Six On Saturday: How does your asparagus grow?

It has been a very cold week here with heavy frosts and snow on Thursday evening. February has arrived and plans for the year to come are gathering pace.  Seeds have been delivered and also, unexpectedly, asparagus crowns.

One

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I ordered them on the understanding that despatch would be in February for planting out in March.  They arrived a few days ago during the coldest spell of the winter.  Much as I prefer to stay in the warm at these times I did plant out 125 snowdrops on a very sleety day in February a few years ago, I have form for gardening in the winter.  This time I feel misled.  I registered my concerns with the supplier who assures me that the majority of UK asparagus can now be planted any time over winter when the ground is not frozen.  But my ground is frozen.  I am therefore advised to store them temporarily with a covering of dry sand or compost which stops them drying out completely.  This I have done.  I now have my fingers very much crossed.  Wish me luck.  The supplier will be updating their website and I could be digging trenches this weekend.

 

Two

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As February has arrived I feel it is time to show a snow drop or two.  As mentioned, I did have fun planting these!  I planted them at the base of the fruit trees in the garden.  One hundred and twenty five snowdrops do not go very far but they do take a long time to plant.  I was hoping they would naturalise and spread themselves out into the empty spaces, but it looks as though that is going to take some time and I am sure that if I count them up I would be noting some as AWOL. Having said that they do look good in the snow.

Three

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A view of one section of the soft fruit beds in the snow and more evidence of winter gardening madness.  Last weekend I decided it was time to cut back the autumn fruiting raspberries.  It was a sunny morning and I was lured outside.  I failed to factor in the wind chill – it was freezing but I pushed on.  Once the secateurs were in action it was hard not to stop and the gooseberries also got some attention.  They succumbed to a sawfly attack last year so I focused on opening up the middle of each bush.   I still have the blackcurrants to do, they are budding up already.

Four

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Whilst stowing the asparagus crowns in the greenhouse I checked in on the overwintering pelagoniums.  They seem to be looking okay.  This is the first time I’ve tried overwintering and the gardening fingers are crossed for them too.

Five

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The delightful builder was very industrious when he visited recently and used up the wood left over from facing the breeze block walls of a raised bed to spruce up the large water storage tank.  I’d always thought it was an ugly thing but it was functional.  However I had coffee with my neighbour recently and realised she had a perfect sight line from her window direct to the water tank.  It was not a pretty sight.   I am pleased the left over wood got used up and perhaps the Euonymus fortunei ‘Emerald Gaiety’ that is hiding under the snow will be more inclined to creep up the sides now.

Six

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Lastly some variegated box capped with snow.  Plain and simple.  It forms one end of a hedge line separating the garden from the veg plot.

Interesting times these, for the SOS crowd.  What is going on in their gardens or in their gardening minds?  Mr P’s site will have all the answers.  It may be February but there will be much to discover.  Share your experiences too – here’s a participant guide.

 

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21 thoughts on “Six On Saturday: How does your asparagus grow?

  1. You did well to plant lots of snowdrops … if you’re like me, you will have losses. I planted around 15 bulbs 2 years ago, I have only one flowered … maybe a lack of water last summer?.So, I’ll have to renew them. Pretty wooden structure around your water tanks

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  2. Asparagus is such a mystery to me. I have not tried to grow it in the home garden because the soil is rather dense and rocky there. However, there are a few old plants in neighbors’ gardens that survive from a time when they grew them as a vegetable crop many years ago. I know it is possible, but have not tried it there. Those at work in the sandy soil are actually not doing as well as those in the bad soil. I did not plant them either, but since they are there, I suppose I should tend to them.
    My currants were new to me last year. we have natives that are not very good, so I planted cultivars that are developed for fruit production.

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      • Ha! Now I am compelled to do so. The asparagus are there, and really should be tended to. (They should be relocated into a contained patch though.) I am not worried about the currants. They are just getting started, but seem to be taking to their situation quite naturally. When I was in college, we got a very special ‘asparagus’. It was actually the floral shoot of the native (Hespero)Yucca whipplei. Instead of cooking a bunch of narrow asparagus shoots, we cooked just one fat yucca shoot. It looked just like a really big asparagus shoot, and tasted just like asparagus. The only other difference was that it needed to be peeled to be eaten. We sliced it up into patties, and cut the outside off.

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      • I just had to google that one. It’s an impressive plant. The Wikipedia entry led me to a note on xeriscaping which I had not heard of before but it sounds like something you would be aiming for wherever possible. Can my brain expand enough to hold all this new information!!

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      • It is the sort of plant that is difficult to use in a landscape, and disliked when it creeps in, but is impressive in the wild. I lived with it for five years while in college, and did not like it much; but I miss it now.

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  3. My asparagus bed is going to seed at the moment. As it’s not very old, there wasn’t much of a crop during Spring, but I’m hoping for more this year. It takes a few years to be strong enough to provide a decent crop. It’s just about my favourite vegetable.

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  4. I dislike winter gardening too, but I also ordered some plants that I thought wouldn’t arrive until the end of February but which arrived last weekend when it was pouring down! Fortunately the sun shone on Wednesday and I was able to get outside and not only plant, but also weed and clear. Too much all at once!! My muscles were screaming! I planted 100 snowdrops last Feb in the green, but not much happening. Do they take a few years to establish? Or do they have a tendency to go MIA?
    Enjoy the asparagus, I have never tried growing it, but I do like eating it 🙂

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    • The first year of the snowdrops seemed okay but I definitely have fewer this year. I think I may have lost them in the hot summer when my watering was not completely thorough. Some of them are still at the just pushing through stage so it may look fuller in another week. But there is one corner where only or two are showing through and I know I planted about 15! I am dreading planting out the asparagus – trenches have to be dug -I will need to limber up! Rain forecast for much of the week here so it will be heavy soil 😦

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  5. My fingers are tingling just thinking about you planting out all those snowdrops! I’m glad you did, they look wonderful. You have a very clever builder, your water tank looks great. Now I’m thinking “a few hooks and eyes and some wire and you could grow something up it”. Good luck with the asparagus, hope the ground thaws soon. 🙂

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