Asparagus is a one of the earliest plant that greets us in spring time! Once it will habitual the tender hearted spear will come back year after year. Its ferny foliage will make magnificent ornamental. Now how to grow asparagus plant through harvest.
In high temperature regions asparagus can grow as well as it will have grown actively in long winter seasons also. The young stem shoot is the edible part of the asparagus plant which appears the soil temperature increase above 50F in spring.
If you are starting asparagus bed as a dedication, but this dedication will worth it later. The important point about asparagus is to know that during couple of seasons it should not be harvest. You need to root these plant before they can be harvested. Once entrenched, it will produce for 15 to 20 years but you need to well maintained the beds to produce 30 years and more.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKES TO GROW?
As I mentioned above the newly planted asparagus require 2 to 3 years to start and produce, so forbearance is needed! Once established, it can be productive for decades.
Asparagus is a fast producer, once it starts its productivity new spears were send up for every few days in a spring.
Also Read: Organic asparagus farming techniques
WHEN TO PLANT ASPARAGUS?
Asparagus plant can be plant in early spring; the soil works as soon as possible. Most of the gardener plant the asparagus at the same time when the potatoes go in the ground.
Asparagus can be grown from seed but if you take 1-year-old plant called “crowns”, it eliminates the year that comes with starting from seed, it will speed up the production.
- Before sowing seeds soak them in water for up to 24 hours.
- In peat cups sow seeds can be moistened in flats.
- If the plant reached 12 inches harden them off outdoor for a week.
- At last spring frost, transplant the young plant to temporary garden, once identify the male asparagus plant and transplant it to permanent site.
CHOOSE AND PREPARE A PLANTING SITE
Asparagus is a perennial plant that return year after year in the same location, although it’s important to select a proper site for planting where it will flourish.
- Select the site with full sunlight.
- Place the asparagus bed at the corner of your garden whether it not be disturbed by various other planting activities.
- Make sure about the bed will drain well, Asparagus does not like its roots get too wet. If you don’t get any with good drainage facility, then you can consider raised bed for asparagus.
- Asparagus in lightly acidic soil develop in neutral condition.
- From planting site remove all the weeds digging over it. Make a layer of compost, soil mix or aged manure is about 2- 4 inch.
- Allow the asparagus crowns to root properly in a loosened soil up to 10 -15-inch depth.
HOW TO PLANT ASPARAGUS?
- Plant crown can be protected from the cultivation need annual weed control.
- If you are digging a trench more than one, 3 feet space should be maintained among them. Dimensions of the trench must be 12 to 18 inches wide and 6 to 8 inches deep.
- In lukewarm water soak the crowns before planting
- At the Centre of trench make a 2-inch-high spot of soil and place the crown on top and spread the roots evenly.
- Some gardeners just cover the trench with soil and compost. Although it is believed that traditional methods usually produce stronger plants, gardeners rarely have any problems with the all at once method. The ground is quite loose, and the spear can easily slip to the surface.
- From my side I recommend that when trench is filled with soil then add 4 to 6-inch layer of mulch.
- The big issue with asparagus you have to manage weeds for first two years. it should not get disturb its roots while hand pulling the weeds. Mulch with compost or grass clipping helps to keep soil moisture and decrease weed growth.
- For first 2 years it requires 1 to 2 inch of water per week for per square feet. Use drip irrigation if required for watering purpose.
- Use organic fertilizer in growing season and follow the instruction of labels whatever material should be used.
- Asparagus take time to grow from its root system, so in first 2 years don’t harvest the spears and cut down the dead leaves in late fall and dressed with compost.
- In early fall in spring dressed up with compost during second year and retain the bed thickly with mulch.
- In third year, the bed will produce full production, then you can start harvesting spears all over the season.
- In early spring transplant the crowns when they are slumbering. With the help of garden forks dig and lift the crowns with careful not to be disturb roots. Make the clump into two are more pieces. In following year not to be harvest.
Weeds are the biggest concern in the asparagus bed. Hand pulling must be done in regular basis in early summer and in spring. Slightly cultivate to avoid come out damages of asparagus spear.
HOW TO HARVEST ASPARAGUS?
- Every day check your plant should be ready for harvest spear. The spear become woody while growing quickly. It is difficult to eat when spear starts to open.
- Harvest spear will reach around 8 to 10 inches’ height, then simply cut it with sharp knife from ground level.
- Stop it, when the harvesting spear diameter reduce to pencil size.
- After harvest, fertilize it for the early summer, you can balanced weed free compost with decomposing mulch.
- In summer do not cut the ferns which are remained, and allow it to grow and mature. This is a replacement for next spear production. Leave at least 2 or 3 spears for the growing current season.