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Country Discussion Topics
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Stunted asparagus
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Mouseinthewall    Posted 06-24-2002 at 06:34:31       [Reply]  [No Email]
I'm just about done with my asparagus harvest for this year- the thinner stalks are fronding out and I am able to keep up with the few asparagus beetles every morning by picking them off and dropping them in a jar of vinegar. Some (not many) of my spears are coming up deformed, all curled over and/or growing out sideways with sickly looking stalks and worse looking fronds. Is this because the root has frost heaved or hit a frost-heaved rock and is struggling under the soil to get past it? I am new to growing asparagus in the last three years- when I bought this place, the quack grass has totally filled in and I didn't even know there was a bed there until a neighbor pointed it out to me. For the past two years I have diligently cut back the grass and pulled those wiry white roots out and continue to pull stray milkweed and mustard out of the patch. Is there still a grass root under the soil trying to wrap around the asparagus root???

WallSal55    Posted 06-24-2002 at 11:31:03       [Reply]  [No Email]
This is an interesting topic. I have two plants (pretty mature) that I harvested from twice this
year, due to more than adequate rainfall in our
area. I did notice one stalk completely curved
under, and another stunted stalk. However, one
plant is wild I believe, and the other plant may
be wild or started by the previous owner. But I
have never weeded around my asparagus. Is that

Mouseinthewall    Posted 06-24-2002 at 17:35:36       [Reply]  [No Email]
I have a bed approx. 15 x 30 with three and a half rows (I think some in the fourth row were dug up maybe by previous owner before I took possession of the place). Anyway, since the garden had been neglected for I don't know how long, I am keeping it weeded to give the soil nutrition to the asparagus. Dairy farms and other places with animals are becoming few and far between here and I couldn't find manure last fall to spread over the bed.(at least reasonably priced manure- one guy wanted me to pay $150 for a truck bed of manure- NOT) I understand you're not supposed to mulch the bed, just let the asparagus frond and then cover with manure over the winter. Next spring they'll pop up when the temps are right and hopefully be better for the manure you gave them the fall before. As far as weeding goes, TB is right- it is mostly to keep the bugs down. The first year I knew about them I had a scourge of asparagus beetles and egg laden stems- this year I'm happy to say that they have been reduced a lot. I also have planted some tomatoes in a row along one edge because I was told they help to deter the beetles- so far so good.

Jan Malik    Posted 06-24-2002 at 20:03:15       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Sounds like most of you are close to organic gardeners, I know some about asparagus and it is a calicium loving plant, years ago it was started as a cash crop in the Hart area of Michigan and Hart is also believed to be the Asparagus Capital of the World anyway once began in Michigan the crop would last up to 20-30 years altho today 10-15years is considered old. The reason is the depletion of the calcium from the base exchange and today the main fertilizer is 0-0-60 which is potasium for the most part, the 0-0-60 means that it is 60% potasium and the sad reality is the it is 40% chlorine it has the ablity to continue to chip away that the calicium even more until it no longer can support the asparagus and it dies away. As far as the plant growing twisted that is insect or sand blasting, I recommend heavy doses of calicium .

TB    Posted 06-24-2002 at 13:05:27       [Reply]  [No Email]
It helps cut back on the bugs. I donít weed when I pick I pick it clean then I get my propane weed torch out and burn all the weeds off green and dead to bare earth, this also cuts back on the bugs. After picking season is over I let it go.

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