Posted 09-10-2001 at 10:40:07
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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.