'd become a vampire and only come out at night. I hate hot weather. But no snow, no heating bills, and you can even cook outdoors in a solar cooker if you wanted too. Plus the snakes, we have them here, but I've heard tales of Nevada rattlesnakes from around the board. Then add bugs that don't die, I don't know how you grow a garden. We get just enough cold to kill them off mostly.

Thanks for the replies. This was really helpful! I got a few things to reseed from this year that I don't normally get, even the mustards are bolting. I'm happy with what little I got out of it.


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RE: Asparagus

I'm surprised you found any asparagus in that weed garden. Good luck finding them next year if the weeds don't choke them out.


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RE: Asparagus

You're a very childish man/woman and your opinion is off topic. I'm losing my temper already. The garden is waiting to be ripped apart, but if you think I owe you an explanation, think again. The weeds can grow as tall as the house, it still would be none of your business. I'm really losing my temper quicker and quicker with you. You really are disappointing.

Next year the thing will be half full of beds and the stringy little ones I have will be transplanted. I clearly said they were small and asparagus don't grow well in juglone. My tomatoes didn't even turn red this year on the plants, plus the green ones I took off the plants to put in the window took 1 month to turn red, mostly the same with the cayenne peppers.

Are you having pms? I just want to know, because I've said nothing to you. Really, go away.


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RE: Asparagus

Hi Scarlet - getting back to the asparagus.... if you plan to move it you will need to wait for it to establish all over again. Asparagus is really happier in a permanent position and a good bed will last for years. Also you really don't want seedling asparagus all over your garden. That's why so many varieties are offered as male only plants. Seedling asparagus will likely produce weedy inferior spears and once you let the seedlings grow you will not be able to tell the named variety from the seedlings. Or have I misundertood you? Do you mean shoots/spears when you say seedlings?


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RE: Asparagus

Yes, I mean shoots, but now they bloomed into ferns, so they are not yet an asparagus. They seem to be doing better in the fall here in August. Everything is having a slight improvement.

I'll wait until they turn brown and die off to see what I have left, but I thought being you can buy shoots to plant each year instead of waiting for seedlings for a second year to produce, transplanting wouldn't be a problem.

The whole garden will be in beds, or half, the beds will have a plastic bottom with holes on the sides of beds for drainage, not below, so to keep roots out.

Asparagus don't do well with juglone, my walnut tree tricked me last year when it didn't produce nuts, I really thought I had a chance, but it produced this year for sure, set everything back to start, so I know for sure, if I want anything out of this garden to put it in container beds or containers.

How big do asparagus get? A bed to fit it will be necessary. Some will be 5 feet diameter in circles, I mean a frame of tires shaped in a circle, then the circle fitted with a plastic bottom, then filled with soil and compost. Plus the tires themselves have room inside about 2 feet wide.

If the tires aren't used, I'll use some gridwire and fill it in with concrete as I go. It will still be cheap and in the same shape. 5 feet in diameter should hold at least 6 asparagus plants, am I right?


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RE: Asparagus

I plant my asparagus 18" apart...and, leave the brown fern on during the winter to protect them from the bitter cold & snow.

They really don't like being transplanted.


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RE: Asparagus

I plant my asparagus 18" apart...and, leave the brown fern on during the winter to protect them from the bitter cold & snow.

They really don't like being transplanted.


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RE: Asparagus

Pssst-Don't mind Taz- you know there's ONE on every board!
Just think phththththththth! NT


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RE: Asparagus

You wouldn't say that if you seen her garden. Personally I wouldn't want a neighbor spreading their weed seeds and pests to my garden. Glad she's not my neighbor.


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RE: Asparagus

Sacrlet, I just looked at your blog and read this:

'The asparagus is sprouting more ferns, but no asparagus.' And above you wrote:

'but now they bloomed into ferns, so they are not yet an asparagus.'

I'm wondering if you have quite got how asparagus grows. The whole plant is 'asparagus' not just the spears. The 'fern' is asparagus too. The asparagus spears which you eat are the new stems which grow up through the earth from the roots in early spring. If you do not pick these shoots they grow taller and produce ferny leaves. Once the ferns have developed you will not get asparagus spears from them this year. You have to wait for the new shoots next year. Maybe you knew that but from your blog it sounded as if you still expected to get spears after the fern had grown. And forpitysake is right. Asparagus does not like being transplanted it is a perennial and a healthy permanent asparagus bed can produce for many years if properly looked after. The link might be helpful.

Here is a link that might be useful: Growing asparagus


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RE: Asparagus

when I go to harvest next year I'll make sure they are not thicker than my pinky.

I think you misunderstand.....Your pinky is the minimum thickness for harvesting, not the maximum. Thicker asparagus (say, more like your thumb) are desirable for eating.


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RE: Asparagus

I'm growing asparagus for the first time this year. Mine are all skinny little things too AND I am growing them in a container against all that I have read. Will have to see how they are by next year....
Maybe by then I will have some permanent space of my own so I can put them in the ground. I've had them for a few months and already are getting noticeably thicker stalks. I have not picked any and am letting it all fern out. I am in San Diego and have been having 100 degree weather too. Craziness! Its November and definitely not normal! And no signs of browness - Actually it looks like its starting to flower...is that normal?

