Spring Care For Third Year Asparagus - Knowledgebase Question

Quinton, VA
Question by Pepper1
February 18, 2000
This spring marks year number 3 for my asparagus. The old ferns have been cut away, but I would like to know when it is safe (weather-wise) for me to pull the old mulch back and fertilize. The last thing I want is for a shoot to come up on a warm day, then freeze. Since it is still February 19, we will likely still have lows in the 20s and more frozen precipitation. I live in zone 7, near Richmond Virginia. Thank you.

Answer from NGA
February 18, 2000


Asparagus is quite cold hardy, but the safest thing to do is to pull the mulch aside to fertilize and then replace it; when the weather begins to settle remove it gradually as the weather warms. You would also leave it next to the plants so you can replace it should a terribly cold night threaten. Yet another approach is to apply a good portioon of well rotted manure and/or compost in the fall and allow that to provide nourishment for early spring, then side dress a bit later in the spring season with fertilizer.

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