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Asparagus bed - can it co-exist with chickens?

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I've been thinking about planting asparagus since we moved into this house 4 1/2 years ago. If I'd planted it then we'd be cropping it by now :roll:


Anyway, after fannying about and deciding that the only veggies that grow reliably and that we enjoy eating are garlic and shallots I've decided to put in that asparagus bed this spring.


My question is, do I need to make it permanently chicken-proof? If I net them out of the area while the spears are starting to grow could I let them in when the ferns are grown and then after they've been cut back for winter, or will the hens' scratching be too damaging for the crowns?


The other thing I thought about growing are globe artichokes - would the chooks eat the foliage?


My veggie bed is under an enormous Leylandii hedge on the neighbour's side of the fence so even after continuously improving the soil it still dries out to dust during the summer. The only things that grow well are my autumn raspberries and garlic.


Thanks for any advice!



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Yes, I would chicken proof the asparagus - as you know from buying asparagus, the tips are very tender and you wouldn't get to eat any of your precious veggies! We planted an asparagus bed last year and are lucky that it's on an allotment, so the chickens won't be able to get anywhere near it! I would recommend fencing off the whole veg patch with some poultry netting if you can afford some - then you can grow whatever you want!

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Good luck with asparagus! I love it, but don't have the patience!


How about this idea?





Mine have never 'jumped' the wire!


A roll of chicken wire cut down the middle and fixed in place with bamboo canes. Cheap and can be easily moved for weeding/harvesting!


As you can see from the raised bed at the bottom of the picture, they will dig!! :roll::roll::lol:

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We had chicken wire of about that height with winter salads and spring cabbage inside and one day they reduced it to a fine tilth one day with no sign that the veggies had ever been there in about an hour :(


I would put a lid on your cage if I were you, but give the chooks winter access to the bed to eat any asparagus beetles and fertilise the ground. the foliage dies down and has to be cut off to within 6 inches of ground level in the autumn and the crowns are pretty deep down, so I would have thought that they would do little damage with some winter access.


We have a big asparagus bed at our allotment, but unfortunately bind weed has really got a hold on it, we are going to have to do some serious cultivation with the risk of damaging some crowns or we will lose the lot :(


It is well worth growing if you cook the spears straight away they are so tender and cook within 3 minutes, but if you even leave them overnight they take nearer 10 shows how special fresh veg is. :D

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sorry for the belated reply. Yes we put in an asparagus bed about 1 month ago. I did all the 'planting them on little mounds' stuff and then put chicken wire over the top of them and stapled it to the edge of the bed. The thinking was that the hens do the most damage raking about with their feet rather than actually eating the stuff. they don't like walking on chicken wire so this keeps them off. Same goes for those pesky wood pigeons we are plagued with. Seems to be working so far!

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