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?
On Sat, 6 Mar 2010 10:26:57 -0500, White_Noise firstname.lastname@example.org (EVP MAN)
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
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!
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
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.
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.
Didn't you mention that you are in PA... the ground should still be
frozen, even if the temps rise to 50ºF 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 40ºF 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 29ºF here right now (7:30 AM), by noon it'll
be 40ºF, 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.
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.
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
My weather station says 42.3ºF 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 30ºF 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?
if you try to work wet clay you will end up with bricks. clay MUST be dry when
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 email@example.com (EVP MAN) wrote:
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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