The Q&A Archives: Asparagus

Question: We have a nice patch of asparagus that produced well in the spring. It is now past the early harvest. What do we need to do to have it fill in better with strong roots. We have let it go to seed in the past but does not seem to spread or get stronger. What do you recommend?

Answer: Asparagus plants will continue to grow stronger each year, especially if you harvest only some of the spears and allow the others to turn into ferny foliage. The foliage manufactures and transports energy back into the crowns of the plants. In the fall, after frost kills back the tops you can just leave them in the garden (lay them over if they don't lay down by themselves). The foliage will help insulate the plants over the winter months. You can also mulch over the tops with straw, shredded leaves or even pine boughs to provide even more winter protection. Rake everything off the plants in late winter, being careful not to damage the emerging tops of your plants. In the spring, side dress with a 10-20-10 fertilizer. In time your asparagus crowns will enlarge and spread and provide you with lots of spears. Enjoy!

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