Ask and ye shall receive. We had a warm weekend here and like magic, my asparagus are popping up everywhere! What a welcomed sight. Everyone (that mean you too, @speedster1) should grow asparagus. It is absolutely the lowest maintenance thing you can grow (unless you grow it by the acre like @Chikn used to!). Granted, it takes 3 years to get really good spears, but all you have to do is burry the crowns, cover with dirt, and put down a little mulch over the whole thing once or twice a year. As for weeds, I actually just spray round-up right on top of my whole bed in spring after weeds start growing but before spears pop up. This leaves a clean, weed free bed for almost the whole harvest season, and by the time the weeds start getting big again its time to stop picking, and the asparagus ferns actually pretty much out-compete and shade the weeds. Plus, the woody stocks of the mature ferns can take a decent amount of round up without harm (a little like small trees) so I sometimes apply round-up slowly and somewhat carefully to the areas between the ferns where weeds are once or twice more in the summer. I know that may be too much non-organic sprays for some of you and I respect that…but for me its a simple way to maintain my large bed. But again, I think you could get by with nothing but adding some much occasionally and maybe pulling the worst of the weeds a time or two per summer.
Another major reason I advocate asparagus is that they are far, far and away the first thing I get to eat out of my garden each year. There is something really fun about getting to eat something so incredible from my garden in March and April. And without all the work of trying to grow indoors or protect from frost. Just plant, wait, and enjoy.
Today for lunch I had oven grilled asparagus with butter and grated parmesan cheese, all with a couple farm fresh eggs cooked enough to get the whites done but leave the yellow runny enough that it mixes with the butter and parm cheese and coats the spears like a sauce. Took 5 minutes and tastes like it came from the finest restaurant on earth. Sometimes simple really is better!