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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Asparagus: Clean Up for Spring Growth

I planted my asparagus from seed. It works. You really don't need to by rooted plants. I planted my seeds in cups and let them grow outdoors. I think I did this 4 or 5 years ago. I like how the mind fades like tomatoes in the frost.  I also planted them in my clay soil and didn't add enough sand and humus as I now know. However, it still produces nicely.

Anyway I am on my, let say 4th year of asparagus. Asparagus is perennial plant and we eat the shoots. You have to let some grow to maturity so they supply the plant with growing power. Every year you should leave the earth alone and let the asparagus do it's thing. 

You don't do much more but cut the dead growth back, drop compost on the planted areas, and remove weeds and competition. Last year I got a great harvest. This year should be better. Here are some fun pictures if you didn't know asparagus grew quite large once you let the shoots go.

Those three tall ferny plants in the middle are asparagus

The over wintered plants that are ready for removal

Asparagus seeds. These are still orange. They dry out and hold seeds.

The cut back asparagus with composted humus and manure dumped on them

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