I finally got around to adding Asparagus to our perennial collection. Since all of our kids love asparagus, this will become a spring and early summer staple. We eat enough of it that I invested in 2 year old plants, so that we can do a light harvest this year and get a full harvest next year, rather than waiting two or three years. The savings at the Farmer's Market/grocery will more than offset the extra cost.
Asparagus comes as rhizomes with a crown.. we got three varieties, Jersey Knight, Supreme Jersey Knight ( for large stalks for grilling) and a Purple Asparagus ( supposed to be sweet enough to eat raw..) The hardest part of planting asparagus is digging the trench. It needs to be 12-18 inches deep. I put one variety here, close to the house, so it is easy for dinner harvest. The other two varieties got planted yesterday in a 30' trench at the edge of the far east vegetable garden. We just agreed to turn this into a permanent bed and lose 2 feet of garden. It was much easier to dig than this trench, which was in un-tilled clay ground. This will also save us from augmenting the soil with lots of organic matter as we will have to do with this bed.
The rhizomes are planted crown up, and rhizomes spread in the bottom of the trench and covered with 2 inches of soil. As it sprouts, we will fill in the trench until there is a slightly hilled asparagus bed.
Plants are spaced between 8-18 inches apart, according to variety instructions.
Fingers crossed and a little sun mixed in with this rain, and soon enough we will have green sprouts shooting up through the ground.