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Asparagus again

I have been here before, Asparagus is one of my many failings, 3 years ago I planted 12 crowns, I think only 1 survived and that is in a patch where I usually grow squash, I have actually forgotten about it, last year after some advice on GW I prepared a lovely area where the soil is well-draining, I purchased 2 varieties of Asparagus (please don't ask the names) I planted  20 crowns, and they are bloody expensive, I kept a close watch on what was happening, and in a month or so some shoots began to show, I weeded the area by hand, the ferns grew about 80cm tall. We had a very dry summer, so I watered them well, the end of the season soon came, and some of the ferns turned brown and looked dead, I think I might still have 10 ferns that are green, my question is should I cut these back? is there anything else I need to do with what is left? I did quite by accident up-root a crown, and it looked dead, just like a spider and it was wet and soggy, any advice is welcome.


  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 22,619
    Yes, cut the ferns back and the plants will rest until spring.
    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • @pclark42 Planting 20 crowns. Wow.
    When we moved into our home in 1987 we did plant some crowns. We had success for some years and then....nothing.
    After some years we tried again in a different area with a very sandy soil. They again did ok for a couple of years but not worth the space. We now have what we call our rogue plant as it has developed totally away from the orginally plants and we have had better cropping than ever.
  • pclark42pclark42 Posts: 183
    Is your rogue plant in sandy soil, I think my soil is too heavy and damp during winter
  • bertrand-mabelbertrand-mabel Posts: 2,527
    @pclark42 No the rogue plant is in clay soil which has had our home made compost on top each year for some time but no sand. At the moment though no signs of growth which is unusual. We didn't harvest all the stems last year so there should have been enough to put food back into the plant. We wait and see.
  • Asparagus does need moisture but is not at all happy with wet feet. If you have heavy soil it may be easier to keep it growing in a raised bed which also incorporates plenty of organic matter to keep it open and airy.  We have light soil but still grow asparagus in a raised bed (about one sleeper high only) because of occasional winter flooding.  With a compost or manure mulch for feeding every year we get a really heavy crop now that the plants are well-established and it is well worth growing when you consider the price in the supermarket. We have had beds that lasted 20 years or more so the initial cost of the plants is soon recouped.
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