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.


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Answer from NGA
February 18, 2000

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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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