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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Asaparagus: Clearing Last Year's Bed and Eating This Year's Shoots

Asparagus takes about 3 years to establish itself and provide enough shoots for eating and growing. It is important you let several asparagus stems grow to maturity and thrive all Summer long. This is how your asparagus plants recharge themselves for the following year.

Asparagus should be cleaned up in the beginning of March at the latest in our area. The reason being is that new shoots start coming up, for this year's picking, and cleaning the bed later makes it harder.  Your shoots won't be as green as they can be because last year's stems will block the sun from the new shoots.

Here is a look at my asparagus from a few days ago. I had to clean it up slowly as not to break or smash the new shoots.

Last Year's Asparagus Plants - The Rusted Garden: Gary Pilarchik
Clearing it Reveals the New Asparagus Shoots: Gary Pilarchik
Cleared Asparagus Bed: Gary Pilarchik

This is one of my asparagus beds. You can see what is there once I removed the old debris. This bed is younger than the other one I am about to show you. The shoots are a bit thin but still I picked several stems for a snack. The sun is on them now and the bed should produce for a good 30 days if not longer.

Asparagus Clump One: Gary Pilarchik
Asparagus Clump Two: Gary Pilarchik
Asparagus Clump Three: Gary Pilarchik

This is my raised asparagus bed dedicated to asparagus (of course) and onions. The asparagus is a bit pale because I failed to clean it up before the shoots came up. It is still delicious.

You pick asparagus by gentle bending it till it naturally snaps. After cleaning the beds, I had some raw asparagus.

Bend Asparagus Till it Snaps or Cut it as Soil Level: Gary Pilarchik
Asparagus in Hand - The Rusted Garden: Gary Pilarchik

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