Allowing Asparagus to Go to Seed - Knowledgebase Question

Zeeland, MI
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Question by tjersey
May 20, 1999
I planted asparagus roots this spring and now tiny aspargus shoots are coming up from each one. Do I just let them come up and go to seed?

Answer from NGA
May 20, 1999
Generally it is a good idea to let the new plants grow and become established for the first year, thus delaying any harvest until the next year. When you do begin to harvest, cut only those spears larger in diameter than a pencil. Keep new asparagus plantings well watered in the spring.
Asparagus is a heavy feeder, so in addition to adding organic material regularly, top dressing with bone meal (phosphorous) and greensand (potassium) is beneficial.

This fall, cut the stems off at about a two inch height after frost when they turn yellow. (Do this before any berries turn red and fall off or you will have seedlings crowding the bed next year.) Remove all of the asparagus debris. Then layer the bed with four to six inches of compost or organic mulch to help control weeds next year and also add organic matter and nutrients to the soil. Good luck!

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