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sophiesox 09-16-2004 10:06 AM

Hi, all, I planted asparagus a few months ago for the first time. I know it won't be real asparagus for possibly years but for the time being, I have these very tall, feathery plants. They're beautiful, but I don't know what to do with them. How to protect them in the winter? Should I cut them back? What are these feathery things and how do they relate to the future asparagus?

Anyone with asparagus experience, please help.

Kamila 09-20-2004 01:51 PM

I have not checked the gardening forum in a while. I am sorry that you had to wait so long.

You should mulch the bed with compost and grass clippings to keep the weeds down and to feed the critters that feed the roots. The fronds (those feathery things) should be left to die on their own. You can either cut the brown tops down and compost them in the fall or you can leave them on the bed and clean them out next spring before the new growth appears.

Next spring cut off and remove the old fronds or ferns if you did not do it in the fall, as well as any mulch that is still on the bed. Hoe between the rows (or around the edge). Fertilize with an organic mix in February and again in June. When the 2nd year shoots come through the soil they can be weeded and mulched with compost and grass clippings again. In the 2nd year just enjoy the beauty of those feathery beauties. They need this year to feed the roots. In the fall when the tops turn brown then repeat the directions for new plants.

Enjoy the fruit of you patience and labor the 3rd year.

Get dirty,


sophiesox 09-22-2004 10:09 AM

Kamilla, you made my day. I even have a book on growing organic vegetables, and it says nothing about this process--nothing at all about asparagus. This is such a help!

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