Asparagus time in Tennessee!

Anyone else that grows asparagus been able to pick theirs yet? This week has been the first ones I’ve picked this year, and I’d forgotten just how much I love these things!!! For lunch I had nothing but a big plate of steamed spears lathered in butter (so much for healthy!) and sprinkled with shredded parmesan cheese. Such a simple dish, but as good as anything you’ll ever eat! I have several varieties, but I think my favorite are actually the “sweet purple”. Not because of the unique color, but they are sweeter and have less fiber (ie “stringiness”) and just an overall better taste, IMO. I also enjoy growing asparagus because they come in so early- by far the first fresh produce of the year at my place.

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Congratulations, cityman. Just the other day when I saw more spears popping up, I reluctantly told myself, “No more cutting spears for this year. Time to let them decorate the garden and grow stronger.” Mine are 3 or 4 years old and mostly the box store Mary Washington variety. How many crowns do you have planted?

Among the many garden duties screaming at me to get done, is filling in trenches. I planted another 25 crowns this year, all Pacific Purple, because the purples are my favorites, too. Also, they are supposed to be very vigorous and are supposed to be planted closer together. So, more crowns in less space. :smile: Now they all have their skinny first year spears stretched higher than I should have let them get before filling in.

I hope that’s just the first of many mouth watering spring lunches for you.

City.
Try asparagus sauted in butter w/scrabled eggs, s,p,and some garlic chives. Topped with some good super sharp cheddar. Mine is just poking through, need rain to start it going. Can’t wait!!!

Muddymess_8a- It sounds like you have a lot more asparagus than I do…but I’m about to change all that! ha. I only have about 20 crowns so far, but as I said, this is the first year I’ve really got to enjoy them, and they are so incredible that I’ve already purchased 25 more this year, just like you! And mostly Pacific Purple as well. The ones I have now are mostly Jerseys. I can tell you from limited personal experience that everything you said about pacific purple is true-based on the 6 I have. They produce a lot more per crown, and do so faster (even the first year they made some pretty good spears, and by 2ed year they were as big and more productive than my 3 yr old Jerseys. And they do seem to all come up closer together, so I think you could plant them closer. And so help me, believe it or not, they can grow almost inches in one day! No exaggerating. Yes, that’s almost an inch an hour…you would think you could watch them grow at that rate! And above all, they absolutely taste better. They are sweeter and just more tasty. And if all the recent news stories and Baker Creek’s home page are right about purple veggies being more healthy because of anthocyanin, then they may even be healthier? Whatever the case, I am going nuts over my fresh asparagus and encourage everyone to plant some. If you can wait 5-8 years for fruit trees, 3-4 years for asparagus is nothing-and well worth it!
Chikn - Believe it or not, I HAVE had asparagus and eggs and absolutely LOVE IT. I’ve always used store bought spears, and now that I am learning how much better home grown fresh ones are, I can’t wait to try it with them. Actually, what I’ve done that I really love is to make omelets with a few things (onions, mushrooms, peppers, cheddar cheese (which u also suggested) and LOTS of asparagus tips cut into smaller pieces. I also have free range chickens, which make tasty eggs. THe combination of those eggs and these spears will be incredible I’m sure. MMM…guess what’s for breakfast? :slight_smile: I think we have similar (good) taste!

Try some eggs with spicy sausage and asp. too. We always hand snap ours. It breaks where the fiber starts. Use a yellow chore glove on your picking hand to keep from getting asp. slivers and the resulting infections. Learned that the hard way!!

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You are just full of interesting information! I guess with 14 acres you would know a little something! I never heard of asparagus slivers, but I do break mine off so I need to watch out I guess…but with only about 25 crowns I’m not picking a fraction of the amount you did.

Our fingers would get so infected we could hardly pick. Very unpleasant!

I cut some the other day myself. I was at my property one weekend and no sign of them coming up. The following weekend I had a couple stalks that were almost 2 feet long. I cut the stalks that came up and they were delicious. I planted mine about 3 years ago and pretty much forgot about them. I need to get some more stalks and expand the bed now.

