Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Asparagus in my edible garden

Asparagus is one of my favorite veggies and there are two feathery clumps in my garden right now. The great thing about incorporating asparagus in an edible landscape is that once established, it comes back every year for up to 20 years. It usually doesn't need watered because the roots go deep, and is low-maintenance (at least from what I read!)

Since I had never grown asparagus before, I read through several articles on how to do this. Of these, I found the extension fact sheets from OSU, MSU and UMN the most informative. A really useful guide on growing asparagus I found free and public domain from Google Book Search was Gardening For Profit, published in 1909 by Peter Henderson. The asparagus shoots in my garden are now quite skinny (smaller diameter than a pencil), so I cut back the spears and
let the new growth feather out. It makes a decorative feathery clump that is lovely to behold (pic below). At the same time, the foliage is sending food to be stored in the underground crown, ready for next year's growth. For tips on identifying a common asparagus pest check out my post on What's that bug eating my asparagus. I'm looking forward to some fresh tasty asparagus from my garden next year!


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