Lessons in Patience

June 27th, 2012

Gardening has a lot of lessons to teach, and planting asparagus has certainly taught us patience. The first was the wait until winter when the plants go dormant, before we could plant.

We got our plants (or crowns) from Pink Geranium Nursery in Franschoek. Five years ago, Nati sowed the seeds of the variety “Mary Washington”, and now has a dense planting from which he lifted and divided a wealth of these asparagus plants for us.

To make sure we would get the best from this long-lived vegetable, we took extra care with the soil preparation by digging  500mm deep trenches and back-filling with well-drained sand and compost mix.

We placed the crowns with their succulent white roots 60cm apart to give each plant plenty of space to grow. After all, this is about long-term planning, as we’re hoping to be harvesting from these plants over the next ten years!

Next time you walk past our beautifully-mulched asparagus beds, remember that asparagus is all about patience, and don’t expect any green growth to show above the ground yet. We’ll have to wait until it is much warmer in spring before we see those results.  We will also not be cutting any new shoots until the plants are well-established, which will only be in a year or two.

So, now that I know what a feat of patience is required, I shall definitely take more time to savour every individual shoot, the next time I sit down in front of a delicious plate of asparagus.





  1. Marijke Honig says:

    I was admiring the new as asparagus beds, but had no idea how long it would take before you can harvest! Thanks for telling us the story behind the plants.

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