Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Asparagus Bed, oh where oh where should you be?

Wow sorry about the prior spelling error. I barely remember writing this but I guess that's what happens when you can't sleep and decide to blog at 4 am. Monday I was talking with Johnpaul McGreal, a professional horticulturist here in Peoria, about interplanting my Asparagus between a line of Rose bushes and Russian Sage. He thought it might work.

Now of course I'm wondering about the soil composition. Since the idea of adding asparagus grew out of my interest in Front Yard Edible landscaping and also because Asparagus is a perennial I've been really struggling with where to put it.  And it would be easier if the bed wasn't already planted to prep it in fall and such because this bed is already made of course but it's not "finished". I need to go ahead an edge around it. Then I was going to add a bunch of chopped leaves as mulch but then I was going to top it all off with pine mulch.

But now that I'm thinking about the Asparagus "trough" I was also going to add mushroom compost with the clay I dug out and add it back. Plus to make things even weirder I have both crowns (yes I'm late planting because I just couldn't decide where so may not be good anymore) and I have 6 1 year plants in pots I bought at Farm and Fleet. And no one talks about buying asparagus "plants" just seeds vs. crowns. But when I saw them already growing I thought wow maybe I could get a bed somewhat in this year after all. But I'm fully aware it could be my 3rd Asparagus bed failure. I'm ok with that.

My thinking on where to put Asparagus.
Originally I was thinking there was more room between the roses and Russian sage and there may be I'll have to shoot another picture later this morning when sun up to see if it's just the angle is confusing.

Current look of that bed

From another angle still doesn't show spacing well

Close up of the double knock out roses
Prior bed was in my "proper edible garden" came up first year with lovely fronds in a raised bed. Second year only a few came up again. I think however it was my fault because I misunderstood some directions I was following about when to chop down the fronds and didn't wait till they were full dead/brown. I just though come fall I was to cut back and compost. Now that I know more I realize the energy from the fronds probably needed to be returned to the roots. BUT it also could have been another problem entirely.
First Year

Last year or Second Year

So anyone have any ideas?