Asparagus Patch – Care and Propagation

Now that you have planted your asparagus, this guide will tell you how to care for your patch. The asparagus from the garden is so good that you will want more.

Now that you have planted your asparagus, this guide will tell you how to care for your patch. The asparagus from the garden is so good that you will want more.

Asparagus from your own garden tastes better than any. Even farmer’s markets can’t compare. Evidently it loses flavor over time from harvest to serving just like corn on the cob. If you need assistance on planting, read my article The Asparagus Patch.

Growing asparagus is a labor of love. Your patch will take 3-5 years to become established. The flavor of the harvest is well worth the wait. The escalating prices at the supermarket are a motivating factor too.

Asparagus grows from a root crown. It takes 3-5 years for this crown to grow deep and wide enough to send up multiple spears. These spears are what you eat. These spears also supply the roots with the photosynthetic process needed to sustain the plant’s growth. As a result, the harvest season is short. Never take all the spears. Taking two thirds of the shoots from each crown will leave enough to sustain the plant. It is suggested that June 1st be the date to cease harvesting to allow shoots to fully open. Failure to do so will kill off the plants.

The asparagus roots grow out as well as deep. For this reason you don’t want to disturb the soil around your plants. Scratch the soil no deeper than about an inch so as not to injure roots. Remove any weeds. A layer of compost should be added in the spring to provide nutrients and keep the soil well draining. You can alternatively add an all-purpose 5-5-5 vegetable fertilizer. An application of garden lime according to package directions is also recommended.

Watch for asparagus beetles. Use an appropriate insecticide to get rid of these pests. They will destroy your patch and overwinter in the soil.

As the summer progresses the ferns will grow tall and spread out their fronds. Loosely stake them so air can flow freely. Allow them to grow into the fall. When they naturally turn brown, cut them down to an inch or two above the soil so you know where your plants are the following spring. This will keep insects from overwintering. Save the red berries.

The life of the asparagus patch is an evolving process. Some plants will die. Berries will grow into new plants to take their place. Watch for the very tiny new shoots that characterize a new plant. These are about the size of a toothpick. Without disturbing the roots, carefully dig them up as a root ball to relocate. New plants will sprout wherever the seeds land so follow the wind direction in your garden up to 20′ from your patch.

Propagation is done with seeds. The seeds are the red berries. Sow them in 3-4″ diameter tall pots of potting soil in the late fall. In a protected area, set these pots in a trench and back fill with soil almost up to the rim. This makes it a lot easier to keep an eye on new plants. After the first growing year you can transplant into larger tall quart pots for the following year. Again, trench them over the winter. After the second year just as the spears begin to sprout, plant them in their permanent new home of amended soil. If you have extras, share or sell them.

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RSSComments: 2  |  Post a Comment
  1. Great info :)

  2. that reminds me to check to see how ours is doing – we planted it 3 years ago.. we do have too many weeds growing there though..

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