Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Planting a Future of Asparagus

When I first started planting food in the ground, instead of flowers in pots, asparagus was not on my top ten list of foods I wanted to grow.  I was much more attracted to plants that made food right away, like a pea or a tomato, and the thought of waiting for two years before I would get any payoff made me hesitate to invest in asparagus.  Maybe it's because I've become more rooted myself, or maybe now I know that the best plants are the ones that make food every year without having to be replanted, because now that I'm starting my garden over at the farm house, asparagus was top of the list.  I've got to get those root babies in the ground as soon a possible!  

I must have taken my list to heart and ordered some asparagus this winter, because this ugly bundle came in the mail last week and I was surprised.  Am I sleep garden shopping?  I was thankful that I planned ahead, but still feeling weak from being sick so I had to do my asparagus gardening in small doses mixed with lots of reclining in the sun.  Poor me, I know.  My garden plan shows the asparagus in a location which I selected by taking into account that this will be a permanent location, and as I thoughtfully considered crop rotation, direction of sunlight, neighboring crops, and long-term garden aesthetics.  So much for planning.  

I completely ignored my plan and selected the square of carpet that looked like it would be the easiest to plant in right now, when I wasn't feeling like working very hard. At the time, it seemed like the most important thing was to get the asparagus in dirt.  I'm sure I will convince myself that it was the perfect location after all.  Hopefully I will also convince myself that planting the asparagus too close together is fine too, since I really didn't want to prep a giant bed.  As my t-shirt says, "Bloom Where You are Planted."  

Here's another picture for Future Rain, who may like to remember that the type of asparagus is Jersey Knight.  Why does Future Rain care about these things?  Who knows!  

I'm still excited about the sod killing carpet technique, and this is what the new asparagus bed looked like when I peeled back the carpet.  These yellow weeds, a species of dock, were all that survived.  They were easily hacked to pieces with my hoe.  I recruited Brandon to use the shovel and turn the soil since asparagus like a deep bed, and then raked trenches in the soil for the asparagus crowns.  As they sprout I will fill in the trenches so that they are up to eight inches deep.  I can wait two years- I hope to have a future of asparagus from this plot.  

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