This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V20", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
I have lately visited a very extensive establishment for the forcing of asparagus in Paris, of which a few words may not be without interest to the readers of The Garden. In all, about a half an acre of glass is devoted to the culture and a supply is obtained from early in September to the end of April. It is forced in three ways: in houses heated with hot water; in frames sunk in the ground and heated in the same way; and lastly, in frames plunged in warm stable manure. It appeared to be forced with equal success in each case, though the stable manure seemed to offer the simplest means. As usual, here the frames are small - about four feet wide. The roots are placed directly on the manure, not flat, as they would be in the open ground, but packed as closely as possible, from 500 to 2000 roots - according to size - going under one light. A mere sprinkling of soil is placed over them. As a result, the shoots come up very thickly. The roots employed are strong and fine ones, three years from the seed. As many as five crops of roots follow each other throughout the autumn, winter and spring, in the same frame. The universal straw mat is used to cover the frames at night.
A dozen persons were employed solely in gathering and"bundling'1 the asparagus for market; so that the quantities gathered for use are considerable. All is done in the simplest and rudest manner, the securing of good crops-being the only thing considered. - R. W., in The Garden.