Hi! Last spring I started veg gardening, including a raised bed of asparagus. I understood that I wouldn't harvest it to eat in the first year, or maybe two. I just read definitely not the first two - wait for third year. Here's my question: I already have really tall (even starting to fern) but very skinny stalks. I'm in the Washington, DC area and we've had a pretty cold winter and spring, so it caught me off guard to already see it up and so tall. Is this a good sign? A bad sign that it's still just as skinny as last year? Right on track, to hopefully give me a few weeks of good harvest next year?
Also, I planted about 24 crowns last year and there were about 7 that didn't make it so I've purchased 10 more crowns this spring that I plan to put into the empty spots as soon as I can make the time to get out there. Any problems with this plan, or advice for adding in? I figure if the bed goes for ~20 years, some of them playing one year of catch-up won't be so bad.
Finally, I planted them with about the spacing that I believe is recommended. I have a few extra crowns that I'm tempted to squeeze in. Is this a bad idea? Better to let each one have its full amount of space and just toss or give away a few extra crowns?
Thanks in advance for any advice and/or reassurances!