Asparagus

Asparagus

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Pollination: Not needed.

Size: Ferns 3-5' tall.

Sun or shade: Full sun.

Plant spacing: 18 inches.

Harvest time: Spring.

Propagation: Seed/roots.

Life expectancy: 15 years.

Bearing age: 3 year.

How to Grow

Soil requirements: pH of 6.5 to 7.5 Deep organic soil with good drainage.

Cultural requirements: At planting, add good amounts of manure and compost. Dig trenches 8 to 10 inches deep and plant the crowns 12 to 18 inches apart. Some new methods call for shallower planting. Spread out the roots. Cover with 3-4 inches of soil. As the shoots emerge continue to fill with soil. Water, if weather is dry.

Do not cut spears until the third season after planting. Then be sure to stop harvesting after June so fern growth can take place. This builds up the food reserves for the following year’s crop. Cut foliage when it yellows in the fall but not before and top dress with well rotted manure and compost.

Using Asparagus

In the landscape: The fern like foliage makes a perennial border or a background for flowers, lining a walkway.

In the kitchen: Eat fresh, frozen or canned

For Your Health:  Fresh picked Asparagus has four times the natural sugar as spears stored just one day which gives it a better flavor without boosting your blood sugar. Jersey Knight is among the most nutritious varieties however the purple asparagus has three times the antioxidants. When asparagus is harvested at six inches tall it is much sweeter than the taller spears. Cooking Asparagus adds to its antioxidant value.