This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
We will comply with your request Boon; at any rate before planting season.
We will have an article soon, that will give you the desired information; meantime we will say, that to have it " early without forcing, hardy and productive," you mast have a deep, rich, dry and warm toil. It should be trenched eighteen inches or two feet deep, and highly manured; cold manure is the best. The plants should be a foot apart each way, and the beds should be about four feet wide, with a path between. The plants should be one or two years old from the seed, and when planted should be covered about four inches deep with fine surface soil. Details will be given hereafter.
The tops should be cleared off as soon as they decay, all weeds and grass removed, and the roots covered over with manure or leaves, as a protection from severe frosts, which weaken the plants, especially in soils naturally moist. Manure is of course preferable to leaves, as it will enrich 'the soil. The best asparagus I have seen, had an annual dressing of sea-weed applied in this way. Those who can command this article, should improve their advantages in this respect.
The Germantown Telegraph says: - " We repeat our doubts that there is more than one kind of Asparagus. The more we hear of the cultivation of the mammoth - a size that we do not covet - the more clear does it appear that it is the result of selecting the strong single roots for planting to begin with, and then plant them in trenches six to eight inches deep, well plied with manure at the sides of the row, and as the manured spires grow, fill in the soil, etc. As least, this is one way of getting the very largest we ever saw".