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Asparagus

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amanda starts with ...
Ok - I know it's not a fruit tree.. but I have grown the "Fat Bastard" variety from Diggers. I haven't grown b4 - is it ok to mulch the plants? (they r 4 months old) Thanks...
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amanda19
Geraldton. WA
17th August 2009 10:42pm
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Speedy says...
Not a fruit tree, but will last as long as one.
mulch? yeah.
seaweed (rough chopped) would be good under the mulch that you choose.
Asparagus is very tolerant of salt
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Nth. Vic.
17th August 2009 10:53pm
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Jantina says...
Hi Amanda, you're in luck living by the sea, asparagus loves to be mulched by seaweed or anything else if you can't get that. Just in case you want any more plants or for anyone else who is reading this you can buy asparagus seed form www.newgipps.com.au (New Gippsland Seeds and Bulbs) If you get the one labelled UC 157 Hybrid they're all Fat Bastards and easy as beans to grow. I've grown them for lots of people and they are all amazed at how quickly they are growing big fat spears.
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Jantina
Mt. Gambier S.A.
17th August 2009 11:02pm
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amanda says...
Good evening Speedy! Thanks - they are going off at the moment. BTW - do u have any recommendations for my liquid brews at all?
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amanda19
Geraldton. WA
17th August 2009 11:02pm
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culebra says...
This asparagus variety's name is rather unappetising IMO!
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culebra
Melbourne
18th August 2009 8:33pm
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amanda says...
Really culebra?...Jantina - what does your asparagus taste like? Maybe it's the way that it's grown? I read a fact sheet that indicated they need a ot of water when "spearing" ?
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amanda19
Geraldton. WA
19th August 2009 9:12am
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Jantina says...
Hi Amanda, other than delicious I don't know how to answer that. Everyone who eats it says it's very good. Ours is growing in a raised bed (about 5 inches)of volcanic soil over sandy/terra rossa soil. I don't water in the spring but we have fairly good rainfall here and we mulch with lucerne and a bit of chook poo.We have about 32 plants and it's so productive I'm forever giving away bunches.I've learned how to use the camera now so next step is to photograph all the food plants (and I may just stick in a photo of my flower garden too) but like you I am not keen to put in photos of naked trees. By the way asparagus is extremely tough once established.
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Jantina
Mt. Gambier S.A.
19th August 2009 9:29am
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amanda says...
Thanks so much Jantina! I didn't want to wait 2 yrs to find out I had a dud! I am gutted that I will be pulling out my emporer mandarin as it's so yukk! You should be selling the spears!?
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amanda19
Geraldton. WA
19th August 2009 9:34am
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Jantina says...
Well I figure that people have been very kind to me on many occasions (not to mention patient). Furthermore everyone here tends to barter after a fashion, for instance at work if you have a surplus of any vegetable or fruit or flowering plants or bulbs you bring them to work put them on the table and everyone knows to help themselves, avoids waste and everyone wins.Our personal friends operate on the same principle.Whoops sounds like I'm moralizing here, sorry.
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Jantina
Mt. Gambier S.A.
19th August 2009 9:47am
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amanda says...
Don't be sorry - sounds good! I read somewhere that Aussies waste millions of tonnes of food every year...when u think of what goes into growing it....... :(
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amanda19
Geraldton. WA
19th August 2009 5:23pm
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amanda says...
Hi All, some of my "Fat Bastard" asparagus plants are producing berries - I thought they were all male plants?
Pictures - Click to enlarge

Picture: 1
  
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amanda19
Geraldton. WA
26th February 2010 12:38pm
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Jantina says...
Hi Amanda, what made you think they were all male plants?
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Jantina
Mt. Gambier S.A.
26th February 2010 11:07pm
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Grubs says...
I know asparagus like to be mulched like crazy - how do you go about this without digging them up or burying them under the topsoil/mulch? i.e if the bed is inplace for 10-20 years - then the soil level will get higher and higher... do you dig them up and replant every now and then...or just scratch a bit of mulch around the crowns without overdoing it?
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68
Melbourne
26th February 2010 11:21pm
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amanda says...
Hi Jantina - the blurb from the Diggers club says so.....apparently they are some kind of hybrid and they select for male plants? These produce the fattest spears, so they say. This is my first time growing them.
Grubs - the spears will make it to the surface..although I used whole seaweed and as it goes hard and dry - it deformed the spears a bit on their way out!..

