Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Asparagus Patch

I was going back looking for pictures of our asparagus patch and realized I'd never posted pictures of it when we put it in! It was a big deal at the time, I was kind of surprised.

Late summer 2008, I purchased old icky asparagus crowns at 50% off at a greenhouse. Some of the roots were moldy, actually. We pitched them, but overall I thought it was a good gamble and got two bundles of crowns. The downside is they weren't marked as to what type they were.

Matt dug two trenches with Kubby the Kubota, roughly 16" wide by 17' long. We tossed the bits of sod out, mixed in quite a bit of compost, lined the trenches with cedar shakes, and planted them in a row. There are 14 plants in each row.

From spring 2009

We really weren't expecting much the first year, we'd heard that it takes a few years to get much out of a new patch. So we were surprised when the patch produced like gangbusters.

Spring 2009 I cut asparagus for about 2 weeks and we got two pounds out. Only 6 months after I put them in.

Fall 2009, I top dressed the whole patch with a goodly amount of homegrown compost. Asparagus is supposed to be a heavy feeder so you need to give them as much good stuff to eat as possible.

Early spring 2010 I took all the dead fronds off.

Spring 2010. We lined the patch with weedguard and mulch, but the ground ivy went straight through it, dammit.

Another view from this spring

It looks as though this year may have already topped last year. There are a few roots that may not have made it, or maybe they're just slow (they're riding the short bus this year).
The precious darlings sprouting!

So far this year we've done 4 cuttings of approximately 8-10 ounces each, which comes to more than two pounds already. We've been cutting for not quite two weeks and will probably cut for another week. And the spears are huge! Most are 1/2 inch or more, many of them are 3/4 inch.

We prefer to roast them with a bit of salt on the grill or with salt and olive oil under the broiler. How do you like your asparagus??


Daphne said...

I'm surprised they were big enough to harvest the first year. I guess they were really happy there. I can't wait until I can harvest my own asparagus.

Jody M said...

I'm really surprised, too, and more than a few were in the 1/2-3/4" size the first year as well.

Mama Pea said...

We cut the spears into about 1" pieces and toss into boiling water, cover and cook just until they are heated through, but still crunchy. Drain, put in some butter and toss. Dump onto plate, salt and chow down. I could make a whole dinner of asparagus this way . . . if we had enough.

Angie said...

Clearly, you have good soil!

Jody M said...

When we broil/grill ours, few make it to the plate. We eat them up straight from the cookie sheet before the rest of dinner is even finished. NomNomNom..