While we are now expecting a Winter Weather Advisory for tomorrow afternoon and over night, I am expecting that my asparagus roots will be sprouting earlier that usual this year. I will need to get out to Big Garden and prepare the bed as soon as it dries out a little.
Here is what I do for them:
- Last fall, I cut back the overgrown fronds so I don’t have to use the Sevin to prevent asparagus beetles from overwintering – BG is striving to be totally organic, so pesticides are no longer used
- Weed anything that has gotten into the bed – I should have mulched with chopped leaves last fall too…
- Sprinkle Osmocote slow release fertilizer and Preen Organic
- Chopped leaves for mulch
Now, this is all I do. I’ll harvest little spears for about 6 weeks and then let them go to seed to feed the roots over the summer. These fronds make excellent filler in cutting garden bouquets.
One caveat: when you first plant those roots, know that asparagus are perennial in Zones 2-9 but need three years’ of un-harvested growth to fully develop. After that, you will have asparagus that can not be matched by anything in the grocery stores.
Clean and trim tough stalks by snapping each spear in half – it will break at just the right spot automatically. Slice diagonally into 3/4″ segments and discard the tiniest scrap of the broken end to keep the appearance crisp. Film a wok with extra-virgin olive oil; over medium heat, swish 1-2 smashed garlic cloves just to season oil and discard before browning. Turn up heat slightly and toss asparagus for 2-3 minutes. Add black sesame seeds and a splash of soy sauce. Serve immediately.