Asparagus UC-157 - Seeds
The spears that we enjoy as a vegetable are the new shoots that emerge in spring. The most important part of growing asparagus is to realize that it will take a couple of seasons before you taste the first bite of homegrown asparagus. Plants need to be allowed to mature before you can harvest.
They will remain in the same place in your garden for many years 15, 20, sometimes 30. In fact, a productive asparagus bed is a good reason to renovate your house, rather than move!
Common name: Common Asparagus Fern, Lace Fern, Climbing Asparagus, or Ferny Asparagus.
Bloom time: Seasonal bloomer
Height: Height: 5 to 9 feet
Spread: 2 to 2.5 feet
Difficulty level: moderately difficult
Planting & Care
Sunlight: full sun, part shade
Soil: Tolerates acid soil, tolerates drought soil, requires well-drained soil. Prefers loose, deep soils high in organic matter. Prefers pH near 7.0, but tolerates a wide range. Add lime and fertilizer before establishment.
Water: Water regularly from spring to autumn. It does not require winter dormancy, but appreciates a resting period with reduced watering over the winter months
Temprature: Germination temperature: 70 F to 77 F
Days to emergence: 10 to 12
Fertilizer: Lightly fertilize for good top growth
- Soil preparation Asparagus plants can remain productive for up to 20 years, so it s worthwhile spending time on preparing the bed to give them a flying start in life.
- If you can, start in autumn by digging over thoroughly, mixing in plenty of well-rotted farmyard manure, and removing all perennial weeds.
- A week or so before planting, scatter some general fertiliser granules over the area (about 90g/sq m is ideal) and fork in, before raking the ground level.
- How to plant You will need about an hour to plant 10 crowns.
- Make a straight trench, 30cm wide by 20cm deep, and then pour soil down the length of the trench to make a 10cm high mound.
- Next, carefully take your asparagus crowns and sit them on top of the mound, spreading the roots out either sides - plant crowns 30cm apart and then cover with about 5cm of soil, which has been sifted through a riddle or sieve.
- Cover the plants with more sifted soil as the stems grow, aiming to completely fill the trench by autumn.
- Subsequent rows should be spaced 30cm apart.
Harvesting: Most plants are ready to be picked two years after planting, although several modern varieties have been bred for earlier cropping. To harvest spears, wait until they re about 12cm long and remove them with a serrated knife, cutting them off 7cm beneath the soil. Stop harvesting in mid-June to allow the plant to build up its energy for next year, and give plants an extra boost by feeding with a general fertiliser.
- Water newly planted crowns thoroughly and keep damp during dry weather.
- Succulent spears may appear soon after planting, but avoid the temptation to harvest them or you ll weaken the crowns.
- During their first two years of growth, plants should be left to form lots of ferny foliage - cut down the stems in autumn, leaving 5cm stumps above the ground.
- To prevent competition, keep beds free of weeds.
Cook cut spears immediately or refrigerate in plastic to raise the humidity and prevent tough fibers from forming at the base of the spear. These fibers form as a result of the injury of cutting. That’s why spears from the grocery store or from the refrigerator should always be trimmed to remove any tough tissue before cooking.
Fresh asparagus spears can be stored a week or more. If you want to put some aside to enjoy in the months to come, blanch them in boiling water for 3 to 5 minutes, douse in cold water, wrap, and freeze.
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