Sunday, April 10, 2011

Asper Grass

"Asper Grass" is what my mom used to call asparagus. I didn't know until I was researching asparagus that she wasn't just being funny, she was using the name that her people used. After I thought about it for a while, I remembered hearing my grandfather using the same term. I am supposing that it came from the old name for asparagus, Sparrow Grass.

When I planted my first asparagus 16 years ago
I lived on a city lot. I planted my asparagus knowing I would be digging it up to move with me. As luck would have it, we moved in the middle of winter and I could only dig up a few of the roots to take with me. It's just as well, since the place I planted them at our new house was, as it turned out, too wet and shady. They tried their best but dwindled and died within 2 years.

My third bed was a better attempt to correct my past mistakes but it turned out to still have just too much clay. The bed is still there but it has, on it's seventh year, not produced nearly the crop I was hoping for.

I am nothing if not persistent when it comes to growing things I desire to eat TONS of, and I have decided this year to add an asparagus bed to the Homestead infrastructure. With all the rock here and being at the top of a mountain I knew for sure that the drainage here was the best you could ask for.

To plant Asper Grass was no small decision. At least it wasn't when I made it. The way I knew to plant asparagus in the past was that you had to dig a 14" trench, fortify the soil months ahead, then plant the roots by slowly back filling the trench as they grew. Kind of the way you do with potatoes. Then, you weren't supposed to harvest spears for 2 or 3 years!

But if I know one thing for sure, it's that I don't know anything for sure when it comes to gardening. The science of growing things is constantly being revamped by those blessed grad students at Land Grant Universities, doing their Senior Theses'.

When I did a search for the latest science on planting and growing asparagus I came upon one such source of information and when I read it, I felt like a giant weight was lifted from my shovel.
According to the Ohio State University it is no longer necessary to dig a trench, or to plant them deeply and you are supposed to harvest the year after you plant them to increase their production for years to come!

Now that I am happy to do...

 Want to plant some? Read this first.

1 comment:

  1. Wow that was a lot of rocks that you dug out. I haven't seen my little asparagus plants pop out of the ground yet. I LOVE the stuff and can hardly wait until we get big shoots of them that I can harvest.


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