Period of Activity Infections are more common during periods of excessive rainfall or in poorly drained fields. Asparagus loses quality very rapidly after harvest; sugar content declines and the amount of fibrous material increases. To get healthy, vigorous plants, buy 1-year-old crowns from a nursery or garden center or order them from a seed catalog. … Seedlings are ready to transplant when they are 10-12 weeks old and all danger of frost in your area has passed. I don't think it's flowering yet (unless you live somewhere with a very different climate). The "leaves" are in fact needle-like cladodes (modified stems) in the axils of scale leaves; they are 6–32 mm (1 ⁄ 4 – 1 1 ⁄ 4 in) long and 1 mm (1 ⁄ 32 in) broad, and clustered four to 15 together, … If you are in a hurry try Guelph Millennium Crowns this season. Asparagus is a herbaceous, perennial plant growing to 100–150 cm (40–60 in) tall, with stout stems with much-branched, feathery foliage. After asparagus beds are tilled, mark rows 4 to 6 feet apart. Interestingly, many other market garden plants (such as peppers and eggplant) do not do as well as our wild asparagus in that area. Guelph Eclipse is a superb choice of asparagus variety for asparagus companies in temperate and cool … This covers small weeds, and they die from lack of light. Do this in the spring after planting. Next, take all your asparagus and burn them. For established beds scatter 1 to 2 pounds of 10-20-10 fertilizer per 20 feet of row before growth begins in the spring, late January or early February in most areas of Texas. Keep weeds pulled or hoed from the beds. There are just 85 growers in Ontario grow­ing 3,200 acres. For Urban Gardeners: Guelph Millennium Crowns (AS108). Line the bottom of the trench with a layer of good soil and compost. Put a shovel of compost every 18 inches (46 cm). Ultimately, they should end up about 8" deep. Place the crowns in the furrow, cover with 2 to 3 inches of soil and firm the soil around the roots. In early season, till the soil when fertilizer is applied before the spears begin growth (figure 2). Asparagus is a highly productive vegetable best suited to cooler areas. Planting crowns is simply the faster route to harvesting home grown asparagus. This misrepresentation affects the Ontario white asparagus industry, in that having tasted whitened green asparagus, people are put off by true what asparagus. In the spring, dig a trench about 12 inches deep and 12 inches wide. It's more likely that the fine, ferny leaves are just opening up. A pH of 6.5-7.5 is ideal, so more acidic soils may need liming. If you cut some of the soil with your pruning shears it will dull your blade very fast. Plant crowns 6 to 12 inches deep in loose soils and 4 to 6 inches in heavier soils. In another asparagus planting adventure, I had seen naturalized (wild) asparagus growing in the area, so I mistakenly assumed the plants would like native soil conditions, or maybe I just got lazy. The plants are only about 6 weeks old and they already have impressive root systems. Asparagus is a plant with a pace all its own. Growing asparagus is one of the biggest edible investments you can make in your garden. At least one-half the length of the spear should be above the ground. The infected side of the spear ceases to grow, causing bending and hooking. Water the beds thoroughly as needed. then put them in your compost heap. One-year-old crowns or plants are preferred. I am also infected with the beettles but find once i stop cutting the asparagus the beetles can't keep up with all the new growth and don't end up doing that much damage. After the last harvest, cut back all top growth. This is grown by shading the spears with mounds of soil or mulch to exclude light. Place crowns 12 to 14 inches apart. Deep planting of the crowns allows cultivation with garden tools or tiller (do not till too deep) without damage to crowns. Each year, another asparagus plant waves bushy, frizzy-green against the stone walls; nearby, a tender shoot springs up. Seeds are sown in a production bed and allowed to grow for a year. Water the fertilizer into the soil. If you have perfectly healthy asparagus (lucky you!) Harvest asparagus spears from established beds for about 8 weeks. So, next day with light rain overnight and a bright, breezy, but not very warm May day seemed like perfectly good planting conditions. Being a perennial asparagus needs to be properly cared for so that it can have the energy it needs to overwinter and produce the following spring. Do not fill the entire furrow at once. Grown for the stems or spears, a well tended planting yields 8 to 10 pounds or more per 100 square feet of bed or 24 to 30 pounds per 100 feet of