In a previous article I shared details on how to properly prepare the soil for an asparagus bed.
The first picture is from last year. It was taken 3 weeks after I had panted the new crowns. This second shot also from last year when the fronds had grown to about 4 feet tall by 4 months after planting the crowns.
Today, I had an opportunity to snap some pics of both asparagus beds. This is a little more than 1 year since the beds were prepared and the both crowns and seed crop were planted. The picture below shows the healthy spears shooting straight up through the rich soil.
The spears break the surface white. Then, they turn to purple and finally to green. As much as these spears look tempting to eat, I will be patient and wait to cut the first harvest next spring. Waiting for a two full years for these plants to mature will pay benefits in the future. By not harvesting I am permitting the root system to dig down deep. Remember that asparagus roots can go down 12 – 15 feet deep. Waiting to harvest the first crop until next year will show benefits over the long term.
While the crowns look robust, the heirloom variety from Europe is still a little frail by comparison. They could easily be mistaken for grass or a weed. Speaking of weeds, asparagus does best in a bed free of weeds and well watered. I transplanted these small plants from a temporary location over the winter. They now reside in their permanent bed.
I will wait to for two or three years before harvesting from these plants. However, because this is an interesting heirloom variety I have the option to trade it with another gardener. If I find an interested party, I can just thin rootstock from the healthy 2 year old plants.