Asparagus Progress

In January, I posted about my little planting of asparagus in a large pot. I had planted in a pot, because we may not stay in this house for a very long time, and I had a 3 ft. diameter pot, so I thought I could move this planting – IF we wanted. This is now my third summer of growth for this planting of 2 packages of 3 bare-root crowns, and so I would expect to be able to eat some.

I have the pot sitting in a slightly shaded area, and we had a very late spring. (Frost in mid-May) Asparagus should normally start sprouting in my southern Ontario climate in April, and I had my doubts as to whether my little crop had survived. The little sprouts did not appear until the third week of May! I think that in the shade, the earth had not warmed as quickly as other places in my garden.

Third year of growth of asparagus in a 3′ diameter pot

I had entirely discounted the plants, and then I checked on them again, and I had tall gangly sprouts. Now that the plants are three years old, apparently it is now OK to harvest the plants for 3 to 5 weeks. I cut back the sprouts to just above the ground – and had about 10 spindly pieces – 10 inches long. It was a bit too scanty a harvest to feed the family of 5, so I blanched the crop (a quick boil and quickly cooled) and sliced them into 1 inch pieces, and tossed them in a pasta salad.

I waited a little too long to cut the asparagus and they were long with the flowers starting to separate

I had read that I could harvest again in a day or so, but it has been a week, and now I see enough (13 sprouts now) for a very small harvest – maybe another salad! While I am disappointed to have only a small harvest this year, I am happy to know that the plants survived in a pot – and I know they will be bigger next year.

I had promised the asparagus a pot to itself this year, but I had too many jalapeno peppers to plant, so I am afraid they will have to share for now.

The second batch of asparagus – now sharing the pot with Jalapeno Peppers

In the meantime, the raspberry bushes are coming along, and one of my boys bought me some little rhubarb sprouts from a roadside stand, and I am off to water the flowers. Happy gardening!

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