This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V18", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
The horticultural observations and experience you so wisely invite, have worth just in proportion as they come tested and sifted from mere notions and whims. What others tell us they have tried or seen, gains value only through a like ordeal. No one matter with which the human has to do is fuller of humbugs told as truths than horticulture. I, therefore, sift well all new ways put out as betters of the old. Under this rule, asking for what I am about to tell only the trust deserved by well weighed words, I relate a new mode of asparagus culture, told me, by the venerable Elias Fairchild, whom all here know to be truthful and exact.
Just over our New York boundary, a hotel-keeper, who was also a garden-lover, planted on good, level soil an asparagus bed of some 12 by 20 feet. When its growth became strong he year by year covered it with some two or three inches of good rich mould. Up through this shot the stalks and crept the roots. The method was followed up every season, with the result of larger growth and product, till the bed became an oblong mound of some 2 or 3 feet in height, and a perfect wonder in the quality and quantity of asparagus furnished for the table. That yearly blanket of soil was, my friend thinks, the only culture or enrichment given. The bed was never dug with fork or spade.
Have we not in this a new and better method for this toothsome and healthful vegetable? To many it may not be new. It was to me. A slight experience of mine, the last season, gives me faith in its value. By sheer accident, some two or three inches of good loam was spread over a portion of my asparagus bed; I noticed there, a much more vigorous growth of the vegetable as well as weeds than elsewhere on the bed. The question is, if such results come simply from this heavy dressing of good mould, may we not hope for greatly larger when we spread on new earth, full of absorbed richness from cattle yards, the bottoms of old stalls, or taken where the wash of house or barn have soaked the soil.
If others have known of such results from like causes, I hope they will not fail to tell your Monthly, to which we look for sound views and new light on all horticultural matters.