The Q&A Archives: Controlling Weeds in Asparagus Bed

Question: How can I keep weeds down in the asparagus? We have 50 crowns I planted two years ago. They are doing well but the weeding has become more than a chore. Here the ground is beginning to thaw and we must be outside doing some heavy duty weeding. We try to keep up in the summer, but everything from sumac to plain old grass still gets ahead of us. The asparagus is planted in rows with 19-20 inches between plants. We try to keep a strip about 18 inches wide weeded, with mowed grass up to that point. Thank you. John R. Thomas Highland, NY

Answer: Unfortunately, weeding is a chore in asparagus and the only way to stay ahead is hand hoeing and mulching. Clean out as many weeds as possible in spring and mulch the bed after cutting asparagus is finished with a 4-6" layer of compost. This will bury annual weed seeds and make it hard for perennials to grow. You'll still have to weed, but hopefully it'll be less of a chore. No sprays, salt or any other products are safe for the asparagus to use.

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