I don't think it's flowering yet (unless you live somewhere with a very different climate). This helps insure a good harvest the next year (figure 3). Control weeds without damaging the spears. Main varieties grown in Ontario at ‘Viking’ and ‘Centennial’ Sprue is … Place the crowns in the furrow, cover with 2 to 3 inches of soil and firm the soil around the roots. Crowns grow from seed planted in flats or peat cups in October for January transplanting, or they are transplanted from an existing asparagus bed. After harvest, the remaining asparagus spears grow into tall fern-like plants There are 4,500 acres of asparagus grown in Canada, 3/4 of that is in Ontario In ideal weather condition an asparagus spear can grow 25cm in 24 hours An asparagus patch can be productive for up o 20 years After asparagus beds are tilled, mark rows 4 to 6 feet apart. Lesson learned: Plant asparagus only in beds that are free of perennial weeds. It's more likely that the fine, ferny leaves are just opening up. If these spears are not harvested and are allowed to continue growing, they develop into “fern-like” stalks. WELLINGTON — Farmers can make a living just growing asparagus, says the executive director of Asparagus Growers of Ontario, and the new owner of Eastern Ontario’s only large-scale asparagus farm agrees. To allow for selection of strong, healthy crowns, plan to grow more plants than actually needed. Labour-intensive to grow, asparagus are the young shoots of a cultivated lily plant. Scouting Notes Monitor fields during harvest and early fern development for signs of infection at … A farmer looking to get into the asparagus business needs to know his market, said Jaques. Ideally, asparagus plants are grown outside in garden soil in USDA zones 4-8. Asparagus season typically begins in early May, but depending on the weather can … Combine your compost, fertilizer, or other organic matter, and create mounds with it about 18 inches apart. You should plant the seeds at a depth of around a half inch. Asparagus Crown Production. Try growing some in a half barrel or … then put them in your compost heap. Asparagus roots reach 10 feet deep if the soil is adequate and moisture is available. Unfortunately ... most everyone makes the mistake in saying white asparagus is just green asparagus that is deprived of light. Step 2 Asparagus should be planted as soon as the ground can be worked in the spring. In another asparagus planting adventure, I had seen naturalized (wild) asparagus growing in the area, so I mistakenly assumed the plants would like native soil conditions, or maybe I just got lazy. Great post! The young plants have compact buds in the center (crown), with numerous dangling, pencil-sized roots. Space the transplants 18 inches (46 cm.) Asparagus plants make a good border around the edge of a garden or along a fence. “We tried. Planting too closely can cause small spears. After the first hard frost/freeze of fall, cut fern tops off at ground level and mulch with manure. Deep planting of the crowns allows cultivation with garden tools or tiller (do not till too deep) without damage to crowns. Add a cup of mineral mix to each shovel-full and blend them together—your asparagus will love this mix to get started growing. ASPARAGUS FAST FACTS . Some gardeners prefer white or blanched asparagus. Asparagus grows well in high pH soils but does not do well if the soil pH is below 6.0. Do this in the spring after planting. On a hot day the stalks can grow six inches, yet it can take up to twelve years to develop a new variety at the University of Guelph’s Simcoe Research Station. The crowns should be planted at 18\" intervals in the bed, so put a shovel of compost and a cup of all-purpose, organic fertilizer in the trench every 18\". Asparagus crowns are usually available just once a year in early spring. Spears with loosely formed heads are overmature. The soil was dry on the surface but nicely damp … After the last harvest, cut back all top growth. Give it another year or two. Once you are ready to plant, the asparagus goes in quite deeply. Control weeds but do not injure the crowns. Guelph Eclipse is a superb choice of asparagus variety for asparagus companies in temperate and cool … At least one-half the length of the spear should be above the ground. In early spring, asparagus takes about three days to grow a stock tall enough to