This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V21", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
Few people have an adequate idea of the great difference between gardening at the North, and gardening at the South. While the Northern people are worrying about what will stand the winters, the Southern people have to find out what will best endure the long summers. In vegetables this distinction has particularly to be noted by those who would succeed with their crops. In regard to asparagus we note the following in the descriptive catalogue of Mr. Richard Frotscher, of New Orleans:
"The asparagus is not extensively cultivated in the South; not that it is not liked well enough, but from the fact that it does not succeed as well as in more Northern latitudes. It seems that it is short lived, the roots giving out soon, or throwing up very small shoots.
"The ground should he well manured and prepared before either the roots or seeds are planted. For this climate the sowing of seed is preferable. Roots are generally imported from the North, and I have found that the roots raised here, one year old, are as strong as those received from the North three years old. Plant the seed in early Spring. Soak over night in water, plant in rows or rather hills one foot apart and two feet between; put from four to five seed in each hill, when well up thin out to two plants. The following Winter when the stalks are cut off, cover with a heavy coat of well-rotted manure, and a sprinkling of salt; fish-brine will answer the same purpose. In the Spring fork in the manure between the rows, and keep clean of weeds. The same treatment should be repeated every year. The bed should not be cut before being three years established. Care must be taken not to cut the stalks too soon in the Fall of the year, nor until we have had a frost; if cut before it will cause the roots to throw up young shoots, which will weaken them".