Monday, April 12, 2010

Acquisition, an Accident, and Abundance: A Tale of Asparagus

It started out so simply...I wanted asparagus... (cue dreamy fog and fadeout)....

I wanted I did what any reasonable gardener would do: I snuck into somebody else's yard and stole it! No...I went to the store and bought two plants.  I was busy doing other things, so the packages sat in the corner of my kitchen for a week or two.

Total Asparagus = 2

Meanwhile, I was really behind on getting things ready in my yard.  I worked frantically to get things ready to plant lettuce and spinach.  The little 'fenced' raised bed had something dead in it, and that looked like an excellent spot to put my lettuce.  So, I tore it out and went back to cultivating, and eventually, planted my lettuce.  I was waiting on getting my compost bin, so I threw the yard waste into a pile beside the garage. 

Fast forward 2 weeks.  My dear friend Jeri came to help me in the yard. The night before she came, I happened to see a picture of what asparagus looked like in the early spring, before the shoots come up.  I thought, gee, that looks really familiar. 

I thought, I wonder, was that stuff I pulled out with the really thick roots, ASPARAGUS.  I looked back at the pictures I took.

HELLO DUFUS, I thought...those are seeds!  You wanted asparagus and you pulled out tons of it! I was really irritated with myself.  Then again, I was kind of dumbfounded that the people who lived here before would not think to tell me they had asparagus in the yard.  I distinctly asked, "Are there any plants or anything, perennials, etc...growing in the yard, so I don't dig them up by accident?"  They said, no...just some daylilies and some hostas.  WRONG.  So far I have found strawberries, asparagus, daylilies, phlox, yarrow, dianthus, hostas, and more. Maybe I'm crazy, but I would think that was important and worth telling somebody about.  Okay, so my suspicions were confirmed when I went out to the garden the next day with Jeri and there are some little aspargus pokies sticking up that I missed.  Holy guano, batman, you were right!

Out of curiosity, I went over to the refuse pile and starting digging for those plants I pulled up.  Lo and behold, there are the asparagus plants, still alive and trying to grow by my garage.  Sometimes I wonder how anybody can ever kill a plant, as hard as some of them try to live. I proceeded to dig out all the plants and rescue from the pile.  I found 6. 

Total Asparagus = 8

I was thrilled, I just got 6 free asparagus plants.  Yay for me!  A couple of days later, I set about digging a trench for my asparagus bed.  One trench turned into two, so that they would be spaced the correct distance apart.

I got ready to open the packaging on the plants I bought from the store.  Wow, I thought, these are great plants.  Look how thick the roots are...wait, what is this rubber band? I removed the rubber band, and the pile fell apart into many little asparagus octopus.  I grabbed the packaging and reread the label. 

Ohhhhhhh.....not ONE asparagus plant....but EIGHT asparagus plants!  Can we say pay attention to details? I had two packages, even. 

Total Asparagus = 8 + 8 + 8 = 24

OMG! 24 asparagus plants! What am I going to do with all that asparagus?  I am going to be swimming in it next year.  I am going to have a veritible asparagus forest this summer!

Well guess what, if you know me, guess what you are getting for your birthday?  ASPARAGUS.  Unless it is in December, and maybe even then.  I had to dig 4 trenches to accommodate all these plants. I filled them halfway with compost and watered them well.  When the plants grow up above the dirt, I will add more in til I get even with the ground.

Luckily, the plants I bought were males, so I won't have so many seeds laying around, but I'm sure there will be plenty.  There are male and female plants, but you can do just fine with either kind.  Some people say the male plants produce more, because they don't waste so much energy on seed production.  Who knows.  Also luckily, my friend Jeri said she will take a few plants.  That last row was a little crowded, so sending a few to her house will open things up a little. 

So that is my crazy asparagus story.  I went from no, to 2, to 8, to 24, and now maybe to 20 asparagus plants.  Maybe the moral of the story is:  Be careful what you wish for....or maybe it's:  Don't look gift asparagus in the mouth...Anyways, now I have asparagus, and I'll shut up.  I wonder how many times I wrote the word asparagus in this post?


  1. HAhAha! Nice you crack me up! I almost thought about counting to see how many times, i got to 15 and quit! I cant wait to see how it grows for you. Looking forward to future posts!

  2. That is too funny! I love asparagus, so you can ship some my way LOL

  3. Hey, we'd be willing to take some off of your hands. We love fresh asparagus. Nick eats the stalks like french fries. You can freeze, it, too, and then you'll have it all winter. :)

  4. Great story, but don't rush out and commit to giving away a lot of asparagus shoots. A plant or two is enough to tease you with the prospect of maybe having some asparagus. A bed of 20 or 30 plants lets you collect little bundles of shoots like the bundles you buy in a grocery store.

    You may be overwhelmed by asparagus in the spring, but it's quite possible you'll have a reasonable amount for a small family.

  5. And you can *ALWAYS* pawn asparagus off on me :-) Someday, I'll figure out where to put some in my garden; but until then, I'm more than happy to help with your asparagus "problem"!


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