Brisbane Local Food

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What is the best way to grow asparagus so i doesnt become a nuisance -We have been given an old bath and plan on planting asparagus in it - - will it be too wet in a bath made like a wicking bed? about 5cm of rubble where the water will stay ) then drain holes and about 6 ins soil on top ? and does anyone have any pieces available....Please

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Sometimes you can buy 2yo crowns from Green Harvest other than that, buy a packet of seeds or buy seedlings at a nursery. Generally a whole crown is dug up and transplanted although I suppose you could chop off some bits but not tried that. When it's dormant over winter would be the time.

Nuisance ... do you mean by seeding? If so then cut off the part of the frond with the flowers - chop and drop anyway once the season is over. Plants look a tad untidy but it saves a lot of foraging for those little red seed 'pods'.

Mine are in wicking bins. Never use gravel, too heavy to haul and doesn't wick water nearly as well as el cheepo potting mix or any number of other substances; sand is not so efficient either and it's heavy too.

Six inches of growing media for the plants is not enough by at least half. The root systems with Asparagus are extensive. See a pic here.

wow thanks for the info Elaine - so helpful and informative as usual ! will look for seeds -we bought a house once and the asparagus had gone wild and it took ages to get rid of it - so prickly and small tubers everywhere ! which is why i am wary of it ! 

Ah but that is not the edible Asparagus! That stuff comes with a curse ;-) it is related but the much tamer edible Asparagus does not have prickles nor those little tuber-thingies which grow on the smell of a rain drop.

You can sometimes buy seeds and seedlings on eBay too but the prices are total rip-offs. I have Connovers Colossal (heritage from seed) a cultivar seedlings from Bunnings, purple seedlings from Diggers and Mary Washington (the commonest variety) from a ripoff merchant on eBay. All are doing well so whatever variety you can get should do well for you. Recently GH had purple seedlings but I missed out on those. Seedlings or crowns will get you picking about 1 year sooner.

Interested to see how you go with it growing in a tub Mary Ann. I suspect it needs richer, looser soil than I gave my clump....which still produced some lovely asparagus.

yes we have been advised by several people it should work but it will need at least 30cm of soil and less wicking in the bottom - have filled the bath with old cow manure decomposed hay and our own home made soil ( 1 part sand 2 parts loam 1 part clay and 2 parts compost ) a couple of bags of potting mix and will add the bed to the weekly cow poo tea regime ! sent for seeds so the bed will have several weeks to further decompose and enrich ! hope it wont be too late to plant out when the seeds sprout! only two varieties available from the seed collection !

Mary-Ann, I found that 60L was hardly enough space for 1 plant. So you won't be growing many plants in that tub. Work it out now coz moving the plants sets them back even if you move them in winter. Or get more tubs ;-) using the first one to rear the seedlings, transplanting them when a year old.

I have 6 mature plants and another 8 coming on in various stages. Six plants gives us a spear a week per plant and I harvest differently to the professionals. I wait until the spears are a foot to two feet high then run up the stem from the bottom bending as I go and snap when it's easy to do so. That way I avoid having the hard bits as you get often from the commercial harvest - even the organic harvest gives inedible bits coz they harvest down into the soil. Then when I figure I've got all I can reasonably get this time - and you need to leave the plants enough greenery to make more food for the crown - I clear-fell chop and drop and add some Organic Xtra and leave them to rest for a while. That way I get 2 or 3 harvests per year.

The current harvest is enough for a small entree each per week. If you want to eat more Asparagus than that - and who can resist? - you'll need a lot more plants. The 14 I have, should we live so long, will be barely adequate for a decent meal each per week. Raw in salads or just nibbled is good as is lightly steamed with butter, Parmesan, salt and pepper. I don't do fancy Asparagus dishes, smothering in sauce is an insult to home-grown imho. 

I have grown asparagus in a non wicking bath for a few years. It grows well enough with a top up of horse manure each year. I take the spears at about 6 inches log and harvest them until about Christmas, then leave the growth to feed the plants for next years harvest. I really need about three times the plants for adequate harvests. I started mine with crowns from GH, I have Mary Washingtons and also two purple plants, which do not produce very well at all. Lots of water needed for these plants.


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