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.
Among our many asparagus-growing acquaintance there are two who are side-by-side neighbors, and who both grow large and succulent asparagus of the very finest appearance, and yet whose practices are so at variance that we consider them worth record. The one forms his asparagus-bed by digging a deep trench, say one foot deep and about eighteen inches wide; into the bottom of this he deposits a coating of well-rotted manure, forks it into the soil, and then sets his plants, covering from the side soil. From year to year he adds soil from that thrown out, until the whole has come to a level, when he again forms new beds.
The other practices as follows: He turns over a piece of rich sward, on which he builds twelve to fifteen inches deep of compost, composed of well-rotted manure, muck, and rich virgin loam, and on top of this bed he sets his plants.
The common periwinkle - Vinca, the English Ivy - Hedera, and the Evergreen Honeysuckles - Caprifolium sempervirens and flexerosum, are all good plants to grow as trailers covering the ground under trees where the foliage is too dense for grass to flourish.