Jantina - how thick is your mulch?
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amanda19
Geraldton. WA
27th February 2010 10:56am
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Original Post was last edited: 27th February 2010 11:00am
Jantina says...
Hi Amanda,that's interesting about the male plants. To be perfectly honest I think there is a fair bit about Diggers that is dodgey, I only buy from them as a last resort. For instance they sell carob trees but they are only seedlings and they don't tell people that you need a male and a female to get pods (there is a hermaphrodite grafted tree available elsewhere)and you won't know if your seedling is male or female for many years.
So novices buy these trees all anticipating lovely carob pods and get zip!So that's my little grizzle about them!
Anyway with asparagus I still think the way to go is with the hybrid seed from New Gippsland Seeds. The same fat spears in record time for a tiny fraction of the price.
The thickness of my mulch varies with the time of the year because I put it on in the autumn when I cut it all back to the ground, then it's about 6 inches thick and by the time spring comes around it's rotted down to about 2 inches. Seaweed and compost are the "a la carte" feed for asparagus but I use whatever I can get and add a bit of old chook poo if I think it is justified.
Grubs these plants are tough as old boots, they will keep coming up no worries.
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Jantina
Mt. Gambier S.A.
27th February 2010 12:21pm
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amanda says...
Thanks Jantina :-) yes - they couldn't tell me anything much about the capulin cherry I got - even to the point of whether I needed two or not...All I got was "we have three or four that taste ok and we take cuttings from them"

Probably best to leave the fruit trees up to the experts like Daleys!? wink!
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amanda19
Geraldton. WA
27th February 2010 11:10pm
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Jantina says...
Indeed Amanda they are the best , and I have bought plants from a lot of places and the only ones who were close got their plants form Daleys to resell.
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Jantina
Mt. Gambier S.A.
28th February 2010 10:15am
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Isa says...
Hi there, great info on growing asparagus. I'm keen to put in some corms but cant find any on the net do you know where I can buy some?
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Cooktown
27th April 2010 11:56am
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Tiggerbow says...
Hi All,
I have asparagus that is 1 year old. I have let all of the spears grow to ferns and they are amazingly healthy. I cut down the ferns a couple of weeks ago and put down a thick layer of compost on the top. The spears are now growing again !. Did I cut them down to early? or do I need to mulch more thickly?. Should I let the spears grow to ferns again or just cut the spears?
Thanks in anticipation
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Tiggerbow
Perth WA
27th April 2010 3:49pm
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Original Post was last edited: 28th April 2010 11:13am
amanda says...
Hi Tiggerbow/Jantina - I am no expert on this - but i thought they died down in winter naturally? Jantina - are u there? what do we do with them? Mine are one yrs olds too now and fully "ferned" also... I don't know if I should do aything to them also? thanks mate!
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amanda19
Geraldton. WA
28th April 2010 8:35pm
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Tiggerbow says...
Hey Amanda,
I will wait to hear from Jantina too.
I am thinking i might just let them grow again and die off naturally. They look really yummy - nice and fat.
I got mine from bunnings and they are the Mary Washington type.

Thanks gals!
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Tiggerbow
Perth WA
29th April 2010 1:19pm
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John Mc says...
You have to let them die off naturally. They have to replentish themselves for the winter ahead and to have ample energy to kick off again in their next growing season. Only cut them off when they have died down completely.
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John Mc
 
29th April 2010 6:05pm
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amanda says...
Thanks John Mc!
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amanda19
Geraldton. WA
30th April 2010 9:52am
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amanda says...
Hey John Mc - I want to take my asparagus plants with me when I leave here - is there a time to dig them up? or is any old time ok?
Can the crowns b split in half or is it best not to damage them?
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amanda19
Geraldton. WA
4th May 2010 6:46pm
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John Mc says...
Hey Amanda,
Winter is the ideal time to dig them up and move them. Just wait till all the ferns have died down and have been cut off. Saying that, Ive collected Asparagus from the wild at other times of the year. It just gets set back a touch otherwise.
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JohnMc1
 
