When harvesting a new bed, wait until the new spears are the size of a pencil or larger. What kind of mulch is best for asparagus? Removing the mulch allows the sun to warm the soil and triggers the asparagus roots to begin producing shoots. Keeping the mulch on the surface of your soil will keep it away from the roots of your plants. Danny demonstrates the correct way to harvest asparagus. Asked June 18, 2015, 10:03 PM EDT. Allow 12” to 14” between crowns and four feet between rows. As soon as the first tips of the shoots poke through the soil surface in spring, spread a layer of mulch 6 to 8 inches deep over the bed. This will help to smother the weeds in the bed and will help fertilize the bed for next year. I would infect the new asparagus with unseen disease from the old asparagus 2). Not as much is known about it ability to infect vegetables, although it is thought unlikely. Asparagus is a heavy feeder, so companion planting with cover crops from the legume family provides additional nitrogen to the soil naturally. Because corn gluten meal has herbicidal properties, it will prevent desired plants from sprouting, so do not use it if you are companion planting asparagus with beans until the bean plants are at least 6 inches tall. The slow breakdown of straw provides steady, consistent food for the beneficial bacteria in the soil. ... What Mulch Is Best - Duration: 5:47. Asparagus spears will be ready for harvest shortly after the soil temperature reaches 50°F (10°C) in early spring—that’s when spears will begin to emerge. Tiffany Selvey has been a writer since 2007. Hoeing the beds is difficult among the close-growing asparagus shoots and ferns, and even when the beds are empty, there’s a danger of damaging the delicate crowns. This is particularly important in hot weather when asparagus tends to stop producing. Asparagus roots below ground are well protected by the soil. The mulch will capture some of the water and feed it to the plant, allowing for saturation to occur at a higher level of watering. Mulches help retain warmth in the soil, but in spring, they shield the soil from the sun’s warming rays, which means a mulched bed warms up more slowly than bare soil. Do not allow the roots to dry out. Add 1 to 2 inches of shredded newspaper to the asparagus bed, adding more when soil is visible. Wet, cold soil can cause the roots to rot. Spread a layer of mulch 4 to 6 inches deep over the bed. A. Asparagus loves a deep, loose mulch. Sew Austrian winter peas over the asparagus bed, covering lightly with soil. answer. Green's work appears in SFGate, Mom.me, The Pink Plumber and many home services blogs . They also increase the organic content of the soil and improve drainage. As the plants grow, add more soil until the trench is filled. When the harvesting season is over, remove the plastic tunnel. Mulch the bed in late winter to discourage weeds and to retain moisture. After harvesting each bed, apply a layer of mulch for weed control through the remainder of the growing season. Good mulching materials include sawdust, wood chips, shavings and ground corncobs. Place the asparagus crowns in the trench, spreading the roots carefully and cover with good planting soil. The asparagus spears are harvested by lifting one side of the plastic and cutting the shoots, then lowering the plastic. Keep your asparagus patch performing well by top-dressing every spring with 2 to 3 inches of composted manure, followed by a 2-inch layer of loose organic mulch. The Best Ground Cover for Gardens in the Winter. The thickness of your mulch layer depends on the type of mulch you are using. Weeds compete with asparagus for water, nutrients and light and reduce the yield of the spears. After the last heavy frost in spring, rake the mulch off half the asparagus bed, taking care not to damage any shoots that may have emerged. Remove weeds when preparing the bed, and keep weeding while the asparagus plants are young. Essentially, mulching allows you to water heavily one day and then leave the rhubarb alone for several days because of the water captured and stored in the soil and the mulch. Asparagus spears will come right up through the mulch but delay weeds. Water in and mulch with 5cm (2in) of well-rotted manure or other weed free organic matter; Ongoing maintenance. How Much Newspaper Do You Use Under Rock Mulch? After the first frost, or, if your area doesn’t experience frost, when the asparagus ferns turn yellow, prune them to 2-inch stubs. Wait until foliage turns yellow or brown and the plant becomes dormant before pruning. Signs that indicate it’s time to stop harvesting are shoots that are less than 3/8 inch in diameter and spearheads opening up, which occurs in response to rising temperatures. Since asparagus is a perennial crop, it's not possible for home gardeners to till or plow the planting area to eliminate weeds. The early growth is encouraged by removing the winter mulch. Where heavy snow covers asparagus beds in the winter let stalks turn brown and fall across the planting bed to form their own mulch to protect plant crowns. Heavy mulch also slows down evaporation, prevents erosion and adds organic matter to the soil. Our Quick Guide to the Best Fertilizer for Asparagus The fertilizer we most recommend for asparagus is Osmocote Flower and Vegetable Smart-Release Plant Food . Mulch asparagus beds to protect them during the winter months. Straw mulch is excellent for preventing weeds while improving soil conditions. Because it is a perennial, tilling around the asparagus bed is not possible without destroying the crop, so you need to use other weed control methods. Spring Asparagus Garden. The production of asparagus in the US is very valuable since it is an enduring vegetable with an early harvest, which occurs in sandy soils and other heavier soils, that also tolerates low temperatures and droughts, generating income much earlier than other fruits or vegetables that are commonly cultivated. Clean spears will push up through the mulch in spring. Shredded newspaper, like straw, prevents soil erosion, reduces soil temperature, and restricts weed growth. Remove weeds when preparing the bed and would like to know What to use in. To know What to use for mulch to warm the soil prior to digging the hole at planting?! Warm the soil and triggers the asparagus bed to prolong the total harvest period asparagus benefits from regular.. 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