Monday, February 18, 2013

more asparagus

there are now seventeen asparagus plants up and running under the grow light...more than i need for the iuncg but spares never hurt since there will probably be casualties...i am pleased that the seed from the plants in the pgp are so viable and they are much easier to germinate than say teosinte which is picky about conditions...especially ( in my experience ) the annual varieties...these photos were intended to provide some idea of the size the root system of a mature ( five year old ) plant reaches...the seedling in front of my index finger extends barely a quarter inch above the peat pellet it germinated in but the root is sticking out of the bottom of the pellet by about an inch and a half...add in the two inch depth of the peat pellet and the root is somewhere around fourteen times the size of the shoot...asparagus roots extend down from the plant in a conical shape and reach depths of six to eight feet or more...they are heavy feeders and the roots support some rather tall and "ferny" plants that put out multiple spears ( i had twenty-five spears from seven plants last season )...if you're considering growing some good drainage is a must...they need water but don't like having wet feet...the roots will rot if water accumulates so sandy or loamy soil is the environment for these critters...fortunately the campus has sand about eighteen inches down so the plants are quite happy by hawthorn best guess ( and hope ) is that the will do fine in the community garden as well.

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