Asparagus - growing your own....

Asparagus - growing your own....

Its really easy - so I have made 5 main points...

1. A space of his own - a wine barrel or small raised garden, but actually anywhere that it can live permanently. (This plant behaves a lot like rhubarb - a 'crown' is planted,  just the once, and it 'pops' up every year).  So really the minimum requirement is a permanent spot.

2. Lots of manure (I use the local 'pony club poop') - dig it in at the beginning.  And every year apply something equally yummy.

3. Dig a trench (like you are planting potatoes) but then make a little mound to sit the the crown on - with the spaghetti type roots running down the sides of the mound.  About 50cms between plants, and cover over - but not too deeply.  I then put straw on top - but just cos I don't like weeding!! And asparagus doesn't like company.

4. This instruction is the important one - and the toughest - for a little piggy like me.... WAIT. The first year the asparagus pops up - do not eat it (maybe just the one to see how it tastes straight from the garden) The first year the asparagus will be spindly and little - you need to leave it to turn into a tall ferny plant - cut it back when it dies off.  Feed it more manure type food and let the roots strengthen and develop. The next year the shoots will be slightly thicker - you may eat a few weeks worth - but leave a reasonable amount to turn into a fern, again.  Later on you will do this naturally - because you have literally eaten as much asparagus as you can handle!!

5. Very easy to grow 'organically' and spray free - because not many garden bugs, pests or birds are interested in eating asparagus - maybe the odd slug will take a bite, but its really minor.  I like to have plants that are self sufficient and not too  'highly strung' when it comes to care.

 

You can grow these guys from seed - but it really is much easier to jump start the process with 'crowns' - they are readily available in spring at most garden centres and bunnings or mitre10 etc. They are found on the stands that hold bulbs and tubers - not out in the plant area.

 

The main reason I grow asparagus, is that it can be quite a pricey vegetable to buy ( a small bundle is a couple of dollars - so the 'per kg' price is double digits) and the freshness of 'just picked' is unparalleled.  But also having the peace of mind that you are adding another spray free vege to your diet, for not a lot of effort.  

But the 'happy dance' moment each spring when they pop through the straw.....

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Vinomofo with Grilled Cheese

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