Winter Blanket for the Asparagus February 11 2017, 0 Comments
Like its cousins the onions, Asparagus officinalis is a member of the Liliaceae or lily family. It’s been cultivated since ancient times. Asparagus is a dioecious, which means there are distinct male and female plants. In recent decades, the all-male hybrid varieties from New Jersey (like the “Jersey Giant”) have become very popular. Male plants produce a greater number of spears, and no berries which eventually germinate and become like hard-to-pull weeds. Asparagus does not compete well with weeds. Weeding the bed is generally by hand because any deep cultivation can damage the asparagus. Neglected, weedy beds do very poorly. Asparagus plants have three parts, the top (fern), the crown (just under the surface where the buds form), and the roots (below the crown). The fern creates energy which is stored in the crown. The more energy and nutrition stored in the crown during the summer and fall, the more spears in the spring.
Leave a good six inches of stem to hold the mulch and create air space.
A well-maintained asparagus bed will be productive for 20 years or more. There aren’t too many cultivated plants which can claim that. With just a little proper care in the fall, you will be rewarded by many juicy green spears when spring comes around. Asparagus can be that easy.