harvest. Once you've got it mixed, you can shape the soil into a mound about 2 inches (5.1 cm) high. In the spring, dig a trench about 12 inches deep and 12 inches wide. Low fertility can cause fibrous spears. Water the fertilizer into the soil. Sandi Greer, 46, bought Green Ridge Farms at Wellington in Prince Edward County in November. Dave Wolyn, a professor in OAC’s Department of Plant Agriculture, explains that asparagus takes about … Use only spears with compact heads because loose heads do not keep well and are fibrous. The first and most appropriate way is to dig a trench 12 inches deep. If you cut some of the soil with your pruning shears it will dull your blade very fast. Rock phosphate, … Leading asparagus growers and nurseries are well aware of the long-term investment required in the crop. Asparagus does best in a deep, well-drained soil with full sunlight. While we cannot recommend one soil supplier over another, you should contact Landscape Ontario for the locations of reputable garden centers in your area. Asparagus is a plant with a pace all its own. While a good seedbed is important, … One-year-old crowns or plants are preferred. How to Plant Asparagus Plant crowns deeply to protect them from the cultivation needed for annual weed control. For most home gardeners, one row is adequate. Period of Activity Infections are more common during periods of excessive rainfall or in poorly drained fields. Work 3" of composted manure and other organic amendments into the top 15" of the bed. Grown for the stems or spears, a well tended planting yields 8 to 10 pounds or more per 100 square feet of bed or 24 to 30 pounds per 100 feet of row. Put a shovel of compost every 18 inches (46 cm). Thanks for the info on this site. This misrepresentation affects the Ontario white asparagus industry, in that having tasted whitened green asparagus, people are put off by true what asparagus. 8 Tips To Get Your Kids Enjoy Home Gardening. Set the crown on top of the mound, spreading the roots down the sides. Asparagus can be stored up to 3 weeks in plastic bags in the refrigerator. Do not fill the entire furrow at once. Growing asparagus is one of the biggest edible investments you can make in your garden. Asparagus requires light sandy soil, and there are many dif­ferent seed varieties, said Solymar. Planting crowns is simply the faster route to harvesting home grown asparagus. Water the beds thoroughly as needed. So plan accordingly. Since an asparagus planting lasts many years, good seedbed preparation is essential. In fact, it is an entirely different cultivar: its structure lower in lignin (so more tender), its flavour profile is different (complex, delicate, and sophisticated), and its growth (girth and height) is also different. Remove any weeds from your planting bead and top it with a few inches of compost before planting. Soil: Select a well-drained, sandy loam with a pH in the range of 6-7. DID YOU KNOW? If it's that skinny (thinner than a pencil) it is too young to cut. Buds arise from the crown when conditions are favorable and develop into edible spears. With this in mind, it is essential to start your plantations with the best quality seeds and varietal choice. Should we be cutting these down? Rock phosphate is a good addition to the mineral mix. To prevent spears from becoming fibrous, harvest at least every other day. For Urban Gardeners: Guelph Millennium Crowns (AS108). Discontinue harvest when spear diameter becomes less than 3/8 of an inch. Once the bed is weed-free, dig a trench about 12\" deep and a foot wide. Asparagus is grown from 1-year-old plants or “crowns” planted in January or February. Looking for recipes for the foods in season in Ontario? In early season, till the soil when fertilizer is applied before the spears begin growth (figure 2). Any spears which sprout may be removed and eaten. deep. It takes time to grow asparagus from seeds, but Jersey Knight is lovely! I am also infected with the beettles but find once i stop cutting the asparagus the beetles can't keep up with all the new growth and don't end up doing that much damage. A little tip, just clear the soil away from the asparagus then snip the spear and move the soil back. But as the days warm up and the season really gets going and asparagus can grow up to 25 centimeters (10 inches) within a 24 hour period. Asparagus Farmers of Ontario (AFO) 