How is Pacific Purple Asparagus compared with Purple Passion Asparagus? Or are they the same. I have Purple Passion that are about 10 years old. They are great. I am in west central Georgia.

Very comparable, but the Pacific is supposed to be more vigorous.

City
1st good picking tonight. Got about 3lbs. Ate the same. Soooo Stuffed. Sooooo Good. 6 weeks of smelly pee. Wonder if that’s reclaimable? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
Chikn

Chikn- I think you and I would get along great! ha. Nice to see someone else who really enjoys stuffing themselves with asparagus. I just planted another 36 crowns and am probably not done yet! Not knowing anything about asparagus I only had about 20-25 planted before now, and as it turns out that hasn’t been nearly enough to keep me satisfied this year! I have been looking at countless recipes like we discussed before, but I cannot convince myself to “waste” a single spear on any dish other than my incredibly simple favorite (just steamed spears with butter and grated parmesan cheese). There just isn’t anything in the world that could be any better, so why take a chance with my (currently) limited supply on anything that couldn’t possibly be better!

Hey…quick Q…I’ve noticed several tiny, tiny little ferns in the area around my asparagus. They are about 1 inch tall or less and already ferned out (I never saw them as a spear if that is what they are)… I suspect these are actual seedlings from last year’s asparagus. My Q is: Can I just let these grow into asparagus? Will they eventually create their own crowns and spears? If so, why does everyone plant crowns and not seeds? If its just the time, how much faster are crowns than seeds? i.e. How long before these tiny ferns make eatable ferns? Obviously I’m attractive to the low price (free) of using these little seedlings as plants but would like to hear your thoughts on the matter. Thanks

I moved mine out of the garden by my peach tree. I divided one clump into twelve crowns. I planted them in a pile of horse manure with some cow manure too. I still have two plants along the side of my vegetable garden also. They have sprouts about six inches tall. It’s been getting dry here in Mich. Rain is coming tomorrow night and Monday. I love eating asparagus!

Here is my first batch of the spring - on the BBQ, drizzled with just a bit of oil and Vinegar.

We got our first picking yesterday. (near St. Paul). Mmmm…

It does my heart good to see I’m not only one that goes nuts over these things! Just like with fruit trees, I’m a relative newcomer to asparagus. And just like fruit, the homegrown ones are 1000 times better than store bought. I sure wish I’d known how incredible they were 3 years ago when I planted my 20 something crowns. Now, 3 years later, I am realizing that I don’t have nearly enough and have now planted many more!

Letsski, Those look fantastic!! A little fresh cracked pepper and I’ll be at your place :grinning:
city, I know what you mean about a truely loved recipe and a limited resource. I’ve been eating my own asparagus since ‘86. You’d better plant 2-300 more. A good Chinese chef can do miracles with the stuff also. A small mom n’ pop store will cook yours for you. Sooo good! Are you using a supermale hybrid variety? I would guess not. The supermales have no female flowers and no seed. One of the worst weeds in a commercial planting is seedling asp. They crowd the good varieties and usually never get to harvestable spear size as you have already observed.
Chikn.
Eatin’ 2-3lbs a night. Some old English fart wrote,“Asparagus gives my chamber pot perfume!”

I am just getting some sprouts. Oh man do those pictures make me hungry!

Chikn-
I have just been using the ones they sell at big box stores, so I suspect they are not supermale hybrids you referred to.
But I need some clarification…are you telling me that the seedling asparagus will never create “real” asparagus or are you saying they can just be so plentiful that they cause overcrowding. The reason I ask is that I have several seedlings coming up around my spears (obviously left from last year’s plants). I have been intentionally not removing those seedlings with the idea that I would let them get bigger and then move them to a less crowded area and use them to start new asparagus plants for future years. So…are you saying that will not work and I can only use crowns to start new plants? THanks.

I have asparagus and ramps up and picking right now.

Great combo, but I have to be careful with the ramps as I only planted 20 2years ago, and only about 1/3rd took. Appears to be some increase from last year, though.

Chills