row. Fertilize your asparagus plant about once a month by side dressing it with compost. Do not harvest too soon from a new planting. Since your plants will start out as miniature versions of their more mature selves, it's best to dig a bit of trench to start them off in, and fill it in as they get to look more robust. Fortunately, for those o… Born on a farm … Any spears which sprout may be removed and eaten. Crowns grow from seed planted in flats or peat cups in October for January transplanting, or they are transplanted from an existing asparagus bed. After harvest, the remaining asparagus spears grow into tall fern-like plants There are 4,500 acres of asparagus grown in Canada, 3/4 of that is in Ontario In ideal weather condition an asparagus spear can grow 25cm in 24 hours An asparagus patch can be productive for up o 20 years They’re considered to be one of the delicacies of the vegetable world and have a distinct, intense savoury flavour. Asparagus is troubled by some diseases. Rock phosphate is a good addition to the mineral mix. Asparagus beds require little care after the first 2 years. This helps insure a good harvest the next year (figure 3). Home garden asparagus can be damaged by the asparagus beetle in some areas. This is the place! How to Plant Asparagus Plant crowns deeply to protect them from the cultivation needed for annual weed control. Plant. Asparagus grows best in full sun and in loose, well-drained soil. apart, with the plant set 4 inches (10 cm.) Never cut asparagus spears above the ground and allow stubs to remain (figure 4). We are trying asparagus for the first time this year. Cover the bed with a 3-inch layer of clean straw, compost or other mulch material, water thoroughly and allow to grow the rest of the year. Rock phosphate, … Ample garden space is key to growing healthy asparagus, as the plants root system can grow quite large. Control weeds but do not injure the crowns. Since asparagus will be in the same place several years, it is important to select the right spot. Control weeds without damaging the spears. The time varies from 3 to 5 days depending on temperature. It does not do well if summers are extremely hot and long and winters are mild. While we cannot recommend one soil supplier over another, you should contact Landscape Ontario for the locations of reputable garden centers in your area. You can also fertilize with a balanced fertilizer of 10-10-10 or 15-15-15. It takes 1 year to grow a good crown. As for the type of soil, triple mix is often suggested as it contains organic matter which is important in the growth of vegetables although any combination of topsoil, … 8 Tips To Get Your Kids Enjoy Home Gardening. Combine your compost, fertilizer, or other organic matter, and create mounds with it about 18 inches apart. Try growing some in a half barrel or … Do not replant an old asparagus bed with new asparagus plants. Soak the seeds for two hours before planting. The most common way to plant asparagus crowns is in a trench. Asparagus plants like frequent, deep watering. Give it another year or two. Asparagus is grown from 1-year-old plants or “crowns” planted in January or February. Soil: Select a well-drained, sandy loam with a pH in the range of 6-7. Once you've got it mixed, you can shape the soil into a mound about 2 inches (5.1 cm) high. Pick off any red berries that may appear on female asparagus plants. A farmer looking to get into the asparagus business needs to know his market, said Jaques. We planted ‘Argenteuil’ a French heirloom variety. Ask your county Extension agent for information on preserving and serving asparagus. Low fertility can cause fibrous spears. If it's that skinny (thinner than a pencil) it is too young to cut. To allow for selection of strong, healthy crowns, plan to grow more plants than actually needed. Asparagus grows best in an open, sunny site, but will tolerate dappled shade. Instead, choose fresh ground to avoid build-up of diseases. The soil should be free of trash, soil insects and weeds such as johnsongrass and bermudagrass before planting. deep. Asparagus plants make a good border around the edge of a garden or along a fence. It is not fussy about the soil type as long as it is well drained. Asparagus Farmers of Ontario (AFO) 1283 Blueline Road, Box 587 Simcoe, ON N3Y 4N5 Phone: 519-426-7529 Fax: 519-246-9087 info@asparagus.on.ca Work 3" of composted manure and other organic amendments into the top 15" of the bed. Since an asparagus planting lasts many years, good seedbed preparation is essential. In late fall, spread a 3-inch layer of organic matter such as manure, rotted sawdust or compost over the beds. Why such a long wait? The crowns should be planted at 18\" intervals in