Friday 8 April 2022

Pacific Purple Asparagus from Suttons


The Pacific Purple Asparagus Crowns from Suttons arrived two days ago and this was my first opportunity to get down to the allotment and plant them. as it's been very wet and windy plus I had no one to look after my wife to allow me to get down to "Avalon" aka Plots 1 & 1A. 

There has been some major confusion with the dispatch date for the five "Burgundine" crowns that were also ordered back in November about when they would be shipped and although it said 21 days 30 odd days ago, on the web site they didn't arrive. I then discovered that other people I know that had ordered 25 Burgundine crowns were informed by customer support that they would not be delivered until next year! 

When chased I was sent an email on the 4th April with a dispatch date of 20th March, and an email informing me that the Pacific Purple dispatch was delayed and they would be shipped on the 5th April. 

On the 7th April I received an email from Customer Support apologising for the misinformation re not being available until next year.

We are getting in touch to apologise for an email you were sent in error, relating to your Asparagus Crowns.


It appears we got something wrong and advised your order was going to be delayed until 2023. We would like to assure you this is not the case, and we are expecting your order to be with you by the end of next week.


We are looking into how this error has occurred and we are very sorry for any disappointment and inconvenience this matter may have caused.

This is the web site today 

So with Dispatch down from 3 days to 48 Hours I'm hoping the crowns will be with me well before the end of next week, my problem is going to be getting them down to the allotment and into the ground as quickly as possible once received. 

Back to planting the Pacific Purple Asparagus from Suttons. I uncovered the trench to expose the farm year manure in the bottom. Some of the side to the trench had collapsed in a little due to the rain and wind over the last couple of days since I excavated and laid the westland Gro Sure Farmyard Manure.

I gradually filled in the triangular sloping mound area as in the diagram on the left making sure I extracted any weeds I saw.

I laid out the crowns with 200 & 400 each end so that I can stagger the pattern when the next 5 crowns finally arrive from Suttons.

Some of the roots had come detached when bundled, and I was incredibly gentle handling them getting them out of the bag they were in, laying them on the mound and then opening them out like a spider on top of the sloping mound. 

I laid them out like spiders as I had seen in the books and the Thompson & Morgan video I posted on my blog in a pervious post about Planting Asparagus

I did receive a piece of paper giving guidance on how to plant and prepare the ground for these in the box the Asparagus Crowns came in, but Suttons could do a lot better and provide some guidance actually on their web site and product page for Asparagus, perhaps with photographs. 

I have fed this information back to Suttons marketing team. Feedback should always be taken as being positive, as it means your customers are engaging with you and letting you know how you can improve the service you provide. 

For a good marketing team there should never be negative feedback.

Better view of the crowns

View up the trench.

Using the rotary sieve I worked the square flower buckets of excavated soil so that I could cover the asparagus in fine soil so that they can easily get through. Due to the heavy rain we've had over the last few days the soil in the square flower buckets at the bottom was very moist and clay like.

The Rotary Sieve is a great piece of equipment and is useful when processing my own compost for use, it is so fast and efficient this one I bought from ebay a few years ago, shipped from Germany and cheaper than the ones available from Wales see post Here .

Once I had the trench more or less level I added two sacks of Equigrow Fertile Mulch, now I have to say these sacks had been near the bottom of the pile, of composts and soil improvers I've had stored for this year, and I was expecting perhaps some consolidation may have happened, but this mulch spread easily from the sacks and I had thought it may have needed some loosening up. 

I love the look and texture of this product, and waiting to see how weed resistant it proves to be longer term, being made with horse manure and fertile it should help my Asparagus to establish themselves, and using Equigrow Fertile Mulch may become an annual event for the Asparagus beds.    

As the drawing on the left I tried to make the mound on the trench 3" higher than the original ground level.

I did spread about an inch thick either side of the trench and in fact took the mulch in the middle of the two beds to the bed edge

I then have the Asparagus a good watering and covered it to stop the foxes from digging it all up. I need to look at the permanent protection solution for this bed to protect it from Basil and his mates.  

Flower buckets of soil left over were stacked along the path to the bed and then the two rows one on the path and the other in the trench holding the sides up were covered in the glass panels I use so they can dry out and not get rained on again. 

What's left over from the first trench will be mixed with coir and some compost and used for the potatoes, wich really should have gone in already!

When going to Plot 1A to collect the glass panels I saw the bluebells in the comfrey bed. I love them they give some early colour and food for the bees, as well as crowding out weeds until the comfrey come and crowds out the bluebells  

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