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Asparagus

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Asparagus will grow in most soils, as long as the soil is deep enough.

 

Asparagus needs good drainage, so prepare the bed well, by double digging, or create a raised bed. Add plenty of organic matter, preferably manure or garden compost. All periennial weeds should have been killed off first by using a systemic/translocated ( one which kills roots as well) non soil acting weedkiller. Weeding risks damaging your plants, particularly the young shoots below ground level. The best location will be sheltered from wind and frost, but with plenty of sunshine.


Plant the crowns in March or early April, dig out a trench 45 cm wide and 20 cm deep. The bottom of the trench should be rounded to about 8 cm high in the centre. Place the asparagus crowns along the centre spreading the roots out carefully. The plants should be about 30 cm apart. Cover the crowns with 8 cm of soil and water well.In autumn of the first year, fill up the trench to soil level.


Add a mulch of compost every year and the asparagus will not need watering.
In the first year let the plant throw spears (shoots) but do not cut them. They will become tall mature fronds. The Asparagus must be allowed to establish for a couple of years. Do not harvest in the first or second year. In the third year during early May, some of the spears can be cut when about 10 to 15 cm tall.

 

Carefully with a very sharp knife, cut them out about 8 cm below the soil. Avoid damaging other shoots. A special hooked Asparagus knife can be used. Stop cutting at the end of May, and let the later spears grow into mature fronds. In subsequent years cropping may continue for longer. Asparagus can also be grown from seed. Connovers Colossal is the favourite variety.

 




 

 

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