Cover Crop for Asparagus - Knowledgebase Question

Va Beach, VA
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Question by ajingram
August 18, 1998
I intend to plant asparagus in the spring. The beds are prepared now. What would be the best greenmanure to plant to enhance the asparagus and help keep the beds weed free?

Answer from NGA
August 18, 1998
I suggest sowing winter rye as a cover crop. In spring, 3-4 weeks before preparing a planting trench for the asparagus, till under the winter rye. The organic matter will take that long to decompose to a suitable state. You can probably hasten the decomposition by adding some rock dust or manure slurry before tilling under the rye. I recommend using a thick organic mulch under asparagus rather than a "living mulch" of a cover crop. There's likely to be too much competition to benefit the asparagus. Best of luck!

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