asparagus questions

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by soapmakermom, Apr 27, 2006.

  1. soapmakermom

    soapmakermom Well-Known Member

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    Hi, I have some asparagus questions, hope someone can help me. I have planted my crowns in a raised bed nearby my strawberry and raspberry beds.

    1. How can I weed this bed? The weeds are huge and ugly. I heard about salting, but the bed is close to the raspberries and strawberries, so I'm afraid I will kill them. If I dig them out, I may damage the crowns.

    2. When the spears begin coming up, do I pick every one, even the skinny plant-forming ones? How long can I keep picking... in other words, is there a time I need to let the plants form, or can I just keep picking them to produce more spears?

    3. Once I do let the plant grow, do I need to keep it intact or can I mow it down, and when can I do this? Does having the plant make the crown produce more next year?

    Hope I'm making myself clear. Thanks for any advice you can give!
    Mary
     
  2. suelandress

    suelandress Windy Island Acres Supporter

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    I weed by bending over and yanking :D If you find an easier way, please let me know!!
    I only pick fat spears, and usually in flushes and then let them set to gather their "fuel". The whole bed gets picked for 6-8 weeks, but I stagger the removal of mulch to extend the harvest.
    I never mow.
    Now...so far all these "I's" have worked for me....how a professional would see it is beyond me!
     

  3. Lynne

    Lynne Well-Known Member

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    Hope this helps.
     
  4. suelandress

    suelandress Windy Island Acres Supporter

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    pick em in flushes..... meaning a weekly, not daily harvest, at whatever size they are at.

    letting them set....just leave them alone

    stagger removal of mulch.....I got this from one of Rodales' books....100 greatest garden hints, I think,.....anyway, you know how you cover them with deep mulch in the fall for a nice winter nap? well, in the spring, instead of removing the mulch from the entire bed, "cut" (not literally)the bed into 3rds, and remove the mulch from a third of the bed every two weeks.....thus extending your harvest period.


    edited to add: the reason I don't pick skinny ones is becasue the plant obviously didn't have enough energy to begin with :shrug: By the looks of some of the stuff in the grocery store, I guess plenty folks do pick the skiiny ones :)
     
  5. soapmakermom

    soapmakermom Well-Known Member

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    Great! These are just the things I needed to know. The frost got my last set of spears, they were all limp and yucky, so I picked them and left them there. Hopefully there is no more damage.
    Thanks for the advice.
    Mary
     
  6. shadowwalker

    shadowwalker Well-Known Member

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    I got tired of fighting weeds, I waited until the asparagus started coming up. I laid down that weed free black plastic stuff. I left spaces about three inches across and eight or nine inches long across the crowns. This lets the new come up. I now have a amost weed free spot, with the prettiest asparagus growing.
     
  7. soapmakermom

    soapmakermom Well-Known Member

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    I think that's going to be kind of hard for me to do, because my crowns seem to produce at different times. It would be difficult for me to cut the plastic and not leave some crowns under the plastic.
     
  8. djb473

    djb473 Well-Known Member

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    :rolleyes: i pickem when i see em i stop around the end of june then i weed wack the the whole patch and then let it go till theend of the growin season and around november i weed wack the patch again rake it and cover with a thick layer of sea weed :nono: (the one that looks like little pieces of ribbon not the one with bulbs in it)my grand pa said :grump: that sea weed has stuff in it that you cant get in anything else i get some that are huge and the plants are ancient :bouncy:
     
  9. dcross

    dcross Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I was told if you don't pick the skinny ones, the crowns will stop sending up new shoots sooner.

    What kind of weeds do you have?
     
  10. soapmakermom

    soapmakermom Well-Known Member

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    Well, I'm in NE Ohio, so I can't use sea weed. I'll bet it's the salt in the sea weed that helps keep the weeds down.

    I have all types of weeds in there. I don't know names. But they are large weeds, you can't just pull them, they need dug out, which can hurt the asparagus crowns.

    I did not mulch heavily, and I'm sure that is part of the problem.

    Some of my crowns send up skinny spears right away, so if I let them grow a plant, it will be hard to see spears and I will have many wispy plants in the bed.

    Mary
     
  11. djb473

    djb473 Well-Known Member

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    i get dandilions and other deep rooted weeds in mine i just dig em out with the corner of my hoe it dosnt seem to bother them at all