You can start asparagus from seed, but it’s easier to start with roots bought from the garden center. Mary Washington is the standard variety of asparagus, but there are new varieties that have a larger selection of male plants. Male plants produce fatter stalks. Jersey giant, and Jersey Supreme are two of the male varieties that are fairly common. Purple passion is another variety of asparagus known for its very tender stalks.Which is great tasting and colorful raw in a salad. The purple color turns green when cooked. Whatever variety you choose, if you like asparagus you’ll enjoy growing your own.
If you start from seed or use root crowns the asparagus bed should be prepared to a depth of about 18 inches. You should dig a trench approximately a foot wide and 18 inches deep and mix in half compost with the dirt. If you’re starting from seed you should fill the trench. If you’re starting from with roots you should fill the trench to about 6 inches from the top and leave the excess soil on the side. The seed may be sown right on top of the dirt in the trench and the roots should be planted at a depth of about two inches deep in the trench. The crowns should be planted about a foot apart, and the seedlings should be thinned to about a foot apart. Ten asparagus plants is usually enough for one person, but if you love asparagus as much as I do you may want to plant more. If you plant more than one row, the asparagus rows should be at least six feet apart as the mature asparagus is quite bushy. As the roots grow into plants you should add about two inches of dirt every two or three weeks until the trench is filled.After the trench is filled, or your seedling are about six inches tall, a layer of mulch will help keep the soil moist and help prevent weeds.
Once you’ve planted your asparagus, keep it weeded so the plants will grow strong and vigorous. Then the next spring when the asparagus comes up it should be cut once to inspire more shoots, but no more than that so the plants can gain vigor. In the second year asparagus can be harvested for about two weeks, and in the third year for about four weeks. Then after that it can be harvested until the end of June. Use a sharp knife to cut the asparagus to avoid tearing the plants. It should be cut on a slight angle at, or just slightly below the soil level.
Maintaining Your Asparagus
The two main things to a successful asparagus patch this to keep it fertilized and weeded. A top dressing in the fall of about 2 inches of compost is the recommended method of fertilization although commercial fertilizer can be used if you have no access to compost. Weeding is most important in the spring when the plants are small, once you’re done picking asparagus and they start to grow they generally shade the weeds out. Which makes which makes it fairly easy to grow.
The main thing to remember about asparagus is though it’s hard to get started, once established it will reward you for many many years. So don’t delay, start your asparagus this year and you will have asparagus for years to come.
LOVE brings peace and happiness
aka Farmer Dave
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