The uber-skinny spears of spring, which I left alone--they've got one more year to live--have some company. New spears occasionally pop up, and happily, these are considerably larger--meaning I'll be eating my own asparagus next spring! Maybe the blackberry net was impinging on their growth (They front the blackberry fence and so were covered by the bird net.) Apparently we have some female plants, as there are some berries.
I'll have to do some research on letting the seeds fall where they are or if I should harvest them to plant elsewhere--the bed is already crowded, with a blackberry on one side and strawberries on the other. Also, I am reading that the berries attract the asparagus beetle. I'll report back later!