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Potato planting question for farmerman

 
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 14 Nov, 2010 08:21 pm
@dyslexia,
We always harvest by breaking the stalk off. It will break at the beginning of the tender parts. They cut it off for market sales but you get the stringy white part that way. SO dys and I disagree here but its a personal choice not a hard rule.
0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Jan, 2011 05:36 pm
I'm going to try my hand at growing some asparagus in the garden this year. Having never done so before, and have never seen up close an asparagus plant growing in the ground. So, I have some questions.

The Park Seed catalog sells both seeds and root stock. I'm thinking about getting the root stock so we don't have to wait so many years for them to produce. It also says to plant the roots about 1.5 feet apart. My question is how many asparagus stalks are produced from each plant? Is it just one or two stalks like corn plants or do you get an abundant number of stalks from each plant?

One reason I'm asking is that they sell them in quantities of 10 and 20 roots and I'm trying to figure out how much the total annual yield will be from each before choosing the quantity. There's just two of us, but we both love asparagus and buy a couple bunches every time we go grocery shopping.

Also, do they really need to be spaced 1.5 feet apart or can you crowd them together a bit more and still get a good yield? How big does each plant get when mature? Do they multiply and need to be divided each year once mature?
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Jan, 2011 06:03 pm
@Butrflynet,
you can crowd em a bit and , after about a ywar, the sparagus will start sending up spears . You pick em when they are no thinner than a pencil. (In the beginning of the season, after about 4 years, they will produce heavily about 3 spears per day per plant (assume that you water and feed with horseshit or sheep **** compost) no carnivore or omnivore **** compost.
When you first picke em, they will be firly thick and, as the season progresses (YOU WILL GET TIRED OF ASPARAGUS) , or about 3 weeks, the spears will start getting thinner and thinner. I stop picking hwhen that pencil size is reached (If a couple of thick ones come up and a few pencil sized ones, leave the pencil sized ones go and pick the fatter ones). Soon they will all be thin and you stop picking for the year. Then I always side dress with some hay or manure and let em grow and bloom and do whatever it is they like doing.
Ive had an asparagus patch that we inherited with this farm and that was over 27 years ago and the previous owners said that they lived there 40 years and it was there when thye moved in. The secret was to go in with a tiller every 5 or so years and tear up the rooted crowns, then the plant sets out newer crowns like a forsythia bush.

I then planted 25 more bushes and that fed a family of four with enough to take to school or work and give em away to whoever wanted em. They can get like zucchini where people will see you coming with a big armfull of asparagus and they will cross the campus waay out in front so they dont have to meet up with you and take asparagus.

those 25 bushes were planted aboput 15 yers ago and they are all MALE bushes so they dont screw around getting ready and wssting time in the bathroom when you are late for dinner or you have an important engagement and she is all, like "Ill be down in 5 m inutes " and 20 minutes later youre still....... WAIT,, (deep breath , must only consider asparagus).
The male bushes dont produce the seeds and will start producing heavily after year 2. They are a bit more expensive , but they have a better return. They are hardier when planted and, they really set out fronds all summer. An asparagus is also a neat border plant with daisies or any procumbent plant like trailing mint or thyme. You can mix other veggies in there and they keep a nice habit all summer.

2 adults, = 10 asparagus will give you enough to eat fresh and also for freezing.

Now get going and order the fronds.
IF THEY COME WITH MOLDY BOTTOMS (fleshy roots) send them back because they rot easily in transit if they are not handled well.
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Jan, 2011 06:25 pm
@farmerman,
I was just coming back here to ask about the plant genders.

Park has a set of 20 Jersey roots that are all males and another set that is 20 of the Jersey roots and 20 of the Purple Passion roots (doesn't mention the genders).

