This year, as you may know, I am trying all kinds of new things in my garden this year. I decided that I would try asparagus and ordered a package from Gurney's a few months ago. What I got was not really what I expected as there was no picture aside from the little drawing of the spears. I have never done most of this stuff so this has all been a learning experience. But anyway, what came in the mail were these things that looked like aliens; long stringy roots that came from a central nodule that were kind of light tan in color.
The instructions said to plant them in an area that could stay where it was because asparagus is a perennial plant – that much I knew. It also said to dig a trench about 6 inches deep, plant them, and then mulch over. It said that they like loose soil so I added compost to the dirt, which is somewhat clay. I planted them next to one of the raised beds, digging the trench as they suggested (but probably not as deep as I should have) and then laying the roots out kind of alternating them so that the nodules were about 6 inches apart but the roots were touching. Since I didn’t have a whole lot of room, I wasn’t able to plant all of the guys that came, but I think I probably got about 8 or 9 of them in. I had heard that these things took time and that I would not be able to harvest for about 2 years. I had seen a miniature asparagus fern at flower show that even had teeny asparagus spears in the pot that were probably the size of a toothpick, so I knew what the foliage was like, and that was what I was expecting to see come up and had been monitoring the section of garden where they were planted since I put them in to see any activity. Of course a few weeks after I planted them, I saw a video on how to plant them and it said they like sandy soil, which is not what I put them in. My soil is somewhat clay like and even when I added compost when I planted these things it is not the sandy soil type they were talking about. After I saw the video I was tempted to dig the whole thing back up and add sand to the soil.
Lo and behold, yesterday when I went out there is a small, tiny asparagus spear was sticking up out of the ground about the height of my thumb and the thickness of a pencil! I rushed out to take a picture but if you don’t know exactly what you are looking at, you will not see it as it is somewhat camouflaged by the mulch at the base of the spear. I am so excited! So I guess I will leave things as they are and see what happens. I will be very happy if I get more of these spears. As I said, I thought one was not able to harvest until the second year so maybe what they sent there established plants, so I am going to have to ask around and see. It would be really great if I could get enough to eat this year.