planning for my asparagus shipment
I ordered 25 units of Jersey Supreme asparagus back in the depths of winter. They should be here any day now, so I checked on the planting instructions. Here is what Johnny's recommends:
CULTURE: Asparagus is a perennial vegetable that can thrive for 15 years or more. It likes a sunny or only partially shaded spot richly fertilized with compost or aged manure and limed to a pH of 7.0 or higher. Space plants or crowns 8" apart for slender spears to 14" apart for thick spears in a trench 6-8" below ground level. Space rows 3-5' apart. Keep free of weeds and irrigate. To fill trench, add soil 3 times during the first few weeks as the plants grow, ending with a slight mound to prevent puddles. Heavy hay, straw, or leaf mulch may be applied in mid-summer. The "ferns" that grow feed the roots; don't cut them back until they die naturally in the fall. Apply additional compost or aged manure each fall or early spring.
PLANTING CROWNS: Plant the crowns in furrows 6-8" deep and 3-5' apart. Recommended spacing within the row is 8" apart for slender spears and 14" apart for thick spears. Plant crown in early to mid-spring. Lay the roots flat in the trench and cover with 1-2" of soil. Fertilize with a high-phosphate starter fertilizer or abundant compost. As spears grow, gradually fill in the trench with soil.
HARVEST: The new bed will be ready for moderate harvest a year after planting, and full harvest every mid-late spring thereafter for many years. Harvest by bending spear until it snaps, or cut 1" below the soil.
So, at 10 inches apart, 25 crowns will require 250 inches = 21 ft of row. Rows should be 3 ft apart. I think I only have room for one 4 ft row (19 crowns) or two 3 ft rows (10 crowns). I'll measure the space tomorrow. My friend Elaine has some room for the extras.
I made a copy of the planting information from GROW for Elaine. It seems like a nice article.
asparagus (Asparagus officinalis)