So let’s start with “A” for “Asparagus”, if your ground has thawed enough that is.
Asparagus needs sandier soils in areas exposed to the full sun; clay soils are out of the question; clay doesn’t drain well. You can create a sandier environment in clay however, but it takes a lot of work. Dig the trench 16 inches wide by 20 inches deep with a perforated drainage tile in the bottom of the trench; do not use any of the clay as backfill. For those blessed with good drainable soil the trench or trenches you dig are 12 inches deep by 12 inches wide.
Once dug, put a three inch layer of composted manure in the bottom, and mix it well into the soil. Take the Asparagus crowns and place them in the trench 18 inches apart; multiple trenches should be spaced three feet apart. Cover them with two inches of sifted compost humus soil and water in well. Throughout the summer the trench should be filled in gradually with an original topsoil / compost mix. If these directions are followed you will have a viable asparagus bed for years and years and years.
The big temptation, this year and the following spring, will be picking the new spears. Don’t give in to this, the roots need these first year spears to grow up and develop into fronds that catch the sunlight and strengthen the root for next year’s production.Picking in the second year can happen until they get “pencil thin”. Once pencil thin, stop! Let these grow up and become energy suppliers for the root. As the years click by the picking season will get longer and longer, leveling off in about five to six years. But the “pencil thin” rule still applies; I can’t stress enough that you need some summer growth to rejuvenate the crowns for next year.
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