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Asparagus

STORING ASPARAGUS PLANTS PRIOR TO PLANTING
Asparagus roots received before planting time should be kept in moist sand, or wrapped in damp newspapers, and stored in a cool cellar. Wipe off any storage mold.

SITE
Locate on a well-drained site which receives full sun for the entire day. Partial shade will produce lanky plants.

SOIL
Rich well-drained with well rotted compost or manure. 5-10-5 complete fertilizer every 10 feet (rate 1/2 lb.). Fertilize after harvest and mid August.

ASPARAGUS PLANTING

Dig a trench 12 inches deep. Refill trench to within 6-8 inches of the top with amended soil. Set asparagus roots, spreading them out evenly, on the amended soil in trench. Cover will 2-3 inches of soil. As the shoots grow add amended soil, staying even with their growth, till the trench is filled in even with ground level. Rows should be 15-18 inches apart.

MULCH AND MISCELLANEOUS
Mulch around asparagus to control weeds and conserve moisture. Remove yellowed fernlike foliage in fall and spring.

ASPARAGUS HARVESTING
When asparagus are 2-3 years from planting, you can harvest 8 inch high and 1/2 inch thick shoots. Harvesting can continue for 4 weeks after initial harvest, from mid-spring until early July. Properly selected shoots should snap off at the soil line.

WINTER PREPARATION
In cool climates mulch with evergreen branches, or straw, over asparagus crowns during the winter months. Remove this winter protection mulch in early spring.

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Gardening Tip of the Day

  • Many home gardeners place Styrofoam packing peanuts in the bottoms of pots and large containers before filling with potting soil. It’s a great idea as it allows for drainage and reduces the weight of each potted plant. This method also works with hanging baskets and flower boxes where you want to avoid excess weight. However, when repotting a plant the loose peanuts are a pain to remove from the soil. An easy way to avoid this problem is to first pour the peanuts into a mesh onion bag before placing them in the base of a pot. When you repot the plant, the bag containing the peanuts is easy to extract resulting in Styrofoam-free soil that can be safely added to your compost pile.