If you’re growing your own asparagus, you may wonder when to mulch asparagus. Asparagus is susceptible to various pests, including beetles and eggs, so it is best to harvest it after it is about two to four weeks old to remove the eggs and beetles. In addition, you can use salt to prevent weeds around asparagus by planting it in sandier soils.
Harvesting asparagus for two to four weeks removes all the eggs
Asparagus is a perennial vegetable that will regrow itself each spring. The harvesting season is usually six to eight weeks. It is important to harvest asparagus only when the plants are fully grown. This prevents the asparagus plant from becoming stunted. After harvesting, the plant will grow ferny foliage and will feed the roots for the next year.
You can harvest asparagus when the spears are six to ten inches long, about the size of your index finger. To harvest asparagus, cut it at the base of the plant with a sharp knife. This way, you will be able to avoid breaking the plant’s roots.
Asparagus plants are heavy feeders, so they need frequent fertilization. The primary nutrient they need is phosphorus. To fertilize asparagus, use composted manure or kitchen waste. To prepare the soil for growing asparagus, you can do a soil test. The pH of the soil should be close to 7.0. Adding organic matter to the soil is also recommended. Start fertilizing your asparagus beds a year before planting.
Asparagus beetles are the main pest of asparagus. They emerge one to three weeks after the asparagus plant has been planted. The adults are approximately one-third inch long (eight mm) with 12 spots on their wing covers. They are attracted to the foliage of asparagus plants and will lay eggs on them.
Harvesting asparagus for more than six weeks removes the beetles
Asparagus beetles eat the asparagus foliage after the spears are ready for harvest. You can easily remove the beetles by hand or with gloves. If you have difficulty removing them, you can purchase lady bugs that feed on their larvae. However, they will only stay for as long as there are asparagus beetles to feed on.
You can also control beetles with neem oil. It has a half-life of about one to two days and is non-toxic to humans and pets. You can spray the asparagus bed with Neem oil to kill the beetles.
Depending on the season, it takes several weeks before you can harvest asparagus. During the first six weeks of harvest, the asparagus should be picked until it is thin. By the fifth year, you can harvest the spears for up to eight weeks. This will help the spears to be more tender and marketable.
Asparagus can be grown in many different types of soil, but the best types for growing asparagus are deep loam and sandy soils. The soil should be well-drained. Asparagus can grow roots to a depth of ten feet in soils with adequate drainage. Asparagus is also happy in soils with high salt and low acidity, though it won’t grow well in over-acid conditions.
You should also cut the asparagus plants to the ground each year, which will prevent them from overwintering. Asparagus can survive more than 10 years in the ground, so cutting the stalks early will help prevent pests from overwintering. In cold weather, the plant’s debris can catch snow, protecting it from the freezing temperatures.
Using salt as a weed control for asparagus
Some gardeners use salt to kill weeds in their asparagus beds. But it’s not a good idea to go overboard. Even though asparagus is a salt-tolerant plant, too much salt will kill the crop. As a result, you should always test your soil salinity and apply the appropriate amount. As well as killing weeds, too much salt can also impede water percolation and drainage.
Salt is also an effective fertilizer for your asparagus beds. Use one pound of rock, table, or sea salt per 10-foot row of asparagus. The best results will come from applying salt to the beds after the asparagus ferns have grown to maturity. However, too much salt can harm the plant and cause compaction.
Another way to get rid of weeds in asparagus fields is by applying post-emergent herbicides. You can apply these herbicides when the asparagus spears are below the soil’s surface. You’ll need to do this more than once, since a single application will not completely control weeds. If you’re worried about the residue on your asparagus plants, you can also use a plantback herbicide instead.
Weeder geese are also a good weed control for asparagus. Although they don’t like goldenrod or Curly Dock, these geese will graze and prune the grasses. This will reduce the amount of weed roots in the soil, which can compete with the asparagus roots.
