I bought a six pack of Asparagus crowns that were already growing. They are Mary Washington’s. There is much information on line about asparagus and how to plant but I decided to go against everyone’s advice and planted them in a pot. I just couldn’t commit to putting them in the ground in the flowerbed knowing that asparagus takes many years before they start producing good stalks so I am taking the risk! The last thing I want to do is put them in the ground and then have to dig them up if we ever move. I picked the biggest pot I had which was about 20inches across.
That was beginning of August 2010. I was out of town for a bit and my neighbour diligently watered all my green babies.
When I got back in Sept, the fern was so long it was hanging over the side of the pot. I was amazed – I had no idea of how asparagus grows….I thought maybe it started as a young plant as fern, then when it was mature, it would stop ferning out and instead grow out like stalks out of the dirt??! I have seen asparagus plot in my mums allotment garden in England and it looked like a lot of dirt with a couple of stalks of asparagus sticking out as if someone had just bought them from the store and stuck them in there upright. My asparagus fern started off upright, now it was growing and over flowing down the side of the pot like big bushy hair. Amazing!
This is a part of my process of learning where food comes from! I grew up growing tomatoes with my family in our tiny yard and thought every family as some point had tomato plants growing in their garden. But America is whole different country, my assumptions hailed from England. Over here life is very different and modern techniques of food production has lead people to really have no idea of where stuff comes from. Makes me think of the Jamie Oliver in America show where he quizzed a bunch of young kids what certain vegetables were and they couldn’t even name a potato. Yes, a real potato, not cut and fried, just plain old potato.
So back to my asparagus…
Little did I know that asparagus is just fern stalks that haven’t ‘ferned-out’.
This is first asparagus I have even grown! Check it out –
Now I can check that off my bucket list – home grown asparagus.Still a long way from a single meal worth of stalks or even enough to feed a 17lb fatty jackhuahua :) I can’t wait to harvest my first full size stalk. From what I read, this may take another year or two or maybe not. I have not found any real success stories about growing them in containers besides giant bath tub size containers. I doubt my landlord would appreciate and bathtub sized pot outside my apartment :)
Having said that, I did notice that roots were already poking out of the bottom of the pot by September. I repotted to a new even larger pot (I can measure if anyone is interested – just leave a message) and here are the most recent pics. I only picked one skinny stalk to try as I know the growth in the first few years builds up better and healthier harvest for future years. No wonder they need huge pots as a lot of the growth is underground. Hopefully repotting will be sufficient – next time, I may have to split my six crowns up so instead of two big pots. Although this seems like a bit of waste of space as they’re not the best looking plants PLUS I am running very low of standing room for all my containers too.
There are some brown bits on my plant but i cut those off and the rest of it is looking good and still green. One of the ferns look like its even flowering. More pics to come. Feel free to comment if you have any questions or anything!