Mar 4 – Asparagus

The ground is getting less snow covered but it is still very wet. I am concerned about getting to cultivate my Aspragus Bed as early as I would like – I like to get in there by the second weekend in March because the bed seems to produce earlier now that it is older. In fact, I have noticed this with all my perennials – once established, they seem to bloom a week earlier than when first planted. I have done NO research on this so perhaps I should.
Regardless, here is what I do for Aspargus:
Cut back the fronds I let go last summer. (I could have done this last fall but I am a lazy fall gardener – school, soccer, football, and the dread of the end of the season keep me from good practices so I have to make up for it when the energy returns.) Next, I weed all the little seedlings out – usually pretty small if I am lucky enough to get in early. Next, I do apply an organic fertilizer and Preen. While I do pride myself on being as organic as possilbe (98.5%?!), I do apply Sevin here IF I have Aspargus Beetles left over from the PREVIOUS season. I have only had to do this twice in 10 years and not recently. IF I cleaned up in the fall, I probably would not ever have to do so. In fact, their eggs – what you see on the stalks – are really not so bad, either – small, just scratch then off with a fingernail and keep going. There are better, more serious methods, easily found on the internet, if the problem is more detrimental than I describe. Next, I mulch heavily with composted leaves and watch carefully for the little spears that will appear in April. They are so tender that no cooking is necessary – clean and chop into a fresh salad, daily. If you want a full meal’s worth, you will need to plant several roots- depending on family size and appetite – and wait 3 seasons to reap. But, they are well worth it; as most home grown veggies prove: there is nothing like them in the big stores.

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