Thursday, April 15, 2010
The first shoot of 2010The heck with the groundhog or tax-day, the real harbinger of spring has arrived! Asparagus shoots came up overnight in all three of my beds planted with the herbaceous perennial. I was surprised at how synchronized their emergence was since they're planted in quite different soils, microclimates, and their ages differ by 15 years.
Zuni waffle garden of asparagus and a few other perennial herbs
I planted a couple dozen 2nd year rootstock 3 winters ago (best Christmas present ever!), and so I'm looking forward to my first full harvest season, as you can only harvest in limited quantities the second year, and none the first. The other 2 beds are much smaller, but filled with persistent asparagus planted by previous owners, yet with regular feeding, they're still productive. Last fall, after clearing off the dried stalks of last year's full grown asparagus 'ferns', I fertilized the Zuni-inspired waffle garden with well composted chicken manure and leaf mold. Blowing sand from the adjacent 'beach' provides the perfect mix of rich and sandy soil amendment. I'll harvest the shoots before they're 7" tall and turning woody, for the next 5 weeks.