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


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RE: Asparagus

Hi apartmentfarmer ,
Your Asparagus looks very healthy ;-)
Gardening is totally having fun and trying different things, yours may very well work, maybe not, but you will have learned something either way, and if you come back and post about your experience ,the rest of us can learn at your expense... so have fun and keep us informed on your trial ;-)

Here is a link that might be useful: French Intensive/BioDynamic Asparagus


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RE: Asparagus

My asparagus wasn't really happy for it's first year growing from crowns. I also worried about it making it through the winter, although my winters are very mild. I didn't even harvest the larger spears last year, and only harvested a few in the beginning this year. I did cut back the very tall ferns in July, and everything came back stronger and healthier. Now, I'm leaving the ferns until they're really dead, and am hoping for a better year next year (the idea of next year makes me feel better this time of every year). I agree - transplanting isn't great for them unless your plants are babies started from seeds. Good luck!


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RE: Asparagus

I thought you could dig up asparagus and seperate the mass of roots to increase the number of plants in your garden. I tried it today and had to hack the roots apart to get material to replant. Each root mass went into four seperate holes. Did I just kill it all? Does anyone have any experience with asexual propagation of asparagus?
Dan


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RE: Asparagus

Interesting idea, dividing asparagus plants. As a general rule this works for propagating clump-forming perennials, which asparagus seems to be. I don't see why it wouldn't work, but I have no experience or actual knowledge about it.
My biggest concern is the timing. I would have thought it better to do when the plants were growing and would have a good chance to heal the wounds made on the divided crown. As it is now, those wounds are open in the ground and will be for a long time. Rot could be an issue.


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RE: Asparagus

  • Posted by jolj 7b/8a-S.C.,USA (My Page) on
    Sat, Jan 29, 11 at 1:20

Hi jon, always good to hear from you.
apartmentfarmer, PLEASE up date us on your container gus, this is the 2nd site to say "you can not do that with asparagus". I will try it this spring my self.
scarletdaisies, I am the farmer in my family, I have crowns,but never thought the seeds would work. My brother bought seeds & had nice tiny asparagus in his garden. the asparagus paid no mind to my gawking or the weeds. I understand you can transplant them next year or leave them until they are two years old. Some companies leave them till the third year/then charge more for them. But then it will be 5 years before you can harvest, because you are not to harvest the year after you transplant them.
As for weeds in your asparagus beds, I mulch with oak leaves to protect against the the cold winter, to hold water in the hot summer, to add compost as the leaves rot, it will keep most of the weeds at bay, if it is 6 inches or more deep. For more on asparagus check link, they sale crowns, but the lesson are free.

Here is a link that might be useful: how to plant


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oops!

  • Posted by jolj 7b/8a (My Page) on
    Sat, Jan 29, 11 at 1:30

Try again!

Here is a link that might be useful: grow


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RE: Asparagus

I have planted some 3 yr old crowns last fall and this spring they are coming up real skinny. What can I do to make them larger and edible? I am lost as to what to do, any ideas would be greatly appreciated.


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RE: Asparagus

  • Posted by jolj 7b/8a-S.C.,USA (My Page) on
    Sun, Mar 27, 11 at 21:19

I was told to put down 10-10-10, but I am an organic gardener, so I use compost.
I have been told to cut all the spears the 2nd year after planting, for two weeks would force the crowns to grow bigger spear the third year.They need lots of water all Spring & Summer.
As some as the ferns die, pull back the mulch & cut them off. Then cover the mulch back over. You can lay the old ferns on the mulch. The reason for removing the ferns under the mulch & covering stumps is to confused the asparagus beetle. The gus beetle likes to lay eggs on the stem, so babies follow the dead stalk down to the crown for dinner. This way she has to hunt for the stumps & may not find them at all.


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RE: Asparagus

My asparagus bed will be in its 6th year this season (planted 3 year crowns 3 years ago) and I cannot wait for the spears to come in because this will be a very good year I expect. Last year was decent, and the year before I touched nothing and let it all fern out. The rule is, scarletdaisies, if a spear is pencil thickness or fatter you can snag it - leave the thinner ones alone to fern out and build the crown for next season. Some gardeners do these from seed, and I guess they have to wait a few years to eat anything at all - I found it easier to buy crowns. Whatever suits you.


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Can you thin asparagus?

Last year I purchased asparagus seed and planted it. It took off very well, as several tiny little spears shot up, then ferned. This year I am delighted to see several spears up again. My fear is that I planted several seeds too close together. I am wondering what is the best way to thin the area after making this mistake. I have roughly 10-20 tiny spears in a quarter (coin) size area. When I planted them I should have used more care in spacing obviously. I am wondering if you would give me your best advice to remedy this problem. I appreciate your time and advice.


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RE: Asparagus

I would leave them alone. One root will send up several shoots which turn into ferns. This summer mark the locations of each clump and next spring will be the time to transplant if you feel you need to. I also leave my ferns until spring cleaning of the garden.
You should not harvest any asparagus for the first two years, this includes cutting any fern until brown. It may cause them to remain skinny if you over harvest.


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RE: Asparagus

Thank you for your reply. I will take your advice. I am sure that I placed too much seed in the same area causing an overabundance of shoots in one area. This is their second year. I feared that it might be like onions where they would not grow that big if they are grown too close together, therefore I had planned on digging up and removing much of the tiny shoots and leaving a small trail behind to give them more room next year, but following your advice I will leave them alone. Thanks again for your time.


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