The Accidental Smallholder Forum

Growing => Vegetables => Topic started by: oink on November 07, 2021, 01:15:31 pm

Title: Asparagus spacing and growing from seed
Post by: oink on November 07, 2021, 01:15:31 pm
Hi all. I'm getting ready to order some asparagus crowns for their bed.  I originally made the bed 8ft * 30ft with the intention of planting two rows.  On the RHS website though, they recommend digging each 1ft wide trench that you plant the crowns in, 1.5ft apart. This would mean I would be able to plant 3 rows (ie 1.5ft gap - 1ft trench - 1.5ft gap - 1 ft trench - 1.5ft gap - 1ft trench - 1.5ft gap).

I have a habit of over complicating anything I write down but I hope that makes sense! I was just wondering if the above was be so close together as to make weeding in the middle very difficult?  Or will the process of weeding and then laying a mulch after harvesting, and then the same after cutting them back in the Autumn, be enough to control the weeds?

Also, as in the title, has anybody grown their asparagus from seed? After seeing the price of crowns I was thinking about giving it ago with some connovers colossal seed.  As i see it, the obvious disadvantage would be that half the plants would be female but I assume the loss of productivity isn't astronomical?  Plus, the task of having to weed any rogue plants that spring up, but I assume that's not too much hassle as you have to weed anyway?

Any help and advice appreciated  ;D
Title: Re: Asparagus spacing and growing from seed
Post by: Q on November 07, 2021, 02:54:40 pm
Hi Oink

I planted some connivers from seed two years ago and I'm just preparing the new bed now so that I can transplant them.

Growing from seed is easy but I have ended up after 2 years with a lot less plants than i started with - this is mainly because when it got weedy I may have hoed a few of them away.

I probably have 30-40 plants left to transplant when the leaves have died back a bit.
I have been preparing the new bed for two years as well - adding compost and keeping the weeds off because I remember the pain of my last asparagus bed which was always weedy.
I will be leaving extra space between the rows for hoeing and mulching  and there will definitely NOT be any type of wood surround because thats where all the weeds used to land and take root - lots of dandelions.

I will also be planting some more seed this year as well as I eventually want a second bed. I wouldnt be wanting to pay for 2 year old corms with the volume I am looking for.
Title: Re: Asparagus spacing and growing from seed
Post by: oink on November 08, 2021, 08:10:50 pm
Hi Q, Thanks for the reply.

I'm thinking I'm going to go ahead and raise them from seed. You've inspired me! I'll also take your advise re wider spacing.

Thanks again. Good luck with bed no 2!
Title: Re: Asparagus spacing and growing from seed
Post by: cloddopper on November 28, 2021, 09:55:51 pm
Sow all the seeds in big pots . discard any plants that produces berried plants as these are females and will take a lot of energy to make the berries .
All male berry-less plants therefore tend to give much bigger & stronger plants ... they don't like any taint of weedkiller whatsoever . prep you asparagus bed deepl to about 3 foot deep with well enrich by cow & chicken composed muck , their composted  bedding straw and sharp sand for excellent drainage  .

Don't use horse muck as it's full of seeds .  Expect your bed to last up to 30 years if you set it up well and feed it with a manure mulch .

 Seeds against ready to plant male crowns .
plant the crown on top of a ridge so the spread out  legs hang down to  about  a foot deeper than the top of the crown
 Our 9 year old self grown males  gave us some fantastic spears last year ,, this year it has been a bit too wet & cool  but we still managed a few dozen half white / half green spears thanks to the really deep mulch that built up over the years.

 
Three year old crowns take a good two years to start producing well and are usually good at the fifth year of planting out the three year old the crown . They like water so set your bed up where it easily available or use a micro misting set up on a time clock for say 2 min on every 12 hrs unless it chucking it down every day .