1283 Blueline Road, Box 587 Simcoe, ON N3Y 4N5 Phone: 519-426-7529 Fax: 519-246-9087 info@asparagus.on.ca To grow asparagus from seeds, start them indoors in two-inch pots as early as the month of February. Hi Jean - No, you shouldn't! Dig trenches that are about 6 inches wide and 6-12 inches deep. Being a perennial asparagus needs to be properly cared for so that it can have the energy it needs to overwinter and produce the following spring. Born on a farm … Ask your county Extension agent for information on preserving and serving asparagus. Add an additional 1 to 2 pounds per 20 feet of row after the last harvest. If you are in a hurry try Guelph Millennium Crowns this season. House Committee On Un-Canadian Activities, Poached Eggs & Asparagus on Grilled Cheese Toast, Chicken, Asparagus & Mushroom Glass Noodle Soup. In late fall, spread a 3-inch layer of organic matter such as manure, rotted sawdust or compost over the beds. apart, with the plant set 4 inches (10 cm.) For longer storage, blanch the asparagus spears 3 to 5 minutes, prepackage and freeze. We think it is because the soil isn't rich enough for them … This is the place! Till or spade to a depth of 10 to 12 inches and turn the soil so all organic matter is covered. Wider planting results in larger spears but lower total yield. Thriving in deeply cultivated and consistently moist soils, growers can expect to harvest from plants for upwards of twenty years. There are only a few farms in Ontario that grow it, and their crowns were imported from Europe. The soil should be free of trash, soil insects and weeds such as johnsongrass and bermudagrass before planting. Home garden asparagus can be damaged by the asparagus beetle in some areas. To get healthy, vigorous plants, buy 1-year-old crowns from a nursery or garden center or order them from a seed catalog. Apply fertilizer and till lightly 1 to 2 inches to kill weeds. Seedlings are ready to transplant when they are 10-12 weeks old and all danger of frost in your area has passed. Asparagus is a highly productive vegetable best suited to cooler areas. apart. Cover the bed with a 3-inch layer of clean straw, compost or other mulch material, water thoroughly and allow to grow the rest of the year. This covers small weeds, and they die from lack of light. As for the type of soil, triple mix is often suggested as it contains organic matter which is important in the growth of vegetables although any combination of topsoil, … That’s 12 per cent of all the asparagus grown in Ontario. Place crowns 12 to 14 inches apart. It is not fussy about the soil type as long as it is well drained. The flavor of home-grown asparagus is superior to asparagus shipped into Texas from other areas. From these “ferns”, the mature plant manufactures food and stores it in “storage roots.” This reserve supplies the energy necessary to produce spears the following year. Asparagus is a herbaceous, perennial plant growing to 100–150 cm (40–60 in) tall, with stout stems with much-branched, feathery foliage. Martha Washington, UC 157, Jersey Giant and Mary Washington tests have shown hybrid asparagus varieties produce more than the standard varieties, but they are not widely available to home gardeners. Before planting new asparagus beds, till in 2 to 3 pounds of 10-20-10 or a similar analysis fertilizer per 20 feet of row or as directed by a soil test report. Allow the top 1 inch of soil to dry before watering again. It does not do well if summers are extremely hot and long and winters are mild. From there, create a mound in the trench and place the crowns 15- 18 inches apart, spreading the roots over the ridge. The time varies from 3 to 5 days depending on temperature. Then plant your plants and as … This is grown by shading the spears with mounds of soil or mulch to exclude light. … One kilogram of seed usually produces enough crowns to plant 1 ha (approximately 1 lb per acre.) It requires 3 years from the time the crown is planted until the bed is in full production. Asparagus grows best in full sun and in loose, well-drained soil. We planted ‘Argenteuil’ a French heirloom variety. As with the crowns, backfill the trench as the plants grow. An asparagus planting lasts 15 to 25 years without replanting if it is well cared for and the climate is suitable. If available, use a nitrogen fertilizer such as 21-0-0 at this time. “We weren’t able