Tuesday, May 28, 2013

How to divide asparagus crowns

When I started posting every day in this blog I was sure that I would quickly run out of things to say but it hasn't been the case at all. There is always so much to do, and so many different jobs every day that it just doesn't seem to run out.
I am not the sort of person who can do the one thing all day, every day so I am continually finding different jobs to do in any one day. I might do a couple of hours of weeding, then go and inspect one of my blocks, then plant a bed of seedlings while picking a few weeds out of the next bed etc. It sounds exhausting but it really does keep me from being bored.

Today I had to dig up the half dozen 'house' asparagus that were in the way. I had been meaning to do it for the past year but today it was the right time - I had time and they had died down for the winter so I had no excuse.

I was just going to dig up each plant and just transfer it over to P block where I had a bed ready but the root systems were just too big and heavy so I divided them to make it easier.

First I had to use a sharp spade to cut through the mass of roots around the crowns.

You can see here the growing point for the new spears in spring. They are found in clumps so it was easy to chop between them with the spade to separate them. You could use a machete or even a large knife.

Here is one clump separated. Notice the spear buds. These are what will become the new spears and leaves when they start growing in spring.

In this wheelbarrow load there are the divisions of only two plants. Each plant was divided into 6 or 8 pieces.

I took them round and planted them in P block where I will water and look after them this coming spring while they establish. I may not get any spears off them while they are trying to develop more roots but the next year they will be back to full strength.

Make sure when you divide them that you rebury them with at least 10cm of soil above the buds.

1 comment:

  1. Really nice photos of the process. I think that if you have a really big bed of asparagus, if you plant 1/2 the bed a few inches deeper, you stagger the days they arrive.