It’s that time of year, when you can head out to the garden with a knife in hand just before supper and cut a enough fresh spears to make side dishes of fresh asparagus. The flavour that comes from just picked 5 minutes before use is amazing!
The meal above was blackened chicken with butter herbed veggie and fresh lemon asparagus.. A little butter, a little lemon juice a tiny hit of lemon pepper, a mear minute or two or med-high heat and its ready!
We started Asparagus from seed many years ago on the farm and we still have a few mature plants that made it though the loss of our main garden, and will will move the plants before they tear that whole area up to put in the new sepetic tanks and weeping fields.
Last year as part of my large bulk plant buy, I brought in a case of 500 plants, 150 plants stayed here on the farm, the rest were placed out to different folks for their gardens within my community.
The truth was that we planted them to close together, I know this and it means that I will need to manage that patch and feed it out heavily but it came up despite the drought of 2020, we watered it a number of times and was happy to see so many ferns up.. It got a major clean up this spring, I left it all as cover over the fall and winter..
and if you just thought? why did it get planted to close.. the answer was simple, we had prepared a very nice garden area and when the plants came in, they came in bare root and that was the space that was ready for them.. Its very possable that over the next few years we will take out some plants from the edges but more likely, I will just expand the sides and keep growing the bed /garden up in size.. Asparagus are one of those strange plants that needs to be covered but will grow its crowns up and out of the soil, so you can in fact increase the grow space height wise.
I have three beds with three rows per bed with reach over from the outside and two walking paths that are bedded down with straw cover.. Bed 1 is the one that we are picking from on almost every plant, they have at least one thick spear that is meeting my yes, pick that.. about 50 percent of bed 2 is being picked and I do not understand it but we are taking nothing this year from bed 3 as the spears while coming up are late and very thin indeed.
I knew that I would take no more then 1 spear per plant this year being as its year one on the farm, and year 3 for the plants themselves.. once they get their next picking or two, we will weed it out once again and then we are going to bed them down with a good portion of clean straw and let them fern up.
I have started a new tray of seeds that are being grown to be planted out in under layers in some of the food forest under plantings. They are not going to be active plants for the garden food but more as back up just in case plantings.. The ferns are very pretty as a plant on their own..
Do you go hunting for wild patches of Asparagus? Do you have a small or a big Asparagus patch in your garden? Do you start yours from seed or do you buy 2 year old crowns? Did you know that there are a number of places in canada that you can buy a box of 500 crowns at a time for a crazy heavy discount pricing and that if you can work with friends and fellow garden folks, it might be the best way for you to get a larger plot of them started.