4th May 2010 9:34pm
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amanda says...
Ta John Mc - my folks had a crown laying around for months n months, a long time ago - they planted it and it still grew! (only to get bulldozed) Are the wild one's u collect ferals/weeds?
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amanda19
Geraldton. WA
5th May 2010 4:42pm
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snottiegobble says...
Amanda, winter is the best time & you can split them up while they are dormant. I would do that & put them in large pots ready to go.
Did anyone know that Asparagus is an excellent cancer fighter because it normalises cells? Funny thing is it doesnt have to be fresh,a can full everyday is also recomended!
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snottiegobble
bunbury
10th May 2010 2:10am
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Neicey says...
Hey guys, I bought some asparagus which looked like long yellow roots, and planted in front garden, about 6, how many asparagus can I expect to grow from each individual root. At the moment 3 little skinny shoots appeared which I have let grow into ferns which I will leave till die, and cut back, does it take a couple of years before the spears that appear are thick enough to eat. Any info would be appreciated.
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Neicey
Geelong Vic
2nd November 2010 10:08am
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au0rey says...
I heard that for 1 year old plants you need to wait up to 4 years? And depending on your plants' age when you bought them. FIrst year or second I think dont harvest them. I havent got asparagus growing in my garden yet but i did read up about them.
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2nd November 2010 8:53pm
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hawkypork says...
I discovered asparagus growing between a pile of bricks in a friends backyard in December. I drip reticed them and covered them in sheep manure. When they died down I covered them in pea straw. I thought I had killed them until mid October when fat spears starting popping up. I have been picking them ever since. Yumm.

I have planted about 6 asparagus crowns in a partially shaded area under my nectarine. My guide to picking them will be if the spears are thick enough next spring. My rhubarb crowns, which are also supposed to be left for a couple of years are ready to be picked from 4 months after planting in my garden.

Without trying to teach other food growers to suck eggs, I reckon you should decide when your veges are ready based on what you see in front of you.
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Fremantle
4th November 2010 4:35pm
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amanda says...
I can't seem to get to my spears quick enough before they race into a fern!? If I put a "tube" around them I am guessing that might slow the spear down long enough?

Also - does anyone know what a rhubarb "forcing pot" used for?
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amanda19
Geraldton Mid West WA
5th November 2010 6:55pm
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Brad says...
don't see why that would slow it down. might blanch it.
try going away for 4 then 8 days. missing so many good asparagus. oh well. ferns feed the crowns for more asparagus next year
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Brad2
G Hill, Perth
6th November 2010 12:14am
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Neicey says...
Thanks guys, for the info, I wont wait with baited breath anytime soon by the sound of it, and Amanda, you have the problem that I want, good luck to ya
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Neicey
Geelong Vic
6th November 2010 4:57pm
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Jan says...
Hi - I am thinking of buying & planting some Asparagus seeds, when should I plant the seeds in Canberra and any tips.
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Jan
Canberra ACt
21st February 2011 1:47pm
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krazykangaroo says...
Hi Jan, The seeds are easy to grow. Just plant them in spring either in your ready bed or in a flat or punnet. They will come up in a couple of weeks.

If you haven't bought your seeds yet I suggest you try an argenteuil variety (actually they are all the same variety but the names are a bit different in different catalogues). It is a heirloom with fat spear and very productive. I love mine.

make sure your asparagus bed is deep and keep it weed free.
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Rowan
Casterton, vic
21st February 2011 3:03pm
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amanda says...
My asparagus is 3yrs old now and ready for serious harvesting...so do I chop off every single spear that sprouts - or do I let a few of them form ferns to feed the crown?

(I know u are supposed to stop harvesting at some point later on, so as not to exhaust the crown...just wondering about the "now" phase..?)

Thanks in advance :)
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amanda19
Geraldton. Mide West WA.
6th September 2011 4:03pm
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Mike says...
My tropical asparagus has sprouted and reached 12cm so I will be reading this forum with interest.Cairns is way colder than Bangkok so I anticipate they should have no problems with heat.
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Cairns
6th September 2011 4:31pm
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Aaron says...
Hi Amanda,

From what I have read (no practical experience as yet), keep on harvesting until they start to sprout thinner than a pencil!

