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Plant asparagus! Trust me, you’ll be glad you did

By Penny Stine

If you’ve got an edge along a sidewalk, in a flower bed or a garden bed, consider planting a row of asparagus. You can usually find the roots at local nurseries (I know Bookcliff Gardens sells asparagus in the spring, and I’m guessing Mount Garfield and Grand Valley Nursery do, too) or you can order from online seed catalogs, too.

This is a photo I took of my asparagus on March 31, which is pretty cool, too - asparagus is a spring crop, so you have something to pick early. Asparagus is a perennial, which means that it will come back year after year. 

When you buy them, you’ll get a bundle of roots. Most places that you buy from also have planting directions. Follow the directions for best results.
Because I’ve planted it in random places in my garden, I tend to forget where it is. (Not a good idea) When I planted more last year, I planted it all in two smaller areas in hopes that I wouldn’t forget, nor would I dig up the roots accidentally when planting something else.
The problem with growing asparagus is that you rarely get a bunch at one time and you're not supposed to harvest in the first year. Even after the first or second year, you rarely get enough at one time to cook and eat all by themselves as part of a meal. I usually grill or roast them with other vegetables. Or just eat them straight from the garden. 
It also tends to grow quickly. It will go from being just a little too small to “Oh my gosh, look at the size of that asparagus!” almost overnight.
This one is almost too big, but I picked it last night and ate it raw. It was sooooo good. Fresh picked asparagus is nothing like what you buy at the grocery store.
If you let them get too big, they do get that woody texture, but this one, in spite of its size (it was about 18 inches tall) was crisp and extremely juicy, believe it or not. Really, really good. The bottom inch and a half was starting to get a little pithy, but it was delicious.  


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