Asparagus: Seedlings v Crowns

I am happy to see this asparagus spear coming up:

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Mary Washington asparagus.

This spring I planted nine seedling asparagus plants (Fat Bastard and Purple), and three crowns (Mary Washington). All the seedling plants came up quite easily (well one died so I have a bare spot). But the Mary Washington was much later.

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Fat Bastard and Purple asparagus.

It’s possible I treated it so badly it delayed, and possibly killed one plant. Everything I read says not bother with bare root crowns, because you do not know if they have been kept damp or damaged. Which means they can either die or just not do very well. And of course I bought mine home and left them ages before planting. I tried diligently to keep them damp, but I know they would have dried out once or twice.

So I’m happy to see this spear. You can see how much thicker and taller it is than the seedling plants. I’m assuming the seedlings are one year old, and the crown is two-three years.

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Mary Washington spear in foreground. The seedling asparagus are the ferny plants in the row behind.

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Seedling asparagus.

There is one spear coming up from a second crown, so now it remains to be seen  if the third crown survives. I noticed today is was almost exposed at the surface with no shoots in sight. Not sure how that happened but I’m assuming it’s not a good sign. I’m also keen to see which plants are the better plants in the long run. And whether I planted them too closely. What does happen to them if you plant them too closely?

For those new to asparagus, you need to wait two-three years before harvesting your first spears, to give the crowns time to grow, but then you can get 20 years of harvests so it’s well worth the wait. So, along with fruit trees and rhubarb, another waiting game in the garden. Thank goodness for annuals.

I adore asparagus, and could eat it every day – grilled is my favourite way to eat it. So I’m while I wait for the asparagus to be harvestable I’m turning my mind to how I can incorporate asparagus into other areas of the garden with permanent plantings to make better use of space and to avoid having the unappealing bare beds over winter. Let me know your ideas on which trees and perennials asparagus would be a good companion for, I’d love to hear from you.

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2 thoughts on “Asparagus: Seedlings v Crowns

  1. Hmmm, I tend to find asparagus really likes it’s own space. I’ve had the seedlings (asparagus self seeds occasionally in my garden) come up in inter planted spaces, but they have never survived. I wonder if their spears are just too tasty to the bugs?

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  2. Pingback: Spring Harvest: Asparagus | bluetongue greenthumb

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