Asparagus

Need a little help here. What I want to do is make a long trough, above gro und, deep enough for asparagus to continue to grow for at least 10 years. D on't know a lot about the plant other than it taste good and is very good f or you. They say 2 years till the first harvest. So this is what I'm looking for:
1. Width and depth of the trough 1a.Material, i.e. what type of wood that will not be adverse to the plant
2. Soil composition, sand, clay, moss
3. Full drainage or little drainage
4. Fertilizer numbers, 1st in the beginning, then after the foliage development stalk numbers i.e.10-5-20
5. And if someone knows where to buy the best starter plants
Thank you in advance
Location: North Texas 30 mi from Oklahoma, north of Dallas
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reasonably good drainage, fairly high level of organic matter, sandy loam, spacing as recommended by package, i may plant a few inches deeper than the package recommends in an arid climate with hot summers and also make sure to top dress the area with more organic materials at the end of each season to help hold the soil moisture in and to keep the OM levels high.
there are new varieties available that have an earlier growing cycle, you may want to find some of these to add along with others to have an extended harvest.
songbird
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songbird wrote:

I still remember walking the fence lines and ditches on m y grandfather's farm in the spring picking Asparagus . Didn't like it then , and don't now . I tell my wife that I'll cook it for her if she'll cook liver for me ... she refuses ! I mean , just because it makes her nauseus ...
--
Snag



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On 1/28/2015 10:20 AM, Terry Coombs wrote:

I'm with you, will eat asparagus occasionally but have always liked liver, no matter what sort of critter it came out of. Hard to even find liver in the Houston area unless you can find a real butcher shop, which I just ran across one. Will be going back for liver soon. My wife likes asparagus and liver and pretty much will eat anything. As the middle child of five, two older brothers and two younger sisters, with the two boys being very large, she had to scrap for her food at the table.
Wife grew up in rural Maryland and picked wild asparagus along the creek side.
Back in the sixties, when we were a young married couple I bought all of our meat of any kind from a local butcher that I had grown up with. Also took the calves we raised to him for butchering and packaging. Hard to find those types of butchers anymore.
Discovered today that both of the grow light bulbs were defunct, just ordered a new one online. Getting close to seed starting time.
George
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George Shirley wrote:

I've already got san marzano tomatoes , basil and oregano sprouting . Tomorrow I'll be fabricating mounts and hanging my brandynew grow light fixture over the shelf the trays are on . Time to fill those half-TP-tubes with soil and get some marigolds started . And more herbs and a few bee-friendly varieties .
--
Snag



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On 1/28/2015 5:08 PM, Terry Coombs wrote:

We're adopting your TP roll philosophy Terry, cheaper than peat pots and we do run through a lot of toilet paper. <G> New grow light comes in Friday and we will be starting seeds on Saturday.
George
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George Shirley wrote:

George , this works so well it'll freak you out . By the time you need a bigger pot for the seedling , the roots are coming out the bottom and the lower 2/3rds of the tube have mostly decomposed . All ya gots down there is a big ol' root ball . I have a hundred 4" round plastic pots waiting ... and big bag of potting soil . BTW , don't let them go too long , you'll have a morass of intertwined roots down there , needing scissors to part them - DAMHIKT .
--
Snag



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On 1/28/2015 11:08 PM, Terry Coombs wrote:

We will probably be planting in ground in late February or early March, we're in USDA heat zone 8b so it won't be long.
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George Shirley wrote:

It'll be mid - April here . I planted last year on the 15th , same night we got our last frost . OOoopss .
--
Snag



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George Shirley wrote:

If you have not tried really fresh asparagus you don't know what you are missing, the best flavour is lost within hours. Supermarket asparagus is a poor substitute, canned is not food.
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David

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David Hare-Scott wrote:

You missed some attributions there , Dave . I don't know how much fresher it can get , from the farm to the table was like under a couple of hours . Not quite as good as slicing a still-sun-warm tomato onto your BLT , but pretty close . Besides , it makes my pee smell funny .
--
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On 1/28/2015 5:47 PM, David Hare-Scott wrote:

Have tried it fresh, actually grew some once for DW, still didn't like the taste of it. I guess there are just some things that I won't eat.
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wawwiz wrote:

Why a trough above ground? It has long roots and unless it can grow down into the soil you will restrict growth considerably unless your trough is enormous. If you must have a trough consider concrete blocks and galvanised iron walls. It should be deep, this isnt a lettuce. The area depends on how many plants you want to grow which depends on how much you like asparagus. I would say about a square metre (yard) per person if you like it but more if you really like it.
In any case make sure it is in full sun.
If you have never eaten it really fresh be prepared to be wowed and to increase the amount you expect to need.

Asparagus is not fussy about the heaviness of the soil but it is a heavy feeder so you will need plenty of manure and orgainc matter and to top it up annually with chicken manure or similar. Soils that are moderately heavy with some clay are easier to keep fertile than very sandy soils.

Not very fussy. I have it growing in a moderately heavy silt. You are not going to grow any vegetable well in very heavy (all clay) or very light (all sand) soil.

Not that fussy provided the soil is kept fertile.

It probably doesn't matter, go to the nearest place to you. This is an international forum so it is not a good place to get that kind of advice.
BTW starting from crowns is not obligatory, if you start from seed it will take a year longer to get into production but cost much less. Ask around if any friends or neighbours grow it, the chances are their garden has seedlings here and there, especially under shrubs. Small birds eat the berries and then poop around the garden sowing the seeds in little packets of fertilser. Seedlings transplant well at any time of year, full sized plants only when dormant crowns.
--
David

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On 1/28/2015 4:36 AM, wawwiz wrote:

Asparagus plants grow a new crown every year on top of the previous year's crown. So every year they are 1-2 inches closer to the top of the soil. I have planted them 18 inches deep, sometimes. They began to crown on top of the soil in about 10 years.
There is no reason for using a trough. Just dig a deep hole. Put in some compost and mound it up into a cone shape and put the plant crown over the cone of compost.
The like manure. Dress the top with a bunch every year and water it in.
Asparagus plants come in male and female. Only the female will have berries. They also make the nicest looking stems. Some of the male plants have weird shaped stems. They all taste the same.
You can also peel the older stems and they will cook just like the young tender ones.
Paul
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