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Archive for June, 2013

IMG_6198sI was still in school when Dad’s friend gave him our first lot of asparagus plants. They grew well. But dad over-harvested and the poor plants met their maker.

I’ve always wanted an opportunity to try again but where we live, the asparagus isn’t a common garden vegetable, and I couldn’t find any at the garden centres.

Just as well, I guess. This gave me time to reassess our asparagus planting and harvesting techniques which were obviously flawed.

IMG_5849esMy second chance came a couple of years back. These plants were started from seed (not that I can take any credit for that) – they were a birthday present from a friend. They were also the most delicate things I had ever seen.

The seedlings took a while to settle in, but once they stabilized, their growth rate picked up. I love every stage of its growth.

First, a promising stout spear pushes its way out of the soil. This spear, like a gangly adolescent, grows very quickly; more than a couple of centimetres every day. It shoots skyward, branching into numerous slender arrows.

IMG_5533ebFinally, it metamorphoses into an ethereal mist of the softest, most delicate ferns.

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My asparagus has been bearing tiny flowers but apparently there are both male and female forms. And since it takes two to tango, I wonder when I’ll ever get to see the berries.

So far, the asparagus has been growing for more than a year without incident.

Then, about a couple of months ago, an errant spear pushed its way through a pot I’d placed nearby. I tried to slide the spear out through the bottom of the pot, but it wouldn’t budge. I tugged harder and …(horrors!) the spear came away in my hands. The errant spear ended up in our stir-fry for dinner.IMG_4455page

I was quite relieved when the next spear emerged out of harm’s way. But when I checked on the spear that evening, it had been beheaded! Dad happily declared that he had picked it. Uh-uh, surely history isn’t going to repeat itself?

Care and propagation: Partial shade to full sun; well-drained soil, water moderately. Propagate using seeds or by division.

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