Vegetable gardening is always a test of your patience. Waiting for your crops to make good with the produce is something the impatient can’t fathom.
All crops make you wait, but nothing makes you wait longer than asparagus.
Three years ago I came across two large (30cm) pots of wiry, sad looking asparagus at a local nursery and decided that I’d give asparagus a go.
The main problem with asparagus is that it takes three years before you can harvest it without causing too much damage, but once it starts, you’ll get thirty years or more out of this delicious vegetable.
Asparagus is a big eater and when you plant it for the first time, don’t be shy with the nutrients. First dig a trench about 75 cm deep, yes, 75cm. The roots love a lot of depth. In that trench, load up with ample manure be it cow, horse, sheep or old chook, the plant loves it.
Dig the manure through and then create a mound along the length of the trench. Remove any soil from the roots and hang the roots over the mound, like a poorly placed wig on a bald man. Then cover them over.
Now wait. In two years you can harvest a few, but be aware that the plant needs to grow and the leaves produce the energy needed for next years crop. When you do harvest, use a serrated knife and cut just below the surface of the soil.
Side dress with some blood and bone and during the harvest period give the plants a fortnightly feed with some liquid fertiliser.
Now some of you may experience a somewhat pungent odour when they urinate after eating asparagus, others may not. The reason why some smell it and others don’t is not in the wee, it’s in the nose. There are some people who don’t have the gene that lets them smell it, and aren’t they the lucky ones.