Thereafter it is time to stop and let it re-energise.

I have just planted the crowns this winter and very fine shoots have emerged and are starting to fern.

2 more years to go!!
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Aaron
Perth NOR
6th September 2011 7:03pm
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Evo says...
Amanda, go nuts and cut them all. Just be sure to give the plant a generous rest later in the season so some lovely big ferns can grow. You'll know when you have slightly exhausted the plant as the spears start to look a bit thin as Aaron suggests.
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lionfish
 
6th September 2011 7:35pm
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amanda says...
hey thanks guys :) I have a mixed bag coming thru - of fat and very skinny ones...but they are mixed male and female plants? (is that possible? some grow the red seed things and other don't..)

I grew them from seed (Fat Bastard) and each patch grew a few seeds....so it's too late to separate the crowns now :-(

I saw "baby asparagus" spears in the supermarket yesterday - they are tiny things and cost quite a bit...I did try a tray out of curiousity - they were very tender - but barely a few mouthfuls..lol.

Maybe the size difference is due to the male/female thing?
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amanda19
Geraldton. Mide West WA.
6th September 2011 9:29pm
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amanda says...
Mike - you may want to cull the female plants later - the seeds are a real pest - I have seedlings popping up everywhere now :-(
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amanda19
Geraldton. Mide West WA.
7th September 2011 9:16am
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Aaron says...
Hi Amanda,

The ferns are growing very well and the spears are really getting to harvestable size. I have cut away many female plants, even before the flowers turn colour. But both male and female are coming out from one crown. Is that normal?

On another note, I wonder if you could suggest what to do during winter. I have read that after cutting off all the ferns (after they turn yellow), add lots of manure and compost on top of the dormant crowns.

I am worried about too much moisture seeping down, rotting the crowns.

I would welcome any feedback from the forum. Thanks
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Ballajura, Perth NOR
7th February 2012 4:15pm
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amanda says...
Hi Aaron. I don't know about male/female being on the one plant? U sure it was only one seedling that it came from? Maybe a female plant sends up non-flowering stems too?

I usually wait until spring to re-generate the the compost/mulch...it's likely just wasted nutrients in the winter anyway. Once I have done that - they start sprouting within the week.
They just get rain during their dormancy. Very tough plants.

It's possible a heap of fert's could rot the crown over winter...I don't think I would do that myself.
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amanda19
Geraldton, 400km North of Perth
8th February 2012 10:14am
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Gus says...
I know I put a few seeds inside some pots and let them go wild for about a year until the crowns developed. I never pulled out any seedlings after sprouting.
I suspect when I harvested these "crowns" I was actually harvesting two of more intermingled crowns.
Sound familiar Aaron? I kind of have a similair thing happening to you.
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Gus8
 
8th February 2012 11:26am
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Aaron says...
Amanda, thanks for the suggestion on the timing for the top-up! True about rotting the crown.

I bought the 2 year old crowns from Melb thru Garden Express. It was only one crown, that I can see, that I planted in the ground.

Maybe your statement about non-flowering stems could be true! Anyway I just snip them away before the flowers open.

Hope to visit your large garden in Geraldton, Amanda. That is if I'm ever up that area!


Gus, thanks for the info. I have actually managed to germinate 2 seeds (Purple type) during spring and they are onto their 2nd shoot/fern. The first shoot/fern wilted away after a month. Hopefully they will survive till next spring! Fingers crossed!

Thanks for the feedback! Cheers
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Ballajura, Perth NOR
8th February 2012 3:16pm
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Aaron says...
I hope the pictures turn out well!

Just took these last week.
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Ballajura, Perth NOR
27th February 2012 3:53pm
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Aaron says...
Trying again
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Ballajura
27th February 2012 3:59pm
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Aaron says...
Failed again.

Will try again later. Maybe someone can point me in the right direction of posting a picture (JPEG size 1817KB.

Thanks
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Ballajura
27th February 2012 4:00pm
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Brendan says...
Hi Aaron, a good size for pics is around 80 to 120kb jpeg.

