You're on the right track thinking about it. What you plant is a crown and roots. The plant is perennial. You cut off shoots, but leave some to do their photosynthesis job over summer so they can feed and store energy back in the crown to be available to make more shoots the following year.
When you picked your large acreage of asparagus, did you pick all the tiny diameter spears and throw them on the ground to keep the field clean?
We used to only pick the stuff that was large enough to sell, leave the rest behind and mow the field clean every several weeks. This process seemed to stunt the growth some, but it was a lot easier on my back.
We picked daily until temps reached 80+, then twice a day. We took every thing out of the field as Chinese rest. would take our seconds and the little stuff we sold to florists or an Italian rest. for soup and garnish. I didn't want to leave the littles because asp beetles would hide and he & she in it.
Just when I thought I'd heard every euphamism there is for reproductive acts! That's a good one. :slightly_smiling:
I started with just 12 crowns and I've added about 30 new crowns every year for the past 3 years so I'm right around 100 plants now. Seems like a lot to some folks, nothing to others (Phil) but its about right for me. I wanted to let everyone know that a great source for asparagus is Tractor Supply LATE SEASON. The several types and mostly in 2 brands. One brand has tiny little crowns and roots that I've had poor to mixed success with. HOWEVER, they sell another brand that is Organic, and they are very healthy, quite large crowns and roots that I've had 100% success with. The reason I'm telling you all this is that if you keep your eye out, then sometime in late May (here- may differ by area) Tractor supply will mark those organic crowns down from $8.99 for a package of 6 down to $1.50 per package!!! They've done it 4 years in a row here. Its an amazing deal. And even though its very late for the proper planting time of early spring, I've had all of them come up and establish themselves quite well. Sadly, they won't qualify as organic anymore but if that is your thing then you get the added bonus of them being organic. For the rest of us, its just an incredible price, very handy to pick up, and they make great spear tips.
OH....I forgot why I came here.... this is a photo of 3 of my spears. I think many of you will find the one in the middle very interesting. A prize goes to the person who knows where the white asparagus comes from. :slightly_smiling:
It comes from under the ground, just like the others.
My guess would be that the white asparagus came from a place covered with a tub or other covering to keep out any light. It looks rather anemic. Give me the green or purple any day! I got 100 plants from a 2014 fall clearance at Jungs by mail order for something like 20c a plant, but I suspect it was a one-time deal.
Asperges d'Argenteuil (France) or Germany. Or your supermarket or your garden bed if you mounded the soil over your green asparagus and let them blanche underground.
Well I'll be darned, @northwoodswis4 , not only did you solve the riddle, but you went and slurred my beautiful creation! haha. Yes, I put metal paint cans over 2 plants just to test the white asparagus. Obviously I'm not much more excited about them than you are or I'd have created more. But what you may not know, and the reason I wanted to try a few, is that professional chefs and foodies claim that the white asparagus are much better to eat (not sure what they claim is better, but the most important thing is that the white ones sell for about 3 times the price of colored one! Apparently they are commercially grown by piling mulch on top of them and digging them out. Anyway, I just thought it was unusual and different. But I'm with you, NW4, other than as a novelty, I think I'll take the colored ones. Then again, I haven't tasted the whites, so maybe there really is a difference?
They don't blanche asparagus in France or Germany with just any asparagus, as they will be tough. The real white asparagus not from the supermarket are tougher than the green and purple. They are also stringier and a bit bitter. You really need the seeds of Argenteuil to make good white asparagus. They are short, only about six inches tall and fat. They are chubby stalks!
That is really interesting, thanks for that! I guess that's what I get from using the cooking channel as a resource, because they said the white asparagus were the same as others but were deprived of light, often by covering in mulch. They further claimed that by preventing photosynthesis from taking place, the white ones stay more tender and less bitter than colored ones. Sounded good when I heard it. ha
We sold regular and some white asparagus at the farmer's market in Chapel Hill, NC where many of my customers were well traveled PHDs. Some of these folks called the white asparagus Spargel and they always wanted the fat, large diameter asparagus. One of them explained that asparagus was often served as the main course in Europe in a common bowl and people picked the asparagus up with their fingers. Just about everyone else wanted the skinny pencil thin asparagus.
Spargel is German for asparagus. This is the white Argenteuil. Really good!
Sorta like me. The German white is really good
Blueberry, I always wanted the thick spears too. Less fiber, easier to cook, hold w/o wilting longer, and a lot less work to pick a pound.
Obi-wan, this one is strong in the smell of asparagus!
I didn't know thick spears were a thing until this year. It's my third year in ground so it's the first time I really paid alot of attention to the spears coming up. I am used to thick asparagus being barely thicker than a pen, and some of the stuff in my yard came up like a fat peppermint stick and melted like butter in the mouth. I am going to double the crowns this year.
I'm with you all the way, Ryan! I picked my first thick ones last year (3rd year in ground) and just like you, I was so impressed that I doubled my patch!
Looks like my asparagus is saying it's dead.
About ready to get out the fork and exhume.
Why do you think it's dead? Are you sure that it's just not time for it to appear there?