Restoring an Asparagus Bed - Homesteading Today
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  #1  
Old 07/11/09, 08:28 PM
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Restoring an Asparagus Bed

When we bought the Farm in 1996 , the first thing I did was to plant an asparagus bed. I was really stupid though and should have waited until I cleaned out all of the perrennial weeds before I put in the 500 roots. Although I get a nice amount of asparagus for the family and the kids families, I know the plants should be doing a lot better. I have all kinds of weeds and berry bushes growing in the bed. I want to get red of the weeds and woodchucks and fertilize and mulch and all that good stuff. Where should I begin? At this moment the asparagus and weeds are 7 feet tall. Can I mow everything and apply an herbicide of somesort? I tried digging the weeds but I did not really accomplish anything since the regrew immediately. Maybe I need to start over somewhere else? But the asparagus stems are really big now after all these years just not that many.
Linda

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  #2  
Old 07/11/09, 09:06 PM
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a fellow i know has a fairly young patch that he treats with salt. he applies rock salt once per year and claims it deters weeds. if the bed is in a place where you wouldn't have to worry about the salt affecting surrounding areas, perhaps that is an option.

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  #3  
Old 07/11/09, 09:10 PM
 
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Gene Logsdon has a post called "Burning Off the Asparagus Bed" on the "Previous Entries" section of Organic-To-Be

http://organictobe.org/index.php/page/3/

(You'll need to scroll down a little ways. . .)

I have had very good luck all around my garden following his advice!

Kathy

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Last edited by Illini; 07/11/09 at 09:13 PM. Reason: Wanted to be sure everyone could find the article - they'll need to scroll down a little ways.
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Old 07/12/09, 09:56 PM
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Illini, that is an interesting site and article but I really liked the article about being insane enough to farm LOL Suits me to a T.
Linda

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  #5  
Old 07/13/09, 01:37 AM
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There are a some herbicides that can be applied before the asparagus emerges.

http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/r7700311.html

In the past I have used Preen.

To catch up with a really weedy bed, I started in very early spring with an application of Preen.
After a few days, I raked it clean, and then I went over it with the rototiller.

I knew my plant roots were 12 inches down, so I felt safe tilling to a depth of 4-6 inches.
Waited a few days, did some more Preen on new weed growth, waited a couple of days and went again with the tiller.

After that season, each spring, I always went over the area with the tiller, but very shallow---and then if needed, I used an application of herbicide----at least a couple of weeks before the asparagus was due to emerge.

By fall, my bed would be weedy again, but , come spring, I'd do the preliminary prep as described, and I always had a good healthy harvest.

I had started that bed from seed, and it was still a good healthy stand of asparagus when we moved 25 years larer.

Now, I'm just getting started with a new bed at our new home.

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Old 07/13/09, 06:16 AM
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I cover my asparagus bed with hay in the fall, lots a hay. I usually put it on about 6-8 inches thick. In the spring only the asparagus pokes though and maybe a few black berries but nothing you would not be able to easily pull out.

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Old 07/14/09, 10:29 AM
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in the fall chop the weeds(it will help ifyou keep mowing them to prevent seeds forming and dropping), cover with a tarp, then put some heavy stuff on top to keep it held down(I use spare t-posts, branches, or old hoses). Leave it for the winter. super easy.

I'm going to plant chives above my asparagus for a ground cover to see how that works.

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  #8  
Old 07/15/09, 06:11 AM
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But won't you just have to remove that plastic in the spring and you will be back to weeds?
With hay just leave it there and add more next fall if needed.

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