If you are looking to grow your own asparagus, you’ve come to the right place. Here you’ll find tips for planting asparagus, from Soil requirements to the best time to plant. We also cover some pests that can harm your plants. Read on to find out more.
Growing asparagus is a great way to enjoy fresh asparagus for several seasons. Asparagus grows best in full sun and prefers a soil that has excellent drainage. Asparagus will thrive in beds that are prepared early in the year, before the soil dries out. It also needs a lot of compost to thrive, so you should prepare the soil well before planting.
Fertilize asparagus plants once a year in the spring, about one inch above the ground. Apply fertilizer according to your soil type. Depending on the type of asparagus you grow, it may be necessary to add lime to the soil. In addition, asparagus beds should be mulched regularly, and the foliage should be cut off about an inch above ground to prevent diseases and fungus from developing.
Asparagus should be harvested when the spears are six to eight inches long. Cut the stems at the soil line to avoid damaging the spear base. If you cut the spears too deeply, the crown buds, which produce the next spears, will be injured. Then, you should blanch the spears.
Once the seedlings sprout, place them under grow lights until they are ten days old. They should be exposed to sunlight for an hour on the first day, and two hours the second day. Once they reach that point, they’ll be ready to be planted. You can harvest as many as ten pounds of asparagus from a twenty-foot row, which is about enough for a family of four.
Asparagus varieties come in a variety of colours. Some are red or purple, and some are hybrid. You can grow these plants from seeds or buy plants from garden centers. Choose varieties with excellent hardiness, so they can withstand extreme temperatures.
Asparagus prefers slightly acidic soil, which is why soil pH levels in the range of 6.0 to 6.8 are ideal for planting asparagus. It is important to apply lime to the soil prior to planting as it will raise the soil pH level and make it better suited to grow asparagus.
Once the asparagus crowns are planted, they should be covered by two to three inches of soil. Additional soil should be added as the plants grow and as weeds emerge. By the end of June, the furrow should be completely filled with soil. During the planting season, growers should avoid the use of herbicides. However, they should apply phosphate fertilizer in the bottom of the furrow before planting the crowns.
Before planting asparagus, the soil must be tested to determine the amount of fertilizer needed. Asparagus grow best in soils with about five to ten percent organic matter. The best fertilizer for asparagus is a mix of five to ten percent nitrogen and one to two percent phosphorus. After the soil has been tested, it should be topped off with at least thirty pounds of nitrogen per acre.
Before planting asparagus, it is important to control perennial weeds. Common weeds include Bermudagrass, Johnsongrass, and crabgrass. To control these weeds, herbicides and cover-crops can be used. It is also best to avoid common rock salt, which will cause damage to the soil’s structure and impede water infiltration.
Asparagus can be planted only once, so it is best to plant them close together. Plant crowns in mounds about two inches deep in the soil. Afterward, apply a mixture of 50:50 native soil and Miracle-Gro Performance Organics In-Ground Soil. The asparagus seeds should be planted at least 12 inches apart. A single crown should produce about 15 to 18 crowns.
Best time to plant asparagus
The best time to plant asparagus is in early spring. Crowns, the roots of young plants, are available from nurseries only in early spring. It is recommended to buy crowns that are one year old or more so they do not experience transplant shock. Crowns should be soaked in water for at least 20 minutes before planting. It is also beneficial to add a few pounds of 5-10-10 fertilizer to the soil when planting them. Crowns should be planted in a trench that is at least 10 inches wide and six inches deep.
Asparagus needs eight hours of sunlight per day. If you plan on planting it in a container, make sure you plant it in a sunny location. However, if you live in an area with hot summers, consider planting it in a sheltered area. The plant will require at least three years to reach maturity.
Asparagus plants can tolerate a second year of harvest. Asparagus plants are best harvested at about six inches tall. Nevertheless, they need time to recover and build strength for the coming year. For this reason, it is essential to fertilize the asparagus plants after harvesting to promote healthy growth.
The best time to plant asparagus depends on where you live. If you live in a mild climate, the best time to plant asparagus is early spring when the soil is warm enough for the roots to establish. Colder climates are not suitable for planting asparagus in early spring, so it is recommended to plant them in the fall.
For the first two years, it is advisable not to harvest the spears. This allows the plants to store energy and establish themselves. If you plan to harvest the asparagus, wait until the second year when the spears are six to eight inches tall. The harvesting season lasts for about six weeks.
Pests that can damage asparagus plants
Asparagus can be severely damaged by two types of fungi, Fusarium oxysporum and Fusarium proliferatum. These fungi live in soil and are not controlled by chemical sprays. They can cause crown and root rot and can lead to weakened asparagus plants. To prevent these plant diseases, cultivars should be irrigated regularly and weeds should be controlled.
Cutworms and grasshoppers are common asparagus pests. The larvae of cutworms grow to about 40mm long and have five pairs of prolegs. They feed on asparagus stems and spears and burrow in the soil during the day. Later, the mature larvae sever the plant’s stems. The older larvae may also harbour disease-causing organisms. Grasshoppers, which range in size from 19 to 33 mm, can also damage asparagus plants.
Asparagus hornworms are another pest to watch for. These pests eat the tender shoots of asparagus and may affect the plant’s vigor. They also feed on the foliage and plant debris. In some cases, severe infestations can lead to spears becoming brown and shriveled.
Fungi that attack asparagus plants are also common. Some of these pests attack the foliage, while others cause crown rot. These fungi can cause extreme crop losses in both commercial growers and home gardeners. They are particularly damaging to young plants and are worse in areas where the wind blows against the asparagus. The sand in the wind creates wounds for the fungi to penetrate the spear tissue. To minimize the risk of infection, it is important to destroy any wild asparagus that may have been growing near your planting.
The spotted asparagus beetle is another common pest that can damage your plants. Adults are orange or red with black spots. Adults feed on the tips of asparagus plants and can damage your crop. To prevent this pest from attacking your asparagus, you should try to keep fern growth around your plants.
Feeding asparagus plants
Feeding asparagus plants requires the right balance of nutrients. For the best results, you need to feed your plants in the fall, before they go into dormancy, and again in the spring, before they begin to grow. Fertilizer should be applied at a rate of 8-10 pounds per 1,000 square feet. The fertilizer can be used in conjunction with generous amounts of organic matter.
Asparagus plants require plenty of water and a regular feeding. If they don’t receive sufficient water and nutrients, they will eventually lose their spears and turn to fern. When picking asparagus, pick the stems just before they get to the ferny stage. After that, leave the stalks to mature. This will give them energy for the next year’s growth. Asparagus plants are perennial and last for about 25 years.
Asparagus can be started from seeds or crowns. Crowns are more convenient than seeds, but can also be started from seed. Seedlings should be sown 12-14 weeks before your target seedling set-out date. After the seedlings have sprouted, they should be hardened off in a cold frame for a week.
Asparagus grows best in medium-textured, well-drained soil. It tolerates a wide range of soil conditions but should not be planted in a garden that is too acidic. Ideally, the soil pH level should be 6.5-7.0. Asparagus should not be harvested during the first year, as the plant needs to establish its root system and produce a strong crop. Harvest sparingly throughout the season and after the plants reach full growth.
Asparagus plants can be attacked by insects and diseases. The best defense against this problem is choosing resistant varieties. They should be planted in soil with a high organic content and low pH level.