Thursday, 14 April 2011
Who doesn't like asparagus? It is a wonderful vegetable and high in nutrition. It comes in 'season' only from the beginning of spring up until the beginning of summer. Usually the window is 6-8 weeks long for mature asparagus.
You can buy 2-3 year old crowns. Plant the crowns in Spring when the soil is warm, let it grow. The following year cut asparagus for 2-3 weeks. Some people don't do this, but a study showed that this increased next years asparagus season. So, the year after you plant the crowns cut for a couple weeks, then let the plants grow the rest for themselves. The following year, two years after you planted them you can cut for 4-6 weeks. The following year and every year after for 10-15 years cut for 6-8 weeks, usually until the first week of June.
This is my second year, I planted asparagus last year this time. It grew well. I was not going to cut any this year, due to some shoots coming up several weeks ahead of others, but after doing some more reading on it, decided to cut some. So, this morning I got 11 shoots. I will be cutting for the next week or so, to improve next years yield.
I am thinking the reason cutting the second year can improve the third year is that you are forcing the plant to put out more shoots, expanding the root system, my idea anyway.
Here are pictures of my asparagus that I cut this morning. Once picked put into ice water to remove any heat. Then place in plastic bag and refrigerate, should keep for 2 weeks, enough for you to continue cutting until you have enough for a meal.