Asparagus

Asparagus

Asparagus is one of the most delicious vegetables that you can eat, in my view. During its short season, it offers an incredible treat with its unique flavour. The best thing is that it’s relatively easy to grow. It just requires a little patience.

Sowing Asparagus

You can grow asparagus from seed. However, planting the crowns is pretty easy in March or April. You might be thinking about what the crowns are. Well, these are the one-year-old dormant plants. 

Growing Asparagus

You can follow the following tips to grow the asparagus plants well.

  • Keep the asparagus plants weed-free and provide appropriate feed to them. Make sure you’re weeding the plants manually because hoe can damage the shallow roots of the asparagus.
  • Apply mulch to the soil surface in late winter. You can use the homemade compost and rotted manure as mulch. It’ll help to retain moisture and discourage weed growth. 
  • You can also cover the bed with an opaque weed mat from autumn to winter. It will not allow the weeds to germinate. 
  • Apply general fertilizer with a high potassium content. One example of such fertilizer is VItax Q4. When it comes to the amount of fertilizer you need to apply, make sure you have used two handfuls per square metre/yard. 
  • For weakly grown plants in spring, apply the fertilizers again after harvesting. 
  • If you’re cultivating male cultivars, make sure there is no female plant. Moreover, remove any seedling if there is any. Now the question that may hit your mind is how you would recognize the female plant? Well, the orange-red berries on the female plant make them easy to identify. 
  • Asparagus plants grow tall during summer. Therefore, they are more prone to break and damage in windy weather. However, you can avoid damage to crown support plants by making a fence on the side of the rows with the help of garden twine and stakes. 
  • Make sure the foliage is yellow while cutting it to the soil level in autumn. 

Planting Asparagus

Here’re some tips that help plant the asparagus:

  • The best place to grow asparagus is an open and sunny site. However, these plants can also grow in dappled shade. 
  • Well-drained soil is enough for them when it comes to soil type. Make sure the soil pH is neutral (6.5-6.7). However, you can add lime if it’s acidic. 
  • You can grow asparagus from seed. However, planting the crowns is pretty easy in March or April. Although a specific asparagus bed is best to grow them, avoid replanting an old asparagus bed. Otherwise, there are chances to develop any disease. 
  • Make sure there are no perennial weeds before you plant new crowns.
  • Apply organic matter to the soil. Make sure you’re incorporating a bucketful of it in a square meter. 

After you have learned about all the necessary measures to be taken before planting asparagus, let’s find out exactly how to grow it.

  • Firstly dig 8 inches deep and 1 ft. wide trench. Put the rotted manure at the base of the trench and cover it with excavated soil. Make sure you have put at least 2 inches of soil over the manure. 
  • Make a 4 inches high ridge of soil at the trench centre.
  • Place the crowns on the ridge top. Make sure you have placed the crown with a gap of 12-18 inches.  
  • Spread the remaining soil. However, make sure the tips of the bud are visible. 
  • The space between the rows should be at least 18 inches. 
  • Water the plants and mulch with a 2inches layer of any organic matter. 

Harvesting Asparagus

Tips regarding asparagus harvesting are as follows:

· Never harvest the asparagus plants within the first two years. Let the plants get established during this time.  

· Start harvesting asparagus plants in the third year. You can do harvesting from mid-April and can continue it for six weeks. However, you can go for eight weeks harvesting in subsequent years. 

· Use a sharp knife to cut the individual spears. Moreover, make sure you’re cutting a 7 inches tall spear up to 1inch below the soil surface. 

· Harvesting every 2-3 days can produce better quality spears in warm weather. 

How to cook Asparagus

Here is an excellent website by Jessica Gavin that explains the various ways to cook this wonderful vegetable.

Click Here to visit it

asparagus
Delicious Asparagus

Problems

  • Slugs and snails

These eat young seedlings, leaving a slime trail in the soil around your crop and on leaves.

Remedy

You can use biocontrols, copper tape, sawdust and beer traps to control the slugs and snails.

  • Frost damage

Late frosts can restrict plant growth. Consequently, the plant will die or get deformed. 

Remedy

If there is a forecast of frost, follow these tips:

  • Remove the part that is displaying the damaged growth.
  • Cover the bed with horticulture fleece. You can use a double layer of fleece to avoid severe damages. 

Asparagus beetle

Adult beetles remove the outer bark and leaves. Unfortunately, these beetles will leave the damaged parts of the plant desiccated and yellow-brown. 

Remedy

  • Burn the old stem at the end of the season to devastate overwintering beetles. 
  • Identify the pest and destroy it manually from late spring. 

There are around a dozen varieties to choose from. Here are some of the well known ones:

For more information or assistance with this article, or if you want to add something that you feel is relevant, we would love to hear from you via the Contact Us page.

06/09/2021 | Vegetables | 0 Comments

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