By The Old House Web


Asparagus is an easy to grow perennial which often demands a high price in the marketplace. It takes at least two to three years to establish a patch of asparagus, but it is well worth the wait!

When planting asparagus, home gardeners should plant about twice as many crowns as a family would normally need; harvesting spears from half the crowns in spring and early summer and from the other half of the crowns in the late summer. The late summer crop is a results from the cutting off of the fern and the forcing of new shoots to develop. The success of the late crop would depend on the environmental conditions inherent in area in which planted. If the weather is cool and moist, a reasonable crop might result. However, if the weather is warm and moist, the shoots will probably grow very fast and be very tough. A late summer or fall crop will rarely approach the spring crop in quality or quantity.

The harvest period should be late enough (perhaps September 1 in southern lower Michigan) so that no fern would develop before winter. The fern development significantly depletes the carbohydrate reserves, and if ferning would occur in the fall, it would weaken the crowns.

SOURCE: Hortopics newsletter, Feb 1982. Lee Taylor, Michigan State University

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