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Country Discussion Topics
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Tilling over asparagus?
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John B. McGinnis    Posted 09-09-2001 at 11:27:00       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I've been told I can till over asparagus with a garnden tiller in the fall down about six inches
afer laying manure. I don['t have a garden tiller,
but I do have a five foot tiller that came with my Ford 2000 tractor. Will I damage the asparagus roots by using a five hundred pound tiller? The thought of even using a garden tiller, if I had one, scares me of possibly damaging the roots. I'm tempted to just spread manure and leave it at that! But I need to get rid of the grass and poison ivy in the patch and I want a good crop in the Spring. I inherited a large established asparagus patch when we bought a farm and want to do everything right.


MikeH-Tx    Posted 09-10-2001 at 10:40:07       [Reply]  [No Email]
I till on top of my 80ft row of asparagus each winter, but keep the depth to only a couple of inches. I till normally on each side of the row a couple of times each season. In fact, I have a few volunteers that have come up elsewhere from seed and they are hard to get rid of after a season or two. Pretty hardy stuff.

This year, I let the weeds get out of control and just mowed over everything in July. With immediate water, all the asparagus popped right back up.

What I would recommend for poison ivy is to mow everything right to the ground this winter or early spring, till it to break up the soil, then use a garden sprayer with brush killer as the poison ivy tries to get going. Pick the asparagus, then spray the new poison ivy growth. That way, you won't get any brush killer on the asparagus. Ortho Brush Killer is what I use to keep my poison ivy down. It works, but takes a couple weeks to kill it.

One last suggestion (sorry to be so windy): I use hay in the garden for weed control, making a mulch about 6in deep. Once you are through picking the asparagus for the season, putting a thick mulch around the plants would help keep the ivy down too. The downside to this is that hay is full of seeds. Once you start using it, you can't stop.

Spade    Posted 09-09-2001 at 18:04:32       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Commercial asparagus operations do till over their fields after the cutting season has ended. One must be careful because roots do come up closer to the surface over a period of years. Why not do a little hand digging to see where the roots are? After the brush freezes and dies, winter weeds can be killed with round-up. Also, in the spring before the spears emerge, round-up is a good herbicide to clean up any over wintering weeds. There is a lot of information on the internet, posted by different universities, on all the aspects of growing asparagus.

Kansas Kid    Posted 09-09-2001 at 17:07:58       [Reply]  [No Email]
I dont know about tilling over it but you can get rid of the weeds with a box of canning salt. The salt will not hurt the asparagus at all.

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