I'm Not A Happy Camper Today :(

I got out of bed this morning only to find an e-mail telling me my asparagus crowns were shipped to me. This is not good as I didn't expect them until mid April. The bed they will call home isn't even ready yet.....grrrrrrr!!! It's like now what do I do with the roots until I can plant them? HELP! Any suggestions or ideas?
Rich
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White_Noise snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (EVP MAN) wrote:

Fridge
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On Sat, 6 Mar 2010 10:26:57 -0500, White_Noise snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (EVP MAN) wrote:

I'd be prepping the bed as they are being shipped. Look for that first opportunity (not too wet, not frozen) to work the bed. In the meantime, they should keep for weeks if kept cool and dry, maybe in an unheated garage.
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On 3/6/10 7:46 AM, Phisherman wrote:

They are alive. Keep them cool, slightly MOIST, and dark. Check the packing. It too should be slightly moist.
You plant the crowns at the bottom of a 1 ft hole (deeper if the soil freezes in the winter). Put just about 2 inches of soil on top of the crown. As shoots appear, fill in the hole around them. Repeat until the shoots are above the level of the surrounding soil. DO NOT HARVEST during the first year.
I had a wonderful asparagus bed planted in back within my ornamentals. For over 30 years we had fresh asparagus for dinner 1-2 times a week for several weeks. In the summer, there would be a green cloud behind my flowers. Then, five years ago we had a severe rain storm and a generally wet winter with twice our normal rainfall (over 30 inches vs a usual 15). All my asparagus rotted in the ground. In their last season, however, the old plants fortunately left seeds. I'm hoping for a small crop this spring. At least the artichoke -- growing as an accent in the back lawn -- survived. YUM!
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David E. Ross
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Mine self-seed all the time. I have a cluster of seedlings in nearby beds and also under a number of shrubs well away from the asparagus bed where little birds roost.
David
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What I do when this sort of thing happens is to get some big polystyrene boxes (the sort that vegetables are shipped in) from the grocer. I punch a few hole in the bottom, add potting mix and put the plant's/rhizomes/roots into the potting mix. Sometimes they can stay there for up to a year. Some thrive, some don't but I''ve yet to have a fatality.
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They are calling for the next three days here to be in the low 50's so looks like I better get out and start digging. Hopefully I can at least remove the sod tomorrow which is the toughest part. Perhaps Monday I can then double dig the bed and ad the soil amendments on Tuesday and mound the bed up. Come Wed. they are calling for rain. I have 50' of bed to dig but for now I'll only concentrate on the area where the asparagus crowns will be planted. I still have a small patch of snow in the shaded part of my yard! I guess the only good part of all this is the fact that I won't sweat my butt off digging this time of year.
Rich
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White_Noise snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (EVP MAN) wrote:

Didn't you mention that you are in PA... the ground should still be frozen, even if the temps rise to 50F and stay there during the day it will be much colder at night, so your ground will remain frozen for more then two feet deep. You may, if you're lucky, get a shovel into like two inches of mud. Here in NY I still have a good two feet of snow on the ground. The ground is frozen solid except during the day when the temperature rises to 40F so in the few bare spots the soil gets a wee bit muddy. At night the temps drop into the 20s so the mud freezes up solid. It's 29F here right now (7:30 AM), by noon it'll be 40F, I wouldn't attempt to dig in the ground here until early May the earliest, even though the ground will have thawed it'll be very wet because it can't drain until fully thawed to the bottom of the frost line, it won't be nearly friable enough to dig/till... I'd just make a big mess. Have you gone out and tried to push a shovel into the ground, try it and report back.
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Yea, I live in central PA. I haven't tried it yet but I do know that several weeks ago we had a nice day and I went out and took some sod off. That went pretty well but the soil was wet. If I can just get all the sod off in the next three days it will help me out a lot. At least I can flip the sod upside down and give it time for the grass roots to die off until the soil is dry enough to work in the bed. If I do about 17' each day for the next three days, I'll have all the sod off. That's the part I really hate and removing the sod does dig easier when the ground isn't so dry and hard. It's just about 9 am here now and the temp is up to 40. In about an hour I'll go out and give it a go.
Rich
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Your right! I went out in the yard and it's a no go :( Ground is froze here also and it would not work out very well. Will just have to store the crowns in the fridge and hope for the best. .......... Rich
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White_Noise snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (EVP MAN) wrote:

    LOL! Holy Cow: I've just realized the significance of the appellation. "White Noise", indeed ;-) Nicely done.
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White_Noise snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (EVP MAN) wrote:

I coulda told you that. LOL
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White_Noise snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (EVP MAN) wrote:

My weather station says 42.3F here now but the ground is still mostly covered with snow and even the bare spots will be frozen and saturated... the temperature will drop below 30F as the sun sets. Also this time of year the critters are extra hungry, even squirrels will dig up your plantings... you really ought to lay chicken wire over any you plant. Report back on your attempt at digging. I have reflective marker stakes in the ground along my driveway to guide plowing, there is no way I can pull them out until the ground thaws at least 12" deep. I don't till my vegetable garden until after Mother's Day, any sooner it's too wet... and I don't put in tender plants until after Memorial Day... too many times I became impatient and lost most everything to a surprise frost. Your plants will be further ahead planted later ratehr than planted early and suffering set backs from cold. Asparagus naturally survive freezing but do not do well with constant shifts in temperature before actually established. Were it me I'd put the asparagus crowns in the fridge where they're kept at a constant temperature and wait at least a month or until you are certain all chance of frost has passed... geeze, it's only early March, you can still get hard freezes and snow storms in central PA well into April. The company you ordered from shipped early probably because as with lots of businesses cash is in short supply, the economy sucks. I'm sure there will be literature in the package telling how to maintain the crowns and when to plant... why didn't you contact the company?
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if you try to work wet clay you will end up with bricks. clay MUST be dry when you work it. do not count on that sod "dying". the grass will but not the weeds. Ingrid
On Sun, 7 Mar 2010 08:41:04 -0500, White_Noise snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (EVP MAN) wrote: At least

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Somewhere between zone 5 and 6 tucked along the shore of Lake Michigan on the council grounds of the Fox, Mascouten, Potawatomi, and Winnebago
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