Post last updated: November 21st, 2019
This is my asparagus bed. I think I ate an asparagus once but left to my own devices, I don’t actually choose to eat asparagus. I mean, they look like little trees, you know? However, I am trying to eat more veggies and less meat soooooo if I should happen to get some of those little trees to come up in this bed, I’ll have to acquire a taste for trees.
My asparagus project started last spring when I bought a package of NK Lawn & Garden “Mary Washington” asparagus seeds at Big Lots for a dollar. I can sometimes be tempted by dollar items. The asparagus project never quite got into the ground last year and this spring I stumbled onto some bagged asparagus at Wal-Mart for $2.98. I wasn’t in the mood to give them $2.98 until I was half-way across town at another Wal-Mart searching for them taters. For some odd reason, that Wal-Mart had reduced the price of the bagged asparagus by 50%. I bought two bags so they still got their $2.98. At home, I discovered that my NK seeds and the bagged crowns were both “Mary Washingtons.” Convenient but it wouldn’t have mattered to me since the seeds are a year old and might not sprout. Some seeds are time sensitive. At this point, I have four dollars in my asparagus project. Not bad.
Asparagus are perennials requiring a location that is undisturbed from year to year. The only way something is not going to be disturbed in my yard is to put it in a container. Well. It just so happened that Poppie had put several pieces of four and five foot cedar out at the curb for trash pick-up. I promptly hauled it back in, hiding it out behind the garage. I knew it would come in handy for a garden project where I didn’t want to use pressure treated lumber. Voila, asparagus box! Poppie has been teaching me some sawing and hammering skills, at my request, and he just happens to have the wood shop with almost everything, so I got in there and built myself an asparagus box and painted it. Zero dollars in the box for my asparagus project. Most excellent.
The next day I installed the box and chunked in some peat, perlite and Miracle-Gro potting soil. I was thinking there would be plenty of room for my NK seeds and the six asparagus crowns because they never give you very many in these plastic packages. I pick up the first package and I see, right there at the top of the package, the words “6 crowns.” Oops. That means I’ve got to cram twelve crowns into a two foot box (26” x 22”). “Well guys, it’s gonna be a little crowded. Pretend it’s New York City, okay?”
I flip to the back of the package to give the printed directions a cursory inspection. Oops. Eight to twelve inches apart. Well, that ain’t happenin’. It’s beginning to dawn on me in my dotage that I should read the directions before I approach the cashier.
It got worse. After removing the rubber band and separating the crowns, I found that I had ten crowns in each bag for a grand total of twenty. Somebody at the packing plant got tired of looking at a mound of asparagus crowns and got generous with their arithmetic. I looked at my little two foot box and muttered, “This ain’t happenin’ either.” I ultimately crammed a dozen crowns in the box then looked inside the NK seed packet hoping for three seeds. Of course not. There were enough seeds to plant the back quarter acre. I just shook my head. Another cursory inspection of the directions revealed a need to soak the seeds for 24-48 hours giving me more time to ponder my quickly sinking asparagus project.
At this point, the absolute worst scenario for my bungled asparagus project is the dumb-luck likelihood of having my plate runneth over with little trees I will have to get serious about eating. In the meantime, I’ve probably got one more asparagus-free year.