Planting an asparagus bed

1asparagus bedThis was a fun little task. I’m extending the asparagus bed. It’s a huge success as the spears appear in the garden just when you are yearning for some home grown vegetables.

The only problem is I never have enough. Well enough to share.1asparagus before

So I’m planning on adding more every year.  But as you might know, you cannot cut your just planted asparagus for two years as you need the roots to develop a strong base before you loot the emerging tops.

And I will forget which ones need leaving and which ones can be looted.

So I have chosen to create a small bed just at the end of the asparagus bed and go from there.

If you were planning your own aspagus bed you probably wouldn’t choose ground that was just so stony. 1asparagusdug over

I’m making mine over an old stone wall boundary line, so the clearing of the ground was hilarious. Thank goodness for the mighty bulldog fork. It bwanged and struck all the stones I needed to lever out and put to one side. There are some very good and useful stones here for my next project. But that’s for another post.  This was strictly vegetable today.

1weedSo once the bed was clear of stones and perennial weeds – and my whopper weeds included some incredibly stubborn wild clematis roots. Then you need to dig a trench.

One asparagus crown one foot apart.  And you have to take care as they are fragile beasts.

I made a mistake one year of soaking the strange asparagus crowns when I received them.  They rot if you do. So I have learned that the best thing to do is keep them as far from water as you can before they are in the ground.1asparaguscrown 1

And you have to take care to tease them apart. Planting them is simple – the shape will dictate  how large your trench needs to be as you want to spread out the roots.  A mound of soil under the middle helps too.

1asparagus planted upAnd then carefully cover with soil and firm down.

I plant them a bit deeper than the instructions suggest as we are a hot dry and the roots can become dessicated.  So I will cover them with at least six inches of firmed soil.

All you need to do next is write a label. I have planted Cannover’s Colossal, Pacific Purple and the ever popular if unpronounceable Gijnlim.

I don’t water – in fact I’m planting them now so that the rain that is foreca1asparagus long viewst in a few days time will do the job for me.

Some people fuss and feed, but so far, mine have thrived on neglect.

I will need to mulch the bed thoroughly – weeds are the only bane of the asparagus plant.  But that will be it for a year at least.

I’ve mulched the original bed behind this new 2015 bed; endless grass cuttings from the last mowing and strimming session of late autumn.  But I will need to lift the thick mulch in a few weeks to check there are no pernicious weeds hiding underneath.

And then I’m setting the clock to wait for the first spears to appear.