Start by snipping off any dead, damaged, or diseased stems on the upper parts of your hedge. Check the soil pH; it should be close to neutral, about 6.5â7.5. Asparagus care is not complicated but is well worth the effort. The asparagus tips can only be harvested for about 8 weeks a year without weakening the plant, when the tips are left to grow on they become asparagus fern. This growth may be tough to cut, so be careful. m_gallery_title = "Spring asparagus season is here"; Bottom line: If it doesn't look fresh, it probably isn't. One doesnât need to be an expert at pruning, when it comes to this bush. Late winter and early spring finds many of us gardeners doing the same thing â cleaning up the garden to get it ready for spring planting. Now it's time to dig up the established plants. This can help prevent the crowns from rotting from fungi that develop on the plant over winter. Pull weeds when they are small in order to avoid disturbing the asparagus root system, and mulch the bed overwinter with compost or straw to cut back on weeds. Cover the crowns with the soil and compost mixture until the trench is filled in. During this period, the plants are better able to renew themselves and repair any damage sustained during digging and transplanting. Just simply cut back the area of the plan that is damaged to leave healthy green growth. Asparagus that's inedible or incinerated is more grocery money that's just thrown away. It is not fussy about the soil type as long as it is well drained. While these spears are great for flash-roasting or incorporating into creamy soups, they tend to overcook quickly, and have a tendency to fall through the grates when you try to grill them. Make a mound of soil mixed with compost in your prepared trench. Trimming and peeling only produced a 25-percent loss, saving us about $1.25 (or about $1.75 if we had bought organic) over what we would have lost by snapping spears. You should not need to remove the entire fern. You do not need anything bigger. (They are always changing names). This is one snap decision that's dead wrong. When asparagus plants are growing in a sunny site with good drainage, proper irrigation, and adequate nutrients, the plants multiply and become crowded over time. Add soil every 2 to 3 weeks, about 2 inches at a time, until the trench is filled in. Keep in mind that Asparagus ferns are hardy plants that can benefit from some root pruning. The list of vegetables that are true perennials is short: rhubarb and asparagus return year after year, while artichokes and sorrel may also act as perennials. Cover the crowns with about 3 inches of soil and water them in deeply. Botanical name âAsparagus aethiopicus, formerly Asparagus densiflorus âSprengeriâ. Care for Newly Transplanted Asparagus Plants, 6 Best Vegetables to Plant in Early Spring. The older asparagus gets, the more it turns woody and fibrous. m_gallery_permalink = "http://photos.oregonlive.com/4450/gallery/spring_asparagus_season_is_her/index.html"; Scissors or hand pruners will work fine. This is to minimize the time your dug plants spend above ground. For all of your questions about pruning, we provide simple, practical advice on what to do and why . Spread the roots of the plant over the mound, and make sure the emerging spears are facing upwards. Although ferns don't bloom, their unique forms and textures provide exceptional visual interest in the garden. Do all of them that way! m_gallery_type = "photo"; Anyone who has had a mouthful of stringy asparagus knows that there's nothing appealing about the woody base of the springtime stalks. m_gallery_blog_id = "4450"; How to Trim an Asparagus Fern. In the current issue of Cook's Illustrated, the recipe testers from America's Test Kitchen found that if they snapped asparagus at the natural breaking point, they lost as much as 50 percent of the weight of each spear, and much of what was being tossed onto the compost pile was completely edible. That's the time to buy broccoli instead. If the roots are excessively tangled and overgrown, you can trim the root mass up to make them easier to replant. Skip the harvest on the new bed for the first season to help plants develop the energy to deliver many future productive years in your garden. It's best to only trim the outer edges after you've removed yellowing or dead fronds. Why You Should Be Cutting Asparagus Back. First, lay down a tarp to make cleaning easier after trimming your hedges. Asparagus beds should be moist, but not soggy. With conventional asparagus running as high as $4.99 a pound at some Portland-area grocery stores (and organic going for as much as $6.99 a pound), throwing away as much as 50 percent of what you buy is financial lunacy. While the tendency of a vegetable such as asparagus to come back after a harsh winter is something to be celebrated, this growing habit also means that you must sometimes move asparagus from its original planting bed to a new site in the garden. It is native to South Africa. This not only produced asparagus that looked prettier than the short, stubby spears. Please support high-quality local journalism. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Advance Local. Why Transplant Asparagus? Many gardeners, including those at Peaceful Valley Farm and Garden Supply (hereâs their video), recommend cutting asparagus back in the late fall and mulching with straw to protect the plants from frost. Q. I'm wondering how I can bring a row of hemlocks that have grown to about 12 to 15 feet high and 6 to 8 feet wide down to about eight feet high and in a couple of feet without damaging them. The conventional wisdom is that this natural snap-off point is where the unpalatable toughness ends, and the tender asparagus begins. Asparagus enters a period of rapid growth during the spring. During this time the plantâs ferny leaves are helping the roots establish themselves, store energy, and grow strong. If itâs overgrown you can trim your plan for a neater overall appearance. Allow the plant to grow naturally. Use sharp scissors or kitchen shears to do the trimming. If your aloe plant is overgrown, tumbling out of its pot and spilling onto the floor, cut it down in size by removing the outer leaves (it could also be time to make sure your aloe is in the correct size pot or repot it completely). Each crown may have several whitish spears beginning to emerge. Subscribe to OregonLive. Once all of the foliage has died, cut the asparagus down to about 2 inches (5 cm.) Shake soil from the clumps, or rinse them gently to expose the roots. Learn the how and when of transplanting asparagus to bring the spears of spring to your plate for many years to come. Next, remove any sickly growth on the overgrown plant. Put on fabric gloves and perhaps a long-sleeved shirt before you begin handling the stems and prickly leaves on your asparagus fern. Tip. A mature stand of asparagus plants produces spears over several weeks, and even up to eight weeks. 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