Steve, and to any others that love to grow and eat asparagus. Reinbeau and I had a thread going some time ago about how to nurture asparagus. Go back into the forum and do a search, there is lots of talk about it.
My asparagus spears begin to mature at the end of April, I pick it though the month of May and well into the month of June. I have not picked now for about 2 weeks (not to say that I won't sneak some of the new little shoots that come up all summer for a tiny little snack, raw is really good too).
Asparagus is an interesting plant to grow. Not a single spear should be harvested for the first three years of the plants lives. After that, the harvest will be bigger and bigger each year. My asparagus patch is now 15 years old. It is a long term big picture with this plant, but I have had my years of patience and now I revel in this beauty.
When I get back to B.C. (on Thursday), I will take some pictures of how my patch looks now. The spears have long since turned into the beautiful airy foliage that is depictive of the asparagus fern, the houseplant that many people grow. The asparagus will continue to grow in heighth and bushiness. Little spears keep coming all summer long, and the female plants drop seed that grows new little babies each year.
It is the male plants that have the heavy thick spears that rise their beautiful stalks to feed us human beings. The female plants are much more slender. Sounds somewhat like the human race, now doesn't it.
Every year the stalks of the asparagus get stronger and stronger, and even the female plants' spears are quite thick. It just takes time.
Asparagus loves to be nurtured in deep beds, with really good drainage and lots of irrigation. They say that 2 inches of water a week is a fine example of the needs of this plant, in the human garden. In the wild, the plants probably don't get watered as well as we can, but they still grow in copious amounts.
Asparagus also loves, and I mean loves --- heavy feeding, really heavy. I always put lots and lots of compost on top of my patch, lots of turkey manure as well, this makes the plants grow and grow and grow.
If you are growing asparagus, remember the feeding, the most important part, and the deep bed for their crowns that live about 2 feet underground to have lots of room to grow and spread.
Be patient, resist the urge to pick those beautiful little spears that come up in early spring during the first three years of their life. It will pay off in the future. Enjoy.
John, that sounds wonderful how you cook asparagus. Yum, yum.
My husband always complains of a very strong scent when he eats asparagus and then has to pee. I have heard many people speak of this, but never have actually noticed it myself. Strange world that we live in, eh? Have a wonderful day, great life, love this life we're livin'. Cindi