Sunday, 10 February 2013

Asparagus Gamble

In the spring of 2011 I bought 10 crowns of asparagus (if I remember rightly Connover's Colossal) from a well-known mail order company. They went into a weed-free and well-prepared bed and I was very much looking forward to eating lots of asparagus in a couple of years. Unfortunately, only six of the plants produced any growth in 2011. Anyway, we left them to get on with their business, hoping that they may do a little better in 2012. Come mid-April last year I visited my asparagus bed on a daily basis, peering closely at the ground hoping to see a beautiful green spear poking its head through the soil. Eventually, a couple did. In total just 3 plants produced some growth this time, throwing up just 1 or 2 spears each. I was a bit fed up.

I went shopping last week and paid a visit to Wilkinson's. They were selling asparagus crowns for £2.30 - much cheaper than the ones I bought by mail order. What's more, I could actually see that they were alive, as you can see below.


So, I decided to buy a packet, and much against the advice of everyone I spoke to, I have planted them. I know it's too early, and yes the frost will probably get them. But I thought it was worth a shot. I don't have too much to lose, and if they still have some healthy looking crowns in store come mid-March I will probably buy some more then. Anyway, in the ground they have gone. 


I have used a cloche to try and warm the soil around the crowns up a little and protect them from frost. If you look closely you can see the spears sticking out. After planting I read that this growth should be covered so now each is covered with soil. Will my gamble pay off? My Dad is pretty convinced that they are all going to die. I am trying to be hopeful!




10 comments:

  1. They may be ok with the protection you've given them. I think I'd have been on to the mail order company though, given that only three plants survived from your original ten. Good luck with them.

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    1. Thank you. I like to see what I'm buying now!

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  2. I don't grow it so can't offer any opinion as to how I think that they'll get on. Fingers crossed, Flighty xx

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  3. I planted five new crowns in my little plot last autumn. I shall see if any sprout this year. Several years ago I bought the packets & planted them. After three years we were able to pick them but only two of them had spears to pick. We still had enough for a couple of meals though.

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    1. I hope we both have success with our asparagus this year! This will be year 3 for my original plantings. I would be very happy if I got just a couple of spears to eat.

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  4. Will keep fingers crossed for you. Plants don't read the books so you never know until you've tried :)

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    1. Thank you! I agree, I find that the problem with books (and packets) is that they don't seem to have taken into account our changing seasons. I am thinking of sowing quite a few things a month or so early this year :)

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  5. Ooooh, spooky - my asparagus experience is virtually identical to yours. 10 crowns of Connover's Colossal (from a well known seed company) planted in 2011 and only 4 had survived last year. Good luck with your new crowns, I'm just about to move mine to a smaller bed and hope for the best!

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    1. I'm glad to hear that it's not just me that appears to be a harbinger of doom for asparagus crowns! Good luck with your new bed. I look forward to hearing how you get on :)

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