Gardening

Our New Old Asparagus Bed

asparagus roots

Over the weekend we revamped our asparagus bed.

The bed is about ten years old.

Hubert Kirkland, who I interviewed for the Blind Pig and The Acorn back in 2009, gave me the Purple Passion Asparagus seeds to start the plants.

About two years after I planted them, the bed begin producing and has continued to do so ever since. The only problem we had was the asparagus never spread beyond it’s initial footprint nor increased its yearly yield.

The rest of the bed had been taken over by Valerian, Yarrow, and some other herb Chatter planted several years ago. To give the asparagus more room we moved the Valerian and Yarrow and got rid of the rest.

I was amazed at how tight the asparagus roots were bound. No wonder they hadn’t spread much over the years. The roots had twined themselves over rocks the size of my fist.

The Deer Hunter tilled up the bed, we removed all the plant material, amended the soil, and de-rocked the asparagus before dividing and replanting it across the length of the bed.

The crowns of asparagus were huge so I’m hoping we still get at least some spears to eat next year, but at the very least the bed should produce more than ever before in the future now that it has room to breathe.

raised bed of asparagus

I got so excited about the idea of dedicating an entire bed to asparagus that I ordered some that was on sale. I should have waited until we completed our project, because we had more than enough to fill the bed. Can you guess next weekend’s project? Build another asparagus bed 🙂

I was checking the bed we built on the bank Tuesday and noticed one single asparagus plant coming up in one of the corners. I’m guessing we grabbed some old seeds when we made the bed and inadvertently planted it. I couldn’t help but think it was a thank you sign from the asparagus plants we moved to a larger home.

I’ve grown purple passion and green asparagus (I don’t know the variety it was) and greatly prefer the purple. Have you ever grown asparagus?

Tipper

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13 Comments

  • Reply
    Leslie Haynie
    June 5, 2020 at 11:25 pm

    That’s a real pretty bed.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    June 5, 2020 at 8:13 pm

    Daddy grew asparagus when I was little along with salsify, chives, garlic and other exotic vegetables. I wouldn’t eat any of it. Mommy grew a row of rhubarb across the bottom of the garden. She canned some of it and mixed some of it with strawberries for pie mix. I wouldn’t eat that either. The only way I would eat rhubarb at all was raw. Now that will put a pucker on your face and you’ll need one on your other face too if you eat too much. Strawberries were another food I was picky about. I didn’t like them cooked. Wild strawberries I’ll eat raw but tame ones have to be macerated in sugar. Even then I’ll gladly give the berries away and eat just the juice poured over crumbled up biscuits. I’m slobbering right now just thinking about it.

  • Reply
    Gaye Blaine
    June 5, 2020 at 2:48 pm

    Enjoy that asparagus bed when it produces. Nuttin like breaking off stalks and devouring your fav way. Post a video at various times of your ” green grocery ” store.

  • Reply
    Allan Guy
    June 5, 2020 at 2:46 pm

    Yep. A friend of mine told me he would give me some asparagus so I tilled up a 4×6 foot area to get ready. When he brought the plant he brought me a huge box full, so that I had to triple my space. Changing the subject, I love rhubarb and I just can’t find it anywhere. When I was just a sprout myself we used to put an empty nail keg over thc rhubarb plant. The leaves reaching up for the sun made the stalks longer and we got more rhubarb in a smaller space.

  • Reply
    Gigi
    June 5, 2020 at 12:42 pm

    No, we never have grown it. We don’t eat it much at all. If we did, I probably would be the only one who would eat it.

  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    June 5, 2020 at 11:42 am

    Yes, my second attempt succeeded! We got a few spears and popped them off & ate them raw!! They were delicious and we hope for more next year.

    • Reply
      Uncle Fuzzy
      June 5, 2020 at 1:29 pm

      We also love asparagus raw!

  • Reply
    Lydia Kieft
    June 5, 2020 at 9:45 am

    I also have an asparagus bed in need of transplant. I have the Purple Jersey Knight(which I prefer also!),and Martha Washington type. I plan on dividing a little later in the year . TOO many projects ,too little time. My patch is 8 years old ,& needs some TLC. Like you I love it when the asparagus bed shoots those tasty morsels up in the Spring.

  • Reply
    aw griff
    June 5, 2020 at 8:28 am

    No. I’ve never raised asparagus but did try this year. I believe the crowns were dead when I got them.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    June 5, 2020 at 8:25 am

    Never grown asparagus. I had some here when we first arrived but too little really to be useful. It faded out probably because I mowed it by mistake. I am so jealous of the little room I have that I don’t give space to things we would not eat much.

    I would, however, grow asparagus just for pretty. I think it is a beautiful plant all the time it is above ground. The filmy jade green foliage is so delicate, much like fennel. And some of it at least ages to a nice golden color. Finally, the red fruits are pretty in themselves but even more so in their setting of foliage.

    I remember the first asparagus plant I ever saw. It was at a fence corner at a neighbor of my Grandmother’s place. It was many years before I ever found out what it was. When I see asparagus now I am reminded of that first one.

  • Reply
    PinnacleCreek
    June 5, 2020 at 8:16 am

    I am continuously amazed at your talents and patience, Tipper. Yes, your patience, because I have tried to grow both rhubarb and asparagus, but they do not give instant gratification for sure. I have tried both from seed and rhubarb from roots purchased at Lowes. Maybe its the old adage that “a watched pot never boils.” They don’t come up first year, and rhubarb cannot be eaten first year, so weeds seem to love these little patches and take over. I have a wonderful garlic, walking onion, and ramp patch that comes up yearly, but that is about it. You always have such a variety of subjects that I am continually a fan of your blog after all these years.

  • Reply
    Margie Goldstein
    June 5, 2020 at 7:32 am

    Here in Bluefield, WV asparagus grows easily as well as wild. Although I admire your ambition, I personally don’t care for asparagus so my motto is “ spare me the asparagus!” It’s slimy like okra in my opinion and the taste has a twang I don’t care for. All that said, it’s very healthy and many people love asparagus. I think your garden and beds are lovely with what I know is hard work and much sweat. Any City Slicker who thinks “ who needs farms? I get my food at the grocery store! “ has obviously never worked by the sweat of their brow. But they need to experience exactly what all it takes to grow food and it’s far from simple or easy. Every bug and critter has a fondness for garden food. It’s a fight to the finish.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    June 5, 2020 at 6:39 am

    I love asparagus and I planted the roots you gave me a couple of weeks ago. We’ll see if they will grow at my house.
    I couldn’t help noticing the little photo of your June 7, 2008 post. It a picture of your front yard then with a big pile of mulch. That spot is now full of cattle panels and beans! It’s a really big change from your front yard now!

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