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Asparagus – LandGirl

More than just an aphrodisiac. Asparagus is expensive and unless it’s in season, has probably been flown to the supermarket from Peru.

H

ow much nicer to skip up the garden to harvest your own spears while your eggs are poaching gently on the stove…

IMG_3568 trug2IMG_0392 trench2

We had our first harvest last summer (delicious – naturally) but I have found the asparagus bed to be hard work. We did everything the books said: dug a trench, put in a bed of grit, mulched the bed with compost in the winter and sat back, prepared to wait three years for our first harvest.

We are growing two varieties: Millennium and Gijnlim. This is their fourth summer and while Millennium has grown stronger and more robust, three of the Gijnlim have died.

Rather than invest in crowns again, I decided to try growing them from seed. That requires a lot of patience because it takes them even longer to mature into strong enough plants to withstand cropping.  They need to photosynthesise in order to store the energy they need for the next season.

IMG_0977 seedlingsI sowed Arianne seeds and they all germinated! I potted them on and they grew quickly. They weren’t immune to the asparagus beetles so I kept a very close eye on them because they were so small. Later I planted them out in the bed with the “adults” because I thought they’d be better off there.  This summer  I won’t harvest any spears from them but let them grow tall into feathery fronds.

They have just started to poke their heads through. I’ll keep you posted!

 

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