I received a question from a the cabin garden reader regarding spring care for asparagus. How to "spring clean" an asparagus patch? Asparagus patches should be protected in the fall with a good mulch covering of leaves and other mulch debris. As spring arrives I take the following steps to prepare the patch for the emerging asparagus spears.
1) Carefully began removing the mulch directly around the emerging spears. It is important to gently remove the mulch as these spears are your future meals. They also are the lifeline of the future growth and strength of the patch. The spears provide nutrients to the plant's growth.
2) Keep the mulch you removed. Once the spears are up and growing place the mulch around the plants for nutrition. it will also keep the soil moist around the plants as well.
3) Sprinkle a light covering of an organic fertilizer for nutrition.
4) Remove weeds and grasses from the patch. Be careful not to disturb the spears. Also, asparagus plants from past years leave red berries in the fall containing seeds for natural propagation. Be aware of the toothpick size seedlings from the berries as you remove weeds. I would suggest not digging more than an inch or two in depth to remove weeds.
5) As the asparagus spear picking begins, I leave at least 1/3 of the spears for the future. Do not pick them all.
photo credit: grilled asparagus photopin (license)
Constant maintenance of the asparagus patch is a must. Keep control of the weeds through out the summer and feed the seedlings that emerge with light sprinklings of organic fertilizers. This care will pay off with years of delicious asparagus on your table.