On Mon, 26 Jul 2004 00:14:25 GMT, "Garland Grower"
Not until you've purchased your Asparagus Permit and had the planting
site inspected and certified. :-)
Asparagus is hardy all over the continental US.
I would suggest planting it in a raised bed, with some method of keeping
crab grass from getting into it. I had an 80 ft raised bed in Arkansas and
it did great until the grab grass took over. It didn't kill it out, but it
did make it look bad and robbed the nutrients from the asparagus.
I bordered mine with landscape timbers. two and three high. I should have
dug out the grass for 4 to 6 inches on either side of the bed and mixed up
some concrete and filled in those 4 to 6 inches. That way you can mow the
weeds away and the crab grass cant get in unless it goes under.
I would also have made it a little taller (4 to 6 inches tall doesn't keep
the grass out very well). Other than that we had a lot of good asparagus.
Get the hybrid that is all male and gets big. If you are going to go to all
that work, you might as well get the best you can.
It does great here in Fredericksburg so I imagine East Texas would be
better. Take no shortcuts on the planting do it by "the book". Which is,
dig a 18" w by 18"deep trench, lay out the roots, which will be a foot in
diameter or more, cover to the crown with mostly compost and gradually fill
in the trench with compost/dirt mixture as it grows. You better be sure to
have all bermuda grass within ten feet of killed before you start and keep
it out. Broadleaf weeds must be pulled or killed with salt water spray.
Yes-salt water. It will not hurt the asparagus. But don't overdo as it
will have to go somewhere. Lay out a soaker hose on it when trench is
filled, and keep the soil damp until it is well out of the normal soil
level.. Then you won't have to use it very much in East Texas I imagine.
You won't be able to put the soaker hose down after it is grown and filled
out. It will grow at least 6 ft high if done right. Don't harvest the
first year and just a little the second year. Harvest by cutting with a
sharp serrated knife an inch or two below the surface of the ground. Mow or
otherwise remove the dead tops after a couple hard freezes. Add a couple
inches or more of sawdust or compost every winter. Fertilize with high
Nitrogen every spring after it strarts growing.
I repeat-unless you have 2 feet of rich top soil already you will be wasting
your time if you shortcut this procedure.
It does great here near Seguin as well. However, I may have planted by the
book, but I sure don't maintain them by one. We mow the patch in the fall and
pick in the spring before the weeds reach any height. Any weeds that get too
high during harvest are removed by hand. Once the harvest is over, we let the
bed naturalize. We get far more than we need and we've had the bed for at least
10 years now.
Fritz von Herbenfeller wrote:
Naturalizing is fine once the asparagus is mature it makes so much shade
hardly anything but some bermuda grass and a few very persistant weeds will
grow under it. But here they will creep up to it and still rob moisture and
nutrients I fear. In the first year or two before growth was full I needed
to knock the weeds out to give the asparagus it's best shot.
On Mon, 26 Jul 2004 00:14:25 UTC, "Garland Grower"
If that means "hot, dry climate", I can only say that here I have wild
asparagus growing around the house, and it is very hard to fight. This is a
plant with stalks about 2mm in diameter, and its only use that I have found
is to be added to soups to give an asparagus flavor. Still, it IS asparagus,
and if it can thrive in this hot climate, in which rain falls (if at all)
for only three or four months a year, domesticated varieties will probably
succeed where you are.
I'm in the Dallas area and have had a wonderful asparagus bed for over 10
years until "they" came. Our beds are very deep (10-12 inches of compost)
and well fed. The heat is not the problem here. It's grasshoppers, We had
two consecutive years of relentless plague like infestations as a result of
mild winters. We lost 4 mature peach trees and two pear trees to the
grasshoppers not to mention the asparagus. They ate limbs as large as my
fingers off the trees. It hasn't been too bad the last couple of years, but
we helped the problem by incorporating chickens and guineas to the garden.
They love those hoppers! One thing I would encourage you to do is add
copious amounts of lava sand to your beds. Lava sand holds tremendous
amounts of moisture in the soil which means less watering in the heat of
July and August. The asparagus roots are amazingly resilient..they came
back and we fertilized them and cut no asparagus this year to invigorate the
root systems, so hopefully next year we will be able to harvest again.
Had the same problem with grasshoppers 2 and 3 years ago in Central Texas.
The asparagus did come back tho. Amazingly the first thing the grasshoppers
attacked was Bay Laurel. Devasted every leaf on some. But they all came
back too-in a year. Now I have Guineas to help keep the grasshopper
population bearable but they haven't been the problem this year as in the
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