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rainbowgardener
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Re: Asparagus bed

skiingjeff wrote:RBG - just to clarify and be sure what we're doing. We have several old crowns we are harvesting and these new little ones. So even though I'm harvesting the bigger stalks still, let the little guys grow and fern and die out. Then when our year's harvest is done, cut down all the stalks (on the older crowns), fertilize, and let regrow into ferns???

It is just very confusing when you have old stuff and new stuff. :oops:

Thanks!
Not sure I'm following all that. But you want to leave the new little ones totally alone, let them develop into ferns, don't pick or cut any. The big ones you can harvest until they start getting skinnier or some places they would say until June. Then you leave them alone also and let them develop ferns. Then in the fall you cut down all the ferns, from old and new plants alike.

I think your confusion is in here: " Then when our year's harvest is done, cut down all the stalks (on the older crowns), fertilize and let regrow into ferns" The stalks are the ferns (or at least they become them). The little scales on the asparagus spears we eat open up into branches and leaves/ferns. So when you are done harvesting, then you quit cutting and let the remaining spears and the new ones that come up after that develop in to ferns.
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skiingjeff
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Re: Asparagus bed

I think I've got it! :) Thanks!

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Re: Asparagus bed

When asparagus seeds the volunteers pop up twenty feet away. Sometimes I dig them up when they are still young and move them over. The other thing to do is to pull out the female plants and keep only the males. The males will produce larger shoots because less energy is spent making seeds.
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skiingjeff
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Re: Asparagus bed

I gather you tell the male versus female because the females have the berries/seeds and the males do not. So when they go to fern, you pull up the ones with the seed pods/berries on them and leave the rest to die back??

I understood Martha Washington produces the seed pods but I guess it will produce both male and female plants? :roll:

Still learning a lot about these asparagus, but its worth it because they are so good! :)

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Lindsaylew82
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Re: Asparagus bed

If you have asparagus already established, ( we found a HUGE mass of them growing under a power line and asked the business owner if we could jack them... He said whatevs, and we dug em. On our 5th year in their home!) and they make seeds, how do you prepare them (the seeds) for growing next season? Fermentation? Mine are fleshy red. Like holly berries.

Also, even the next season seedlings will grow through cardboard and 6" mulch?
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Lindsaylew82
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Re: Asparagus bed

......also, ( sorry ) I've been thinking about interplanting strawberries with my asparagus. I read they're good companions several years ago... I can't seem to find that information now.

Y'all's impressions on companion planting with asparagus?
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skiingjeff
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Re: Asparagus bed

We didn't do anything with the seeds as they just dried on the plants as the ferns turned yellow and dropped on their own. So they were pretty much self seeding....

We are finding seedlings everywhere though!

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Lindsaylew82
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Re: Asparagus bed

I get at least 1 new teeny tiny fern every year, but they produce a good many berries, and I'd like to harvest them and plant them in a more controlled manner. 8)

I also think I need to dig up my crown(s) and spread them out, if there are more than one crown....I'm not really studied up on asparagus. :oops:

I get 4-10 spears nearly every other day, to every three days, from a 2x2 area. But that's how we found them and I literally just dug a whole the same size and plopped my asparagus plug in, put some chicken poop on em and mulched them.
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tomc
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Re: Asparagus bed

It is possible to grow out asparagus and cull the females.

All asparagus makes seed. Some do it more than others. What no seed house does is grow out asparagus and cull the females. To sell male only plants. If they do, crowns won't be a buck a piece...

Modern "Supermale" offerings simply make fewer seeds, and less often.

Old favorites like seedy Mary Washington remain a popular bird feeding station. they (birds) actively distribute seeds by feeding and self-grooming after feeding. which is why fence rows and utility lines are likely repositories of cast-off seed.
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skiingjeff
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Re: Asparagus bed

tomc wrote:It is possible to grow out asparagus and cull the females.

All asparagus makes seed. Some do it more than others. What no seed house does is grow out asparagus and cull the females. To sell male only plants. If they do, crowns won't be a buck a piece...
Will culling out the females on an existing bed harm the production by the remaining male plants?? Also if the male Martha type will make just as much seed as the female Martha type, are we really doing anything to avoid the seeding?? :?

It sounds like your better off just letting things go however they are to go naturally and if seedlings pop up where you don't want them, pull the little guys out and eat them! :mrgreen:

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Re: Asparagus bed

skiingjeff wrote:Will culling out the females on an existing bed harm the production by the remaining male plants?? Also if the male Martha type will make just as much seed as the female Martha type, are we really doing anything to avoid the seeding?? :?

It sounds like your better off just letting things go however they are to go naturally and if seedlings pop up where you don't want them, pull the little guys out and eat them! :mrgreen:
I would (and have) transplanted the volunteers. Because a five year old crown is huge, anything a human could transplant from root-tip to root-tip is a herculean labor. oh its possible to cut out a smallish disc from a mature crown, but you forstall spear harvest about as long as it takes for a volunteer to grow up.

For my lazy self, feeding beds liberally with mulch and manure, will getcha more-bigger harvest than taking out the girls.

The truck farmer who makes his living in the seat of a tractor might do better with supermale crowns. For me, I'd just transplant more volunteers as I needed them.
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