the bed, so put a shovel of compost and a cup of all-purpose, organic fertilizer in the trench every 18\". An asparagus planting lasts 15 to 25 years without replanting if it is well cared for and the climate is suitable. If you observe insects feeding on asparagus, contact your local county Extension agent for identification and control recommendations. It requires 3 years from the time the crown is planted until the bed is in full production. Main varieties grown in Ontario at ‘Viking’ and ‘Centennial’ Sprue is … You should plant the seeds at a depth of around a half inch. Then plant your plants and as … Set the crown on top of the mound, spreading the roots down the sides. Asparagus plants like frequent, deep watering. If plants have rust colored spots on the stems or branches, ask your county Extension agent what to use. Never cut the spear within 2 inches of the crown to avoid damage to the developed buds. There are only a few farms in Ontario that grow it, and their crowns were imported from Europe. The time varies from 3 to 5 days depending on temperature. We think it is because the soil isn't rich enough for them … Ideally, asparagus plants are grown outside in garden soil in USDA zones 4-8. For most home gardeners, one row is adequate. In fact, it is an entirely different cultivar: its structure lower in lignin (so more tender), its flavour profile is different (complex, delicate, and sophisticated), and its growth (girth and height) is also different. But as the days warm up and the season really gets going and asparagus can grow up to 25 centimeters (10 inches) within a 24 hour period. From there, create a mound in the trench and place the crowns 15- 18 inches apart, spreading the roots over the ridge. Asparagus should be planted as soon as the ground can be worked in the spring. “We tried. If available, use a nitrogen fertilizer such as 21-0-0 at this time. Thriving in deeply cultivated and consistently moist soils, growers can expect to harvest from plants for upwards of twenty years. Step 2 Should we be cutting these down? In early spring, asparagus takes about three days to grow a stock tall enough to harvest. Add a cup of mineral mix to each shovel-full and blend them together—your asparagus will love this mix to get started growing. Dig trenches that are about 6 inches wide and 6-12 inches deep. Soak the asparagus crowns in water for 15 to … Asparagus can be stored up to 3 weeks in plastic bags in the refrigerator. Wider planting results in larger spears but lower total yield. Leading asparagus growers and nurseries are well aware of the long-term investment required in the crop. Asparagus is a good source of vitamin A and C and minerals. Thanks for the info on this site. It takes time to grow asparagus from seeds, but Jersey Knight is lovely! Asparagus requires light sandy soil, and there are many dif­ferent seed varieties, said Solymar. Scouting Notes Monitor fields during harvest and early fern development for signs of infection at … Find also notes about my experiences as an organic vegetable and fruit gardener and breeder, and visits to growers, processors and vendors of all kinds of good foods of Ontario. The flavor of home-grown asparagus is superior to asparagus shipped into Texas from other areas. Spears with loosely formed heads are overmature. By the end of the first season, the furrow reaches its normal level (figure 1). To prevent spears from becoming fibrous, harvest at least every other day. As with the crowns, backfill the trench as the plants grow. After the first hard frost/freeze of fall, cut fern tops off at ground level and mulch with manure. Some gardeners prefer white or blanched asparagus. Cut asparagus spears 1 to 2 inches below the soil level. Unfortunately ... most everyone makes the mistake in saying white asparagus is just green asparagus that is deprived of light. Dig a furrow 4 inches wide and 6 to 12 inches deep. I aim to hit 80% local produce in my recipes. Plant in Rows To grow asparagus, plant in a location with good drainage. Use only spears with compact heads because loose heads do not keep well and are fibrous. Asparagus roots reach 10 feet deep if the soil is adequate and moisture is available. Plus, asparagus is a perennial vegetable—plant it once and enjoy it for … On a hot day the stalks can grow six inches, yet it can take up to twelve years to develop a new variety at the University of Guelph’s Simcoe Research Station. Growing Fertilizing. Add an additional 1 to 2 pounds per 20 feet of row after the last harvest. Also work in some 10-20-10 fertilizer at the rate of 1/2 pound per 100 square feet. If you want thinner spears, space the transplants 8-10 inches (20-25 cm.) If these spears are not