Sunday, May 3, 2009

Growing Asparagus

This post is for lady in Pa that asked for asparagus help. My plantings of asparagus were inherited when I purchased my land and are more than 15 years old. Apparently, there are a few little tricks to them to keep them going. Mine keep growing to spite me I think. Here's an article I found that is very instructive. I don't use the fertilizer or weed killer they suggest(hate commercial stuff) but it's still a good instructional piece. It's from Ohio State and it's posted here. I liked the part of it I posted here very much and it covers how I harvest mine. After the harvest, I just kind of neglect mine, it ferns out into a big mess I mow around for the rest of the year.

Asparagus spears will start to emerge when the soil temperature reaches 50 degrees F. After this, growth of asparagus is dependent on air temperature. Early in the season, 7 to 9 inch spears might be harvested every 2 to 4 days. As air temperatures increase, harvesting frequencies will increase to once or twice per day, harvesting 5 to 7 inch spears before the tips start to fern out and lose quality. The second year after planting, the length of harvest can increase to about 4 to 6 weeks. The third year after planting and thereafter, harvesting can continue for 6 to 8 weeks. Since the length of harvest season will vary from year-to-year depending on air temperature, stop the harvest when the diameter of 3/4 of the spears becomes small (less then 3/8 inch). Experience gained by growing the crop will make it easier for the gardener to know when to discontinue the harvest.

Also provided is a list of Asparagus crown growers. I copied them for convenience...

Some Asparagus Crown Sources *

  1. Jersey Asparagus Farms, Inc.
    R.D. 5, Box 372
    Newfield, NJ 08344
    (609) 358-2548
  2. Nourse Farms, Inc.
    Box 485 RFD
    South Deerfield, MA 01373
    (413) 665-2658
  3. Daisy Farms
    91098-60th St.
    Decatur, MI 49045
    (616) 782-7131
  4. Krohne Plant Farms
    Rt.6, Box 586
    Dowagiac, MI 49047
    (616) 424-345

Stacey, I hope this helps. Good luck and happy gardening!

1 comment:

  1. Any tips for just keeping thyme alive? I cannot figure out what my plant wants.


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