Planting asparagus in sandier, saltier soils
The best way to start growing asparagus in your garden is by planting it in a well-drained sandy soil. Dig a 6-inch trench and place the crowns about 12 to 18 inches apart. Water the crowns thoroughly to remove weeds. Then, cover the crowns with two to three inches of soil. Asparagus will begin to grow in a few weeks.
While asparagus does well in a well-drained, sandy soil, it does not tolerate soil that is overly saturated. For this reason, it is best to plant it on a hillside or hilltop, which is above the sea level. In addition, water that is standing for an hour is too wet for asparagus plants. Approximately 10,000 acres of asparagus are grown in Oceana County, which has a pH level that is about one step above beach sand.
Asparagus is an extremely unique vegetable. It pushes up from a deep root system and wants to be a tall frond. Despite this, it will not grow into a frond if the soil is too wet. Moreover, areas that stay wet will rot the roots and invite diseases.
It may be possible to grow asparagus alongside other plants in your garden. You can interplant it with perennials or shrubs. The mature stalks of asparagus can reach up to five feet in height and make a perfect middle layer in a stacked perennial bed. You can also interplant it with phosphorus-fixing or nitrogen-fixing cover crops. Some popular bio-accumulators include yarrow and crimson clover. However, you should be aware that these plants can be invasive in some areas. It is important to choose a bio-accumulator for your region before planting asparagus.
Keeping asparagus out of the way of annual crops
Once planted, asparagus will take two to four years to reach maturity and begin producing spears. You can harvest spears when they are about six to eight inches tall. Harvesting them too early will not allow the plant to grow to its maximum potential and stunt its growth. To harvest asparagus in the best condition, cut the spears at ground level at least an inch below the soil surface.
After harvest, asparagus will need moderate weed management, fertilization, and irrigation. Ignoring these tasks will reduce the vigor and health of your plants. You can also cut down and burn off old ferns to promote fern growth. Adding nitrogen fertilizer just before the ferns grow is another way to promote their growth and ensure maximum spear size.
Asparagus should not be planted near other plants such as leeks, onions, ramps, and shallots. This is because they take up a lot of nutrients and can disrupt the roots of asparagus. In addition, planting asparagus close to alliums can result in stunted asparagus stems.
Asparagus grows best in rich, organic soil. If you’re planning to plant it near annual crops, consider applying animal manure or green-manure cover crop. Asparagus can’t tolerate high nitrogen levels in soil, so fertilization is essential. The soil test results will determine how much nitrogen your asparagus will require.
Fertilizing asparagus is an important step in growing healthy, vibrant asparagus. It’s essential to apply a fertilizer during the active growth phase and at regular intervals during the first three years. Early spring fertilization is particularly important as it promotes root growth. Fertilizing asparagus regularly will help your plants grow to maturity. The amount of fertilizer you need to apply depends on the size of your plants and the soil in which they are grown.
Asparagus grows best in a medium-to-sandy soil, but heavy clay soils should be amended. A fertilizer rich in phosphorus and potassium is best for growing asparagus. However, you can also use an all-purpose garden fertilizer. The key is to make sure that the soil is free of weeds before planting asparagus.
Fertilizing asparagus is best done in the early spring and early summer. Fertilize your asparagus bed by spreading a one-inch layer of manure or compost on the soil. Then, mulch it with three inches of straw or other material to keep the soil moist. Asparagus plants push through this mulch in the spring and early summer. Fertilizing asparagus in spring and early summer will help to encourage a lush, productive bed.
After the soil is moist, plant the seeds in a 6-inch trench. Make sure the soil is well-drained and free of pathogens. Plant the seeds twelve to fourteen weeks before the last frost date. Sprouting can be accelerated by soaking the seeds in water for about 15 minutes. When the plants are about a half-inch to three-quarter inch deep, place them with the buds facing upward. After the first few weeks, you should expect the first sprouts to appear. In a few weeks, depending on how warm your soil is, you can transplant the asparagus to a permanent garden bed and fertilize it.