The Q&A Archives: Immature Asparagas Stalks

Question: If your asparagas stalks are short and immature the second year after planting, is it because you let them go to seed? Should you let the asparagas plants go to seed?

Answer: I recommend cutting asparagus ferns before the fruits pop open to distribute their seed so you don't have to deal with seedling that might compete with the variety you planted. Most people grow purely male plants to avoid this situation. Also, male plants produce larger crops (25-30% more) than females, which tend to put their energy into producing seed. There are a couple other possibilities of why the stalks are spindly: if you harvested most of the stalks the first year after planting, not enough ferns were allowed to grow to replenish the crowns to compensate for the heavy harvest. Or, growing conditions last year weren't conducive to the health of the crowns: lots of weed competition, not enough moisture, poor soil fertility, etc.

If you need guidelines for growing asparagus, you can search the Q&A database -- there's great information there. Good luck to you --

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