Vanisle_BC
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Location: Port Alberni, B.C. Canada, Zone 7 (+?)

Repeat asparagus-roots question

Apologies for repeating myself; I've asked this question before but no response. Will asparagus tap(?) roots penetrate down through stony ground and hardpan? In the place I'd like to plant, the topsoil - about 12" - sits over a stony zone on top of "hardpan," i.e. a very fine, compacted orange-red silt; it's not really clay, can be broken up and shovelled but I think it's bottomless. :)

There's a reference here to asparagus roots going down 10 feet:

https://forums2.gardenweb.com/discussion ... ts-go-down

I'm wondering how determined they'd be to get there; or how healthy the plant might be if they couldn't.
"The greater part of what my neighbors call good I believe in my soul to be bad, and if I repent of anything, it is very likely to be my good behavior." H. D.Thoreau. (Me too.)

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jal_ut
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Re: Repeat asparagus-roots question

I would surely plant. With 12 inches of topsoil your plants will do good. I can't guess if the roots will go down in that underlying ground, but would not worry about it. How are we to know how deep our plant roots go? Truth be known, you and I the gardeners never see the soil below about 8 inches anyway. (Unless there happens to be a backhoe around digging a trench or pit for something? Or maybe we dig a hole to plant a post in?)

https://soilandhealth.org/wp-content/upl ... 37ch6.html
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

imafan26
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Re: Repeat asparagus-roots question

Does the area drain well. That is the most important thing. If water can get down so can the roots. Asparagus is a marginal plant that tolerates boggy conditions and is very salt tolerant. One of the few plants that can survive at the beach.

The old way to plant aparagus was to dig a trench 12-18 inches deep, amend the bottom with compost and fertilizer and plant the roots. the roots will grow upwards and then the trench is gradually filled in.

The new way is to to plant on a mound and keep mounding up.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

Vanisle_BC
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Location: Port Alberni, B.C. Canada, Zone 7 (+?)

Re: Repeat asparagus-roots question

imafan26 wrote:Does the area drain well. That is the most important thing. If water can get down so can the roots.
The upper, topsoil zone doesn't stay wet but I think the hardpan below it is fairly impervious. I think I may try growing half the plants in a raised bed although I'd rather have kept the space for other things.
"The greater part of what my neighbors call good I believe in my soul to be bad, and if I repent of anything, it is very likely to be my good behavior." H. D.Thoreau. (Me too.)

ButterflyLady29
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Location: central Ohio

Re: Repeat asparagus-roots question

When you have the soil out of your planting holes, stab down into the remaining layer with a heavy crowbar, spudbar, long screwdriver, or anything else that will penetrate through some of the compacted layer. Once several holes are opened up the roots can easily get down into that lower zone. It's also a great way to work out some frustration or practice your harpooning skills.

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