Asparagus Bed

For an update – see Asparagus Planted.

One of the things I really enjoyed during our years in Switzerland was asparagus. Now, you may be thinking that of all the things to enjoy, why asparagus? In Switzerland, Spargel Zeit (literally “asparagus time” in German) was a festive season. It signaled the beginning of Spring, the time when flowers were beginning to grow and bloom after a long cold winter, which brought a renewed sense of hope and life.

I had never eaten asparagus until we moved to Switzerland and after moving back to Alabama, I wanted my own asparagus bed. For one reason or another, it just never happened. Now, however, since we are a “farming” family, it seems like perfect timing. So…

While renting the backhoe for the vineyard expansion, we also dug out for an asparagus bed. Our bed consists of three forty foot rows.

The rows are 2 1/2 ft deep and are 36 inches apart.

Having manure to spread in the vineyard, we used some for the asparagus. I let the men handle this part and just tried to stay upwind!

8 – 10 inches of manure was put in the bottom of each row.

Once the manure was in place, the next row was dug. Before filling in each row, a stake was placed at either end at ground level (so we know exactly where the center of each row is).

When finished, the beds were smoothed.

When we plant the new rows of grape vines, we will put in drip irrigation for the asparagus bed.

On the advise of a trusted resource, I have ordered asparagus crowns from Pendleton’s Country Market. I ordered both UC157 and Purple Passion. They were willing to delay shipment until next Monday (4-16) so their arrival should be timed perfectly with planting the new vines and installing the drip tape. I’ll let you know how it goes :)

I am looking forward to having fresh asparagus but it may be difficult to wait a whole year! The asparagus is not suppose to be harvested the first year. The second year, harvest is for 2 weeks and the third year, harvest is for 6 weeks.

Do you grow asparagus? Please leave a comment and let me know about your experience!

 

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Comments

  1. I don’t grow asparagus but I love eating it!
    With 120 feet of growing room you will have lots of asparagus! Will you can most of it or sell it? I have heard pickled asparagus is very good, although I haven’t tried it as I don’t care for anything other than dill pickled cucumbers!

    • Hopefully, we will have lots of asparagus! I plan for us to eat most of it and freeze the remainder. With our large family (7 out of 10 children still at home) and several times a week visits by the others bringing grandchildren, I do not anticipate any left for selling!

  2. Im assuming you’re planting 2-3 year old crowns.. but I will tell you.. I’d be very careful about harvesting for 2 weeks the first year. Actually I dont harvest the first year at all.. sometimes even the second year if the shoots are thin… You really just have to go by the size of the shoot itself. If they’re spindly and weak.. let em go.. If they’re thick, fat, & healthy.. its time to harvest!

    How exciting for you.. I wish I had the space for a nice bed like you have, but I dont envy your West Texas heat. I did have at my last house in North Texas.. I planted a huge block, about 30×30 filled with asparagus.. I bet its beautiful these days.. That was 15 years ago.

    These days I have 2 small rows about 10-12 feet.. and only one is mature enough to eat from.

    Beautiful operation you all have there.. and awesome the guys dug the beds for you! :)

    • Thanks for the encouragement, Kim. As far as harvest, I was going by the schedule given me by a friend. I appreciate your caution and will just watch for the growth and health. I had read other places to wait without harvesting for a couple of years – I’m just anxious and can taste it already!

  3. Looks great! Love asparagus and it’s a pretty plant in the yard. Can’t wait to see all y’all have done!

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