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ASPARAGUS

Dummer. ゛☀
2017-08-06
BOTANICAL NAME: Asparagus officinalis
PLANT TYPE: Vegetable
SUN EXPOSURE: Full Sun
SOIL TYPE: Sandy
SOIL PH: Slightly Acidic to Neutral
Asparagus is a perennial bulb and stem vegetable that greets us every spring. Here’s how to grow asparagus in your garden.
Asparagus plants may take 2 to 3 years to truly get started and produce, so patience is needed! But then again, the plant can be productive up to 20 years, so we think it’s worth the wait.
Asparagus has male and female plants, with the female plants producing berries. Regions with cool winters are best for this cool-season crop.
PLANTING
Asparagus is planted in early spring as soon as the soil can be worked. The plant is grown from “crowns” (1-year-old plants).
Eliminate all weeds from the bed, digging it over and working in a 2- to 4-inch layer of compost, manure or soil mix. (Learn more about soil amendments and preparing soil for planting.)
Dig trenches of about 6 inches wide and 6 to 12 inches deep. Some experts believe shallow trenches of 6 inches are best.
Asparagus does not like to have its feet “wet,” so be sure your bed has good drainage. For that reason, raised beds can be a good place to plant asparagus. Learn how to make a raised garden bed.
Create a mound in the trench and plant the crowns 15 to 18 inches apart, spreading the roots over the ridge.
Cover the roots and crowns with soil 2 inches deep and water thoroughly.
As the stems grow, fill in the rest of the trench with soil, leaving 3 to 4 inches of the stem exposed.
For more planting tips, see our page on growing asparagus from seed.
CARE
When the trench is filled, add a 4 to 8 inch layer of mulch and water regularly.
Do not harvest the spears in the first year, but cut down dead foliage in late fall and side-dress with compost.
During the second year, keep the bed thickly mulched, side-dress in spring and early fall, and cut down dead foliage in late fall.
PESTS/DISEASES
Asparagus beetles
Cutworms
Slugs
Crown rot
Rust
Asparagus is considered a deer-resistant plant, so plant it near more susceptible crops.
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