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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 7:50 pm 
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Last year I put in 22 "2 year old" asparagus plants. This year I only harvested a very few stalks. Now I have this huge forest of asparagus ferns. I was just wondering if I should tie up the stalks as they are falling all over the place. I could put some stakes in the corners and put twine around the stakes.... I have cardboard covered with sand around the garden patch.

Also, I put some unfinished compost on it last fall and now I have some volunteers coming up within the asparagus ferns. One appears to be some sort of squash and some others look like cucumbers. I transplanted 2 and they are starting to come back after the stress. Should I pull the rest of them or can they thrive among the asparagus?

I have only planted tomatoes before and the squirrels would pluck them, take one bite of a barely pink tomato and throw it down so I got almost nothing for my efforts. We do have deer, rabbits, geese and lots of other critters on our 5 acres with a pond but the critters have not bothered anything (yet?).

Thanks,

Betty, SW Arkansas


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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 9:23 pm 
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I'm learning about asparagus myself. I planted it last year and this year as it comes back I pick a few and let a few become the big ferns. I've been keeping other plants out of the asparagus - I want this crop to return successfully every year so I'm not letting other stuff compete with it. Not sure what people who know what they're doing with it would suggest. Perhaps someone else will answer.

There are various repellant products that you might be able to use in the garden to keep animals away. Your best bet is to visit the Natural Organic Library and look up each of the animals you might have to repel. Birds are a real problem in my garden, they attack the strawberries and some of the tomatoes. My solution was to not put up bird feeders this winter (it was very mild anyway) so they weren't habituated to coming to my yard to eat.

If you have some discarded CDs at your place you might want to hang some with monofilament so they twist and sparkle in the garden. That might discourage exploration to begin with. (It's what I need to do also.)

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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 8:22 am 
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I have a new asparagus bed also... those ferns get huge and just flop over. I think I'll run a wire or two along the edges supported by poles in the corners... just to create a big band to hold in all the ferns.


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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 11:20 am 
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I visited Home Depot to pick up up a welded wire segmented 10' long ornamental fence thing that is about 20" tall that I ran along in front of the asparagus to keep it from flopping into the rest of the garden. I keep a tall plastic pitcher with an inch of water in the bottom inside the fridge door and every so often I cut a spout and pop it into that pitcher. After a few days I have enough for a meal. (The Home Depot tab says 18" x 10" but read the description and you'll see it is 18" by 10 ft).

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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2012 7:05 am 
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You should not be harvesting asparagus until the crown or stock is 5 years old. Until then, allow the skinny stalks to produce the ferns and it will feed the crown. When it is the spring of the 5th year, harvest for only a couple of weeks, then again, allow everything else to turn into ferns. The ferns can get up to 6 ft tall and will be floppy, no way around that. Apparently your compost isn't finished, or was never hot enough to kill the seeds in there. Always pull the uninvited veggie guests, Don't forget to water in some good organic fertilizer every 3-4 weeks, on the asparagus. When the colder temps turn the ferns brown, you can cut them down, otherwise leave them.

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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 1:49 pm 
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Five years! Howard says not to deny yourself a little bit even in the first year. I didn't pick any last year but this year I've had several servings of asparagus, though I probably let 5-10 sprout for every one I cut.

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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 5:42 am 
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That's not what I learned from a person with a Masters in Horticulture that grows and sells it. If you cut everyone then you've left nothing to photosynthesize. You have to leave some in order for the crown to get larger so that it can produce more for you every single year.

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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 8:22 am 
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Yes, of course, I harvest infrequently, letting most of it grow tall. I pick them in areas where there are already lots of stems that have grown tall.

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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 5:39 am 
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I still think you should wait until the crown gets older...but everyone has their way of doing things.

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PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2013 2:30 pm 
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My 4 year plants are producing enough for my husband and I to have some almost every other day - YUM. I don't harvest any that are slender (about pencil size). Apparently I have both male and female plants as last year there were quite a few berries on some of the plants.

I have quite a few tiny little "ferns" ?? that are coming up in the bed. They are about 4" tall right now.
Are these new asparagus plants?
Should I remove them?

Thanks. planosmith (who USED to live in Plano but now in Arkansas)


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PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2013 5:49 am 
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They are new plants, from the berries or the existing crowns are spreading. Needless to say, asparagus plants can take over!

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PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2013 10:20 am 
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That's good, isn't it? I'd much rather have asparagus than nut sedge or Bermuda taking over my garden.

What do you know about planting from those berries?

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PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 7:54 am 
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It's good if you have the room for them.

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PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 10:38 pm 
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I've found some little sprigs of asparagus in under the potatoes. Clearly the seeds got moved around with the digging this spring and landed here. How do you recommend transplanting them - or would you? I don't need asparagus in the bed where it is, I could just pull it, but can it be moved over to the asparagus side of the yard? Is it worth the effort?

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