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Landscaping & Nursery Information for Home Gardeners

ASPARAGUS


Asparagus beds properly made and fed should last 20 to 50 years! Dig a trench 18'' deep and wide. Place  a 4" to 6" layer of manure and bones in the bottom.  Cover with an equal amount of rich soil. Spread out  the roots of one year old plants 12" to 18" apart with  the buds pointing upward. Cover with an inch or two  of rich earth and tramp firmly. When the shoots are  6" high kill the weeds in the bottom of the trench (a  Hazeltine weeder is just the right tool) and work down  enough soil from the sides of the trench to make a 1"  layer. Repeat the weeding and burying every three or  four weeks until the trench is filled. Cleanly cultivate  the surface and fertilize well every year. Better not  cut any stems the second year-or only "a taste!"  During the third season stop cutting on Memorial  Day. In after years cut no later than when the first  peas are ready in the same garden.

Asparagus plants older than one year cost more than one year plants but are worth less because so  much of their roots is lost that it takes longer for them  to recover the damage, which many of them never do.  Use only one year plants. 

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ASPARAGUS - FOLIAGE REMOVAL

Asparagus foliage should remain on the bed as long as possible.

When the fern-like foliage turns brown in the fall, do nothing. It won't hurt the plant. In fact, leaving the foliage may minimize spring cold damage to developing spears. The previous year's foliage prevents the ground from warming too quickly and starting growth.

As soon as you see new growth in the spring, the old foliage can be cut. However, the asparagus planting WILL NOT die if foliage is removed in the fall.

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