harvested and are allowed to continue growing, they develop into “fern-like” stalks. Martha Washington, UC 157, Jersey Giant and Mary Washington tests have shown hybrid asparagus varieties produce more than the standard varieties, but they are not widely available to home gardeners. To plant asparagus crowns, dig trenches 12 inches wide and 6 inches deep (8 inches in sandy soil) down the center of the prepared bed. Control weeds during the season by raking lightly or mulching. For longer storage, blanch the asparagus spears 3 to 5 minutes, prepackage and freeze. Planting too closely can cause small spears. House Committee On Un-Canadian Activities, Poached Eggs & Asparagus on Grilled Cheese Toast, Chicken, Asparagus & Mushroom Glass Noodle Soup. Dig a trench or hole 6 to 8 inches (15.24 to 20.32 cm) deep and plant the seedlings. Harvest spears when they are 4 to 10 inches long. So plan accordingly. The first and most appropriate way is to dig a trench 12 inches deep. Before planting new asparagus beds, till in 2 to 3 pounds of 10-20-10 or a similar analysis fertilizer per 20 feet of row or as directed by a soil test report. Dig a trench of about 12 to 18 inches wide and 6 to 8 inches deep. Asparagus crowns are usually available just once a year in early spring. apart in rows set 3-6 inches (8-15 cm.) If digging more than one trench, space the trenches at least 3 feet apart. Hi Jean - No, you shouldn't! From these “ferns”, the mature plant manufactures food and stores it in “storage roots.” This reserve supplies the energy necessary to produce spears the following year. The young plants have compact buds in the center (crown), with numerous dangling, pencil-sized roots. “We weren’t able to salvage the crop with the locals,” said Scotlynn president and CEO Scott Biddle. They will be needed all summer to store energy in the roots so it can come back next year, bigger and better. The fibrous condition is caused by overmaturity or inadequate fertility. DID YOU KNOW? Asparagus does best in a deep, well-drained soil with full sunlight. Test the soil before planting the beds and add lime if needed to adjust the pH to 6.5 to 7.0. ASPARAGUS FAST FACTS . To grow asparagus from seeds, start them indoors in two-inch pots as early as the month of February. Asparagus season typically begins in early May, but depending on the weather can … That’s 12 per cent of all the asparagus grown in Ontario. With this in mind, it is essential to start your plantations with the best quality seeds and varietal choice. Till or spade to a depth of 10 to 12 inches and turn the soil so all organic matter is covered. Lesson learned: Plant asparagus only in beds that are free of perennial weeds. Looking for recipes for the foods in season in Ontario? The asparagus came up really skinny and now looks like it's flowering ? Space the transplants 18 inches (46 cm.) It’s not hard to grow asparagus from seed; it just adds an extra year onto the wait period until you can begin to harvest. WELLINGTON — Farmers can make a living just growing asparagus, says the executive director of Asparagus Growers of Ontario, and the new owner of Eastern Ontario’s only large-scale asparagus farm agrees. Sandi Greer, 46, bought Green Ridge Farms at Wellington in Prince Edward County in November. Asparagus grows well in high pH soils but does not do well if the soil pH is below 6.0. While a good seedbed is important, … Often Confused With Fusarium Crown Rot. Buds arise from the crown when conditions are favorable and develop into edible spears. Discontinue harvest when spear diameter becomes less than 3/8 of an inch. Fill the furrows gradually as the shoots grow. Apply fertilizer and till lightly 1 to 2 inches to kill weeds. Once you are ready to plant, the asparagus goes in quite deeply. In southern areas the fern may not be killed by a freeze and should be removed in late November. Allow the top 1 inch of soil to dry before watering again. Dave Wolyn, a professor in OAC’s Department of Plant Agriculture, explains that asparagus takes about … Water the beds thoroughly as needed. Labour-intensive to grow, asparagus are the young shoots of a cultivated lily plant. The crowns I planted in minimally … One kilogram of seed usually produces enough crowns to plant 1 ha (approximately 1 lb per acre.) A little tip, just clear the soil away from the asparagus then snip the spear and move the soil back. Allow the top 1 inch of soil to dry before watering again. Great post! Asparagus Crown Production. Remove any weeds from your planting bead and top it with a few inches of compost before planting. apart. Once the bed is weed-free, dig a trench about 12\" deep and a foot wide. 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