Asparagus sprouting quickly

actually you can almost see it grow. What was just barely peeking through the ground Tuesday is now 10" high and will be picked tomorrow.
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Picked a few pounds - we ALL ate good tonight.
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Did you ever try mounding the soil up around the shoots as they do in Europe? Keeps them from getting green and makes for a different flavor.
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Didn't realize that but maybe we'll try it around a few plants.
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Srgnt Billko wrote:

below the soil level just as they start to break through. The white spears are very tender and tasty. They can be sauteed lightly in a pan with butter, or eaten raw just like a piece of celery. Wonderful texture and flavour. White asparagus is (or was) a delicacy of the region of southern Germany along the Rhine.
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I notice that you guys say "cut" the spears. We don't cut - we were taught to "break" them off and that would happen automatically at the correct point so the plants wouldn't be damaged. How do you determine the correct point when the are hilled up ? And how high should you mound up ?. I need to know more because all the spears from a given plant don't pop up at once - so when and how much ? What happens to the slower spears if the hilling is done based on the first spear ? We cover them with a few inches in the fall after growing season. Do they do that in Europe ?
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I never raised asparagus but I have taken it from wild plants. Here's an article I found about white asparagus. http://www.doityourself.com/stry/whiteasparagus White is common in most of Germany-maybe there are some folks from the old country in your area you could ask.
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Srgnt Billko wrote:

or 'twist'. I have always cut them.
While stationed in Germany in the late 1960s, we lived on the economy (ie: not in base married quarters). Our landlord grew white asparagus for market. In their garden, the rows were about four feet apart and each row was mounded about 18 inches high with the soil laying at the angle of repose. The mounds were smoothed on top and sides using a cement type trowel. Picking would occur twice a day - morning and late afternoon. They would walk the rows looking for cracks in the smoothed soil which indicated a spear about to break through. To cut the spears they used a cutting blade that was shaped like an inverted 'V' about 2 inches wide at the cutter and with a tang about 10 inches long. They would slip the cutter down the side of the spear and cut it about 6 or 8 inches below the soil level. After removing the stalk, the mound was then smoothed over in that spot.
Once the beds are established they are left mounded year round. As I recall, the stalks that were left to grow after the asparagus season was over were cut off slightly below mound level in late fall.
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Thanks - that gives me a better idea of how it works.
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I can recall that in England, they would blanch celery so that it would be white, it wasn't done with soil but a black wrapper placed around each plant so that it would not turn green on the stems. When my parents immigrated in the late 40s, they were disappointed that here in North America the growers allowed the celery stems to become green.
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I stacked dried leaves about 8 to 10 ins.high on some of my plants this year and have been cutting white asparagus for a couple of weeks now.I think that the idea is to not let the spears be exposed to sunlight,just like hilling potatoes. It is a lot less labor.
Cheers Monty in Michigan
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