We love asparagus and eat quite a lot of it, but let’s be honest – the season is very short and asparagus is best served fresh from the garden, so when we buy it from the supermarket we know it’s not at its best, and it’s probably been flown in from some far-flung location!
So when we designed our vegetable garden it made sense to dedicate one of the raised beds to asparagus, so we could cut it and eat it within minutes, enjoying this delicacy at its finest!
It’s not something we’d ever grown before and after researching we learned that it needed very well draining soil, so we added a bag of horticultural grit to the compost before we planted the crowns on ridges of compost wth the roots laid over them. We planted two varieties, a traditional green and a more exciting red variety!
We also learned that asparagus shouldn’t be harvested in the first year and only 1 picking in the second year so we knew it would be a long term investment, and hopefully well worth the wait!
The crowns were eagerly planted in spring 2013. Fast forward to this week, May 2016, and it’s fair to say we haven’t seen a single spear emerge from the ground this year. Last year we managed to rustle up about 4 very spindly, pathetic spears. So after much discussion, we decided to give up on the whole enterprise!
Although we’ve got 12 raised beds, space is precious to us when we want to grow so much of our own produce, and we weren’t prepared to sacrifice a whole bed for another year when it clearly wasn’t up to scratch. So we reluctantly turned the raised bed over, and in doing so, unearthed some very rotten, definitely dead, asparagus crowns.
There hasn’t been much we’ve given up on in our 10 years + of vegetable gardening, but unfortunately for now, asparagus has beaten us!
Has anyone had more success than us at growing this challenging vegetable?
We’d love to hear about it, for when we decide to attempt it again!