What to do now with asparagas plants?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by brownthumb, Oct 17, 2006.

  1. brownthumb

    brownthumb Well-Known Member

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    I have second year asparagas plants that I don't want to lose over winter. Last year was mild and they survived. Do I just let them alone and keep my fingers crossed?
     
  2. MullersLaneFarm

    MullersLaneFarm Well-Known Member

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    Where are you? I sheet compost all my herbs. Never had a problem with asparagus coming back.
     

  3. TexasArtist

    TexasArtist Well-Known Member

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    where are you posting from? That will help folks answer you better. It's been my experience to just let them go and they do o.k. Even when we lived in maryland when I was little they never were covered. Basically a weed that keeps coming back.
     
  4. Bruce in NE

    Bruce in NE Well-Known Member

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    I've got a half acre of asparagus. I just mow down the stalks with a bush hog in late fall when they're all dead. That's it.
     
  5. patnewmex

    patnewmex Jane of all trades

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    Let them go and DO NOT cut the yellowing top ferns off. Even when yellow they are gearing up and trying to make the roots better for next year. Just leave them in the ground. My mother lives in Northern Wisc. right by Duluth Minnesota where it can get 60 below zero (without any wind chill factor) and she just leaves them in the ground. That's it. Nothing else to do.
     
  6. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Asparagus plants are pretty hardy: they are found wild over most of the USA.
     
  7. goatee

    goatee Active Member

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    I mulch with about 6 inches of straw after mowing in fall.I live in western PA. and this protects them good.also keeps weeds down in spring.
     
  8. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Leaving the big tops stand all winter makes a wind break that will help snow stay on the ground over the plants. They also make shade which retards freezing and thawing. Freezing and thawing repeatedly causes heaving of the roots.
     
  9. Cindy in NY

    Cindy in NY Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I was told by an 80 + farmer here to wait until the tops have yellowed or browned and then cut them to the ground. After that, I put some mulched leaves on top. We ususally have snowpack for 2 - 3 months and the asparagus has done fine for the past three years.
     
  10. Pony

    Pony STILL not Alice Supporter

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    When I grew asparagus, I'd wait until the tops were brown, cut them down, then lay them on top of the asparagus patch. Pulled them off come Spring.

    Worked fine for me.

    Pony!
     
  11. Southern Steve

    Southern Steve Member

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    My asparagus patch is almost 30 years old, was started by my father who died 10 years ago. Here in south west Indiana, winters can be harsh or temperate, but regardless, here is what we do: When the fronds turn yellow in the late fall, we cut them down to about 6 inches from the ground. This is because they no longer are doing their photo-synthesis thing. Then we side dress with horse manure and cover the bed with straw. Round about mid March, the straw comes off and the spears start to appear. I have to say that I moved the entire bed 3 years ago, and it is doing great in its new spot too.
     
  12. harrisjnet

    harrisjnet Okie with Attitude

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    Asparagus grows wild in the Colo. Foothills where temps get down to 20 below. I would cut the tops off if you want, but leave the root crowns alone.
     
  13. MarleneS

    MarleneS Well-Known Member

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    I leave mind until fonds are all brown, cut and leave on top of bed, the birds like the red berries ... and thanks to them I have a couple of "wild" beds getting started.

    Marlene