At 3 spears per plant, per day, it sounds like the smaller set of just Jersey roots will be more than enough for us. I can always pickle or can any extras. That will give me 10 extra to kill off through trial and error before I get it right.

farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Jan, 2011 10:22 pm
@Butrflynet,
Jerseys are real good but Dont be very quick to pick the spears. Id only pick about 1 a day per plant for the first year (year after planting)and so on. Its not a hard rule but all these plants develop at different rates. The more you put into care during their planting year and the following year, the more they will produce thereafter. Asparagus arent tough to grow but dont overharvest in the initial years. Im not sure about the growing conditions you have wrt asparagus. (Some plants like rhubarb just wont grow where its too hot). I know that asparagus needs a series of hard frosts to stratify
My original bed was of the MArtha Washington cultivar that had been in gardens since the 1800's Its still producing like crazy . Ive never seen the purple version but I suppose they taste pretty much the same. Id read up on growing them in your area (you live in New Mexico right?).
There used to be a xeric plant store in Santa Fe near the square.
I used to buy pepper seeds there and they had all the other kinds of stuff you desert folks would try. I know that hot desert sandy soils chew through compost quickly so I dont know what to say except keep a horse or sheep nearby so you have an unending manure source.
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 Jan, 2011 11:23 pm
@farmerman,
Quote:
There used to be a xeric plant store in Santa Fe near the square.
I used to buy pepper seeds there and they had all the other kinds of stuff you desert folks would try. I know that hot desert sandy soils chew through compost quickly so I dont know what to say except keep a horse or sheep nearby so you have an unending manure source.


I think they're still there. Were they called Santa Fe Greenhouses and run by a David Salman? If so, he also have a mail order catalog and retail store called Highland Country Gardens. I frequent his store now that he has recently opened one in ABQ. Before that, I bought from his catalog. He's heavily into xeric gardening and does a lot of educational seminars and promotion around here.

http://www.santafegreenhouses.com/

http://www.highcountrygardens.com/


Park Seed says the Jersey variety does well in USDA zones 3 - 9. We're in 7 so it should do okay here.

Quote:
I know that hot desert sandy soils chew through compost quickly


Exactly. That's why we had three raised beds built that are 10' x 5' and 3' deep. It took 8 square yards of rich compost to fill them and we had so much left over that we added a bunch to the ground-level flower beds too. There is a big difference in the water retention in the areas where the compost was added.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Jan, 2011 05:29 am
@Butrflynet,
YEp, that was the place. Im glad that theres a web site cause I used to buy my SANDIA chiles from him. I wanted to get some fresh seed because after years of saving , my own version has been so interbred with other chiles and even tomatoes that the pepper isnt true anymore.

Remember only one thing about asparagus. IT IS A LONG LIVED PERENNIAL, so when you plan, remember to dedicate an entire area that you wont be using for anything else EVER.
The record for asaparagus age (I guess) has gotta be MONTICELLO where there are asparagus plants still from the days of Jefferson.He was quite a hands on planter and had brought in plants of what the colonials called "ASPARAGRASS".

You will be kept hopping with the plants feeding needs. You can just leave em go and the yield will be ok but not spectacular. They will aclimatize and become a big ferny plant that will stay with your house , so, like a swimming pool, asparagus takes some dedication to an alternate use of space.

HERES an article dfrom U Cal Daqvis about asparagus growing in the desrt (its geared to commercial growers but, GOOD NEWS, they act like its regular game strategy to grow the stuff in an irrigated envionment)/ ENJOY!


http://ucanr.org/freepubs/docs/7234.pdf
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Jan, 2011 08:40 pm
@farmerman,
Thanks. I saved that pdf to a file and will study it later this week.

Do you know if asparagus is incompatible with any other vegetables or garden plants? If asparagus is that permanent a fixture in the garden, perhaps it is better to space the plants farther apart so there is room between them to plant other things that require similar watering and feeding.



I browsed through David's catalog and it doesn't look like they carry the Sandia peppers or seeds anymore. They carry a few others.

If you're set on the Sandia's here's a site that has many of the New Mexico pepper sees. The Sandia is the very last one on the list.

http://www.chilepepperinstitute.org/cart/seeds/nmsu_varieties/
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 29 Jan, 2011 08:55 pm
@Butrflynet,
I know that basil, parsley, tomatoes, and strawberries are good companion plants for asparagus. Tomatoes need to be rotated around anyway so itd be good to plant some in between or among your asparagus. Ive known asparagus beds that were surrounded with relly lush strawberry plants. There is apparently something between them that is beneficial to both. (Ive never looked it up but I meant to when I had some time)
0 Replies
 
 

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