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asparagus help and advice wanted please

not wanting to draw the below post off topic ive posted separate .we moved house last year and was too late for asparagus to be planted,i built a 12' x 4' bed last year and manured it ,should i dig the manure well in ? it has been put on top of sieved soil and i grew mixed salad crops and followed with swede in it last year, its sat with about 4" of manure on it since early december , any recommendations for types of asparagus to start with would be appreciated along with spacing/ how many i can fit in the bed .

Hi Glyn, I'll watch this post with interest. Asparagus is something that I haven't grown before but its something that I might like to have a go at.

Just a few days ago Rick and Carol, took some great pics of their recently topped up asparagus beds, plenty of good manure and compost.
Preperation is  the name of the game.

You can grow from seed, this will take up to 4 years before you can consider harvesting them and then only a few in the first year can be picked.
Asparagus crowns are possibly the easiest way to start them off. You can purchase these from most G/Centres or seed suppliers, approx. 10 for 15.00.
Now is the time to order them, ready for planting out in late March/ early April. So now is a  good time to prep' the beds.

They are shallow rooting plants, the crown of only needing to be about 2 inch below ground
Spacing between plants about 18 inch, some recommend up to 36 inch between rows. Due to space I stick to 18 inch between rows.

Two ways to plant them. First is in 2 inch shallow holes.
Second method, if I can try to explain it.  Here Goes.....
12 inch from the edge of the (pre dug and prepped ) bed mound the soil up , so when you lay the crowns on the roots are spread well out and the crowns sit on top of the mound.
When you have completed all the rows/bed, top off with more compost to cover . Well water and keep well water until they are well settled in.
Both methods the roots of the crowns need to be well spread out.

Hand weed the beds as often as required, hand forks, trowels and hoes are likely to damage the roots or crowns. Other than that a good mulching each Feb/March.
1st/2nd year after planting very poor picking, first year not really advisable to pick at all. By year ten 10-15-20 per crown.
Cropping is a very short season late April to mid June, but well worth the effort...have fun

cheers both ,we are both newbies ish to growing veg,last year was the first, and total newbies  to asparagus ! i like the ridge method as it will fit in with how the beds are now and be lest work "im going no dig" or at least trying to if i can in the garden ,any recommendations on types to try  ?

There is more choice of crowns on the Internet than in garden centres, the purple varieties are supposed to be the sweetest. Just Google asparagus and loads come up, take your choice

I have to put my hand up to completely destroying a well established asparagus bed when I bought my house in Chippenham many years ago. I just kept diggin up these roots and wondering what the heck they were and it was only until a shoot appeared in the spring that i realised what i had done! How i kicked myself as i love asparagus.
I was a lesson hard learnt, check, check and check again and dont just throw things away willy nilly  

Agree olde9856

What a lesson ClaireK  areal oop's

Glyn, If you have a local allotment within your area, you could always go down and chat to the locals, find out what is their choice, what grows well for them, worth a try

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