Just google how to reduce jpegs, (don't buy a program). If you have no luck, I'll let you know how I do it for free :-)
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Brendan
Mackay, Q
28th February 2012 10:20am
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Aaron says...
Thanks Brendan! Will google it and see how it goes.
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Ballajura, Perth NOR
29th February 2012 4:13pm
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Aaron says...
This is my patch!

Picture taken last week!

Cheers
Pictures - Click to enlarge

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Picture: 2
 
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Ballajura, Perth NOR
1st March 2012 3:20pm
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amanda says...
Nice one Aaron :) They are looking great!
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amanda19
Geraldton, 400km North of Perth
1st March 2012 11:46pm
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Gem says...
Interesting reading. I got two tiny asparagus seedlings posted to me from Diggers Club just two years ago. One Fat Bastard and one purple variety. They grew well, thick and to about one and a half metres.

They did not die back as I had read. So I figured it was because it does not get really cold here. So about last August, I cut them back, even though they were green. I harvested enough spears for a serving every day or two for several weeks from the two plants.

Then, I was away for a couple of weeks, but I figured it was time to let them grow anyway. But there was no thinning of the spears as others describe. Some were thinner than others naturally, but still a good size. The plants soon came back lush and thick. Now, they are about two metres tall. So thick, a bird had a nest hidden in them. Some of the stalks are several centimetres thick at the base.

I knew nothing about growing them, but read and used manure, and just kept learning. An adventure. Both get flowers and seeds. I am looking forward to the crop this year. I might chop one plant first, and get that crop, when it is ready to spell, chop the other plant down, so I get an extended season.

Since getting them, I have had people tell me that they won't possibly grow in North Queensland, but they grow so well. Also, I have read where they grow commercial crops at Bowen, Kunnanurra, and in the NT. Perhaps they are good here, because it is fairly dry, although I can water them when I wish, so they are practically pest free. The soil is fairly heavy and clay so does not sound ideal, but still they grow.
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Gem
Home Hill, Qld
15th February 2013 9:29pm
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Original Post was last edited: 15th February 2013 9:34pm
JUJUBE FOR SALE IN MELBOURNE says...
Thank you very much for sharing the good tip Gem! good on you.
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JUJUBE FOR SALE
 
17th February 2013 12:07am
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vlct says...
my asparagus has formed little orange buds. is this a female and if so does the crown need too be dug up? its from seed and in its 2nd year, first sign .
thanks
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vlct
glenelg
6th March 2014 5:44pm
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Jantina says...
Unfortunately the picture is rather blurry when blown up vict, but quite a few of my asparagus ( which I grew from seed) get little orange seeds on them every year and I get seedlings coming up everywhere which I give away. Classic advice is to remove the females but I don't bother, they still give us lots of nice fat spears.
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Jantina
Mt Gambier
7th March 2014 6:39pm
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vlct says...
thanks jantina, sorry about that pic.
is the main reason you remove the female is because they choke the males.
so just leave them you reckon ?
ta
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vlct
glenelg
8th March 2014 9:25am
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Jantina says...
No vict my understanding is that generally it is believed that females produce somewhat less and smaller spears due to their seed production. It may just be an old wives tale ( a lot of gardening lore gets passed on as fact when it may not be true) and I have not noticed any major difference. If you have enough space to keep it maybe you could count and weigh the spears from each and let us know your results.
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Jantina
Mt Gambier
8th March 2014 10:27am
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Lindy Shelly says...
Hi, Amanda, a few weeks ago I cooked white asparagus has a bitter aftertaste. From that day I decided that I never had plants asparagus. But one of my best friends tastes me a fresh roasted green asparagus with olive oil, cherry tomatoes and black olives. From that day I just loved asparagus. Many peoples have doubt about asparagus taste, how to cook asparagus? Guys, I got a great link where I can find a lot of knowledge about asparagus. Now my asparagus 2 yrs old now and ready for harvesting. If you want to collect some knowledge about asparagus you can check: https://foodgear.org/what-does-asparagus-taste-like/, this link.
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Lindy Shelly
lindyshelly
13th November 2017 4:36pm
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