Thursday, 27 June 2013

Sparrows' Grass

Today I planted a vegetable that I have been wanting to grow for ages. As a child I new it as Sparrows' Grass, but sensible adults would call it asparagus or heaven in a stalk.

I planted crowns - 5 of them, and bizarre looking things they are too - kind of like a spider with too many fleshy legs and with a bunch of brown buds in the middle.

Some crowns seem to have two sets of buds.

On two of the crowns there were actually baby white asparagus spears.

I prepared the bed well I think? It was a brand new bed  - one of the first I prepared in Fortress Wallaby my fenced vegetable plot.  It's been stewing for a few weeks now. Basically the bed was prepared by removing all the grass by digging carefully thru the soil and loading the bed  with different manurers - horse, cow, and sheep, all sourced from Highfield or the farm next door.  I also added some top soil from the property and finally today some less 'hot'  cow manure and some mushroom compost that I purchased.

I made some hills and trenches and laid the crowns over the hills, spreading the roots so they draped into the trenches.

Then I covered them up so that the top of the crown was covered with 10cms of soil. I planted them about 40cms apart.

I am not sure that I will be able to stop myself picking them for two years...apparently such restraint is required to ensure that the plants are strong.

Do you grow asparagus?  Did you plant seeds or crowns? How many crowns do you think is sufficient?


  1. Yay - asparagus! Such a delicious crop and so exciting to see bursting through the soil come spring. I have about 20 plants ranging from 3-4 to 1-2 years old, the older ones from crowns like you and the younger from seeds. I struggled to not crop the crowns for two years (I picked a couple of thick healthy looking spears in the second year, but don't tell anyone...) and they are growing great guns now. I would say the stems you let grow do need a bit of support, so if I had my time again I'd put in some wires or something to tie them too otherwise they can fall over and be a bit messy and annoying.

    1. Thanks for the containment tip! I cant wait to see them arise even if I must keep my harvesting knife away.

  2. Be strong - it's worth it to get vigorous crowns established. My boss made me dig out a beautiful established asparagus bed because there was no evidence that it was right for the date of the garden (joys of historical recreation). Haven't really forgiven her for that. After a couple of failed attempts to get crowns established in another garden I am growing some from seed. Have two trays of young plants at the moment - will post about how I get on.

    1. I will take your encouragement to keep my knife away. I will look forward to your post. I am getting the feeling that 5 crowns wont be enough.



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