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28 Apr 2013

Is that asparagus?

If you're a first time grower of asparagus, now is the time to cut back the ferns . . .
Category: General
Posted by: christina

Asparagus falls into the category of 'garden snack' at our place, much like peas and strawberries and cherry tomatos. I eat heaps while i'm in the garden, and rarely manage to pick a decent bowlful to take to the kitchen.

Asparagus is a very long lived plant, and the quickest way to get sturdy plants with a good crop of succulent spears is to plant one or two year-old crowns in winter. You can also grow seedlings, but these will take an extra year or two to get established.

At this time of year, assuming you stopped cutting the spears to eat back in January, you'll find the tall ferny tops have started to yellow off. Once they've all changed colour you can cut them back close to the ground, making sure you don't damage the top of the underground 'crown'.

A light topdressing of rich compost (they especially like compost with seaweed in it) will tuck them in nicely for winter. Then you can look forward to the first spears re-appearing in September for crunchy garden snacks, or more sophisticated treatment in the kitchen!

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