Your county extension agency can advise on diagnosing problems and treatment or disposal procedures. Wind Protection. Planting and maintaining an asparagus bed is worth the effort – a well maintained asparagus bed may produce for 25 years. Apply 50 pounds of barnyard manure per 100 square feet. In the spring, dig a trench about 12 inches deep and 12 inches wide. Greg Seaman Harvest by cutting or snapping the spears at ground level. Destroy plants infected with rust or wilt. Work from the side if possible, it’s best not to step on the bed. Apply the mulch thickly over the areas which were tilled, and thinly over the crowns. Use a lightweight mulch, like leaves or compost. Prepping asparagus beds for winter will protect the roots from the cold and encourage the plants to go dormant, allowing the plant to rest before its next growth phase in the spring. Allowing some of the spears to continue to grow and produce fern-type growth inhibits the development of new spears. My Asparagus Looks Like a Fern, What Should I Do? Remove the whole weed with a hand trowel, taking care to pull out the roots to prevent regrowth. To apply fertilizer, dig a small furrow several inches deep alongside the row and sprinkle the fertilizer evenly throughout. Set the crown on top of … The newer varieties have resistance to fusarium and rust. Female asparagus plants form red berries. Combine your compost, fertilizer, or other organic matter, and create mounds with it about 18 inches apart. Provide supplemental water when it rains less than 1 inch per week, especially during fern growth in the summer. Apply 50 pounds of barnyard manure per 100 square feet. When establishing a new strawberry bed, can I move plants from an existing bed or should I purchase plants from a garden center? Tough perennial weeds, such as quackgrass, can be effectively controlled by applying Roundup (glyphosate) to the weeds immediately after the last harvest of the season. Avoid using a cultivator or hoe during spear or fern growth. Copyright © 2020ISU Extension and Outreach My soil was tested last year and is high in phosphorus and moderate in potassium. The most common way to plant asparagus crowns is in a trench. If the soil is just crusted over, a light tilling will do. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. The dried fern stalks from last season can be cut down any time from fall to late winter. Originally from Long Island, NY, Greg Seaman founded Eartheasy in 2000 out of concern for the environment and a desire to help others live more sustainably. Stop harvesting established asparagus by mid-June. Lightly till the manure into the top 2 or 3 inches of soil with a rototiller or spade. Leaves collected in the fall are ideal for this purpose. Cultivate lightly to avoid damage to emerging spears. Leaving the ferns through the winter can cause disease and insect problems, such as rust. A nitrogen source such as manure should be applied liberally. Cultivation of the perennial plant dates back more than 2,000 years when ancient Romans and Greeks used the plants as food and medicine. Don't let the roots dry out before planting. Fertilize as recommended Fertilize asparagus in the spring during the first three years of growth. If planting new asparagus crowns, choose a newer, all-male variety, such as “'Jersey Giant.' Gather the pile of ferns you have set aside and place them on the bed covering the amendments. Amendments are now added to the tilled soil. Besides the few annual chores shown below, there is little effort needed to enjoy the first vegetables to appear in many early spring gardens. Asparagus spears will be ready for harvest shortly after the soil temperature reaches 50°F (10°C) in early spring—that’s when spears will begin to emerge. This article was originally published on March 24, 1993. More mulch will be needed. Switch to fertilizing after you finish harvesting, usually in June, in the following years of growth, recommends UC Davis Extension. The mulch will decompose and incorporate into the soil, so be in the habit of collecting and saving mulch materials to be added once the asparagus sprouts emerge. This must be done in early spring before the asparagus starts to grow. Clear any rocks that may have emerged and rake the bed clear of debris. Is it possible to move an established asparagus bed? I would like to establish some perennial beds in my yard, but I don't have a great deal of time for maintenance chores. If manure is unavailable, apply 1 to 1 1/2 pounds of a balanced fertilizer, such as a 10-10-10 or 12-12- 12, per 100 square feet in the spring. Many gardeners plant about the same time potatoes go in the ground. Asparagus originated in Asia, the Middle East and Eastern Mediterranean regions. If manure is unavailable, apply 1 to 1 1/2 pounds of a balanced fertilizer, such as a 10-10-10 or 12-12- 12, per 100 … In mild climates, the root crowns of asparagus need no special winter care, but in cooler regions, winterizing the asparagus bed is a must. Use a balanced fertilizer, such as 5-10-10 or 5-10-5, and apply at a rate of 2 pounds per 100 square feet. Overwintering Asparagus Plants Compost or well rotted manure makes an excellent mulch for asparagus in autumn. (800) 262-3804, Iowa State University | PoliciesState & National Extension Partners, by Richard Jauron, Department of Horticulture, Like us at Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic, Like us at Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology, Spring Care of an Established Asparagus Bed. Keep the asparagus bed free of weeds. After you have made your final cut of the year you are going to leave the asparagus to grow on. The ferns produce and store nutrients and when healthy, improve the harvest the following year. Water deeply, as needed. Weed control efforts in the spring are also crucial. The first chore in the spring is to cut off the dead asparagus tops at ground level. Wildflower Farms Eco-Lawn Grass Seed - 5 lb, Natural Cedar L-Shaped Raised Garden Beds, Natural Cedar U-Shaped Raised Garden Beds, Corn Gluten Organic Fertilizer 8-0-0 - 40 lbs, © 2020 - All Rights Reserved, 15 Eco-Friendly Gift Ideas for the Holidays, How to Prepare Your Asparagus Bed for Spring - 2. If this article is to be used in any other manner, permission from the author is required. Fertilize asparagus in the spring during the first three years of growth. 2150 Beardshear Hall Your asparagus bed is now ready for spring! Work the soil a foot or more deep; growing asparagus in raised beds is a useful way to achieve the proper depth. Add equal amounts of lime and rock phosphate to the asparagus bed each year. Avoid harvesting asparagus the first three years to allow the plants to establish. Spring Asparagus Garden. Keep in mind where the rows of crowns are located, and till the soil alongside the crowns, taking care not to cut into the crowns with the hoe. Links to this article are strongly encouraged, and this article may be republished without further permission if published as written and if credit is given to the author, Horticulture and Home Pest News, and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. Cut the ferns down to about 2 inches after they turn brown or yellow in the fall. A few varieties, such as open-pollinated ‘Purple Passion’ and hybrid ‘Sweet Purple,’ can be grown from seed. During the first year, regular deep watering helps the roots to establish. The information contained within may not be the most current and accurate depending on when it is accessed. Spread a 4-inch layer of mulch in the bed after cutting the ferns and again in the summer. These asparagus ferns catch the wind. When given proper care, asparagus plants can live and produce for up to 30 years, reports University of Illinois Extension.

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