About this blog

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Wales, United Kingdom
In autumn 2010, my husband Ian and I both quit our jobs, sold our house and left the flatlands of the east for the mountains of Wales. Our goal is to create a more self-sufficient lifestyle in a place we actually like living. Whilst Ian will continue to earn some money as a freelancer, my part of the project is to reduce how much we spend by growing and making as much of what we need as possible. The purpose of this blog is to keep friends updated with how the grand project is progressing, but all are welcome here. If you're not a friend already, well perhaps you might become one.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Stop press: I have asparagus!

In the garden of our last house, I planted five crowns of asparagus. These need time to get established before the spears can be harvested, so in the first year I duly left them well alone, then in the second year took only a very small harvest... then we moved house that autumn. Although I got very little asparagus for eating from those plants, one of them (the only female of the group, presumably) produced a good crop of red berries in that second year.

I picked many of the berries and brought them with me to the new house. Asparagus isn't usually grown from seed, but the RHS Encyclopedia of Gardening does contain instructions on how to do so. These instructions aren't entirely consistent, it has to be said, including both, Sow seeds in situ, and, Plant out the largest the following spring. I followed the first of these instructions, sowing my seeds in the middle of March.

I'd assumed that asparagus seedlings would look like the spears, but smaller, until I read the following comment on the 'ish forum: I planted asparagus seeds 2 years ago, and this year I have a few very thin but definitely asparagus shaped spears. Hmm, that implies that the previous year they had not been thin, definitely asparagus shaped spears. I wondered whether I should ask what the seedlings looked like in their first year.

In the meantime, I continued to water the beds... well, a bit intermittently as I kept forgetting there was anything in them. Quite a lot of things started to come up, but nothing that looked much like asparagus. Either I had asparagus that didn't look like asparagus, in which case I'd better be careful about weeding that bed, or - and this seemed increasingly likely - all the asparagus had died/not germinated due to lack of water, and I all I had was well-tended weeds.

Then this morning I saw them!

Asparagus seedlings
Tiny little asparagus seedlings

They really are very small - about two inches tall and so thin they're almost invisible. I shouldn't have cropped that picture - it doesn't really convey how difficult they are to see. They're definitely there, though, and as soon as I saw them I knew they weren't weeds. They look like miniatures of a full-grown asparagus plant, not the spears that come up first. I'm very excited about these. Only three years now until I can harvest my own home-grown asparagus!


  1. Yay!

    I'm very jealous of everyone having asparagus at the moment - or even the prospect of asparagus in three years time. They are going to be the best tasting asparagus spears ever, aren't they? :)

    1. Dear four-years-ago-Louisa,
      Please do not be jealous of my future asparagus. The slugs had it all.


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