Each year we get in a limited supply of Wala Wala sweet onion sets and first or second year old asparagus crowns. We have both in stock this week, but both are very popular, so don't wait if you want some for this year.
Wala Wala onions are now the official state vegetable of Washington. The onion has a long history with growers in the state, with major efforts to produce an outstandingly sweet, delicious tasting onion -- so sweet, in fact, that people claim to enjoy them freshly picked, raw "like an apple." They are truly delicious and the best onion for appetizers, salads, salsas, soups, grilling, etc. The onions enjoy a rich soil, with plenty of humus. We add some organic chicken manure or some organic Dr. Earth fertilizer formulated especially for vegetable gardening. You'll want to plant them about four or five inches apart.
Last year we tried growing first year asparagus crowns in containers, but without much success. Out of a six pack of young crowns, only one is returning this year. Asparagus roots grow to depths of up to ten feet, so it makes sense that growing them in containers wouldn't be very smart, but we thought we'd give it a try anyway just to see. Some gardeners claim success growing asparagus in containers, and our experiment wasn't a complete failure. In the ground, the asparagus crowns will spread, so you can plant them 18 to 24 inches apart in a bed especially prepared for your asparagus crop.
If you've never grown asparagus, you'll need to allow the crowns to grow at least another season before you decide to harvest them for your recipes. Normally, the first year is for crown development, the second year, the crown establishes itself with deeper roots and becomes a fern. The third year is usually considered the first harvest year. The plant will be fully and abundantly productive in its sixth year. If you love asparagus, you'll love asparagus fresh from your vegetable garden.
The crowns we have are second year crowns, so you might be able to harvest them this year!