Posted by: David Watts | June 2, 2010

practicing patience with asparagus.

The Rooftop is meeting a lot of new friends this week. Today we planted asparagus crowns (2 year old clumps of roots – apparently easier to get to harvest than starting from seed). We had an empty bed just calling out to the asparagus roots…who were we to resist?

Asparagus is fun (and a little intimidating) to plant. You have to dig trenches because the foot long roots go in sideways. They also do not want competing plants near them. Apparently, asparagus roots are lovers, not fighters- if another root system is competing for nutrients, asparagus usually backs down and suffers.

Now for the test of patience: we won’t be able to harvest any of the spears this year. I know, I know, we were really looking forward to bouquets of asparagus this spring too. Not this year – we were told to just let the plant go to seed. Next spring, however, we will be able to harvest asparagus spears for about two weeks (each year the length of harvest grows). Once the spears start becoming thin stalks (pencil-like), the harvest is done for the year, and you let those ones go. And that’s not all, a bonus after the harvest is that the plant turns into a pretty feathery fern!

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