to salvage the crop with the locals,” said Scotlynn president and CEO Scott Biddle. Plant. We are trying asparagus for the first time this year. The time varies from 3 to 5 days depending on temperature. Often Confused With Fusarium Crown Rot. If you want thinner spears, space the transplants 8-10 inches (20-25 cm.) Growing Fertilizing. Asparagus is a good source of vitamin A and C and minerals. Since asparagus will be in the same place several years, it is important to select the right spot. Asparagus is troubled by some diseases. Allow the top 1 inch of soil to dry before watering again. Keep weeds pulled or hoed from the beds. Soak the asparagus crowns in water for 15 to … If you observe insects feeding on asparagus, contact your local county Extension agent for identification and control recommendations. The fibrous condition is caused by overmaturity or inadequate fertility. Why such a long wait? Ample garden space is key to growing healthy asparagus, as the plants root system can grow quite large. Seeds are sown in a production bed and allowed to grow for a year. Never cut the spear within 2 inches of the crown to avoid damage to the developed buds. Pick off any red berries that may appear on female asparagus plants. The crowns I planted in minimally … Fertilize your asparagus plant about once a month by side dressing it with compost. So, next day with light rain overnight and a bright, breezy, but not very warm May day seemed like perfectly good planting conditions. Asparagus plants like frequent, deep watering. Dig a trench or hole 6 to 8 inches (15.24 to 20.32 cm) deep and plant the seedlings. Plus, asparagus is a perennial vegetable—plant it once and enjoy it for … Do not harvest too soon from a new planting. Soak the seeds for two hours before planting. The most common way to plant asparagus crowns is in a trench. Harvest asparagus spears from established beds for about 8 weeks. Test the soil before planting the beds and add lime if needed to adjust the pH to 6.5 to 7.0. Dig a furrow 4 inches wide and 6 to 12 inches deep. Asparagus plants like frequent, deep watering. It takes 1 year to grow a good crown. Find also notes about my experiences as an organic vegetable and fruit gardener and breeder, and visits to growers, processors and vendors of all kinds of good foods of Ontario. apart in rows set 3-6 inches (8-15 cm.) Asparagus beds require little care after the first 2 years. If you have perfectly healthy asparagus (lucky you!) There are just 85 growers in Ontario grow­ing 3,200 acres. For established beds scatter 1 to 2 pounds of 10-20-10 fertilizer per 20 feet of row before growth begins in the spring, late January or early February in most areas of Texas. I aim to hit 80% local produce in my recipes. Line the bottom of the trench with a layer of good soil and compost. Asparagus grows best in an open, sunny site, but will tolerate dappled shade. Next, take all your asparagus and burn them. To plant asparagus crowns, dig trenches 12 inches wide and 6 inches deep (8 inches in sandy soil) down the center of the prepared bed. The asparagus came up really skinny and now looks like it's flowering ? Plant in Rows To grow asparagus, plant in a location with good drainage. Cut asparagus spears 1 to 2 inches below the soil level. Dig a trench of about 12 to 18 inches wide and 6 to 8 inches deep. Also work in some 10-20-10 fertilizer at the rate of 1/2 pound per 100 square feet. The infected side of the spear ceases to grow, causing bending and hooking. They’re considered to be one of the delicacies of the vegetable world and have a distinct, intense savoury flavour. Each year, another asparagus plant waves bushy, frizzy-green against the stone walls; nearby, a tender shoot springs up. The plants are only about 6 weeks old and they already have impressive root systems. Fill the furrows gradually as the shoots grow. Interestingly, many other market garden plants (such as peppers and eggplant) do not do as well as our wild asparagus in that area. By the end of the first season, the furrow reaches its normal level (figure 1). Harvest spears when they are 4 to 10 inches long. If plants have rust colored spots on the stems or branches, ask your county Extension agent what to use. You can also fertilize with a balanced fertilizer of 10-10-10 or 15-15-15. Plant crowns 6 to 12 inches deep in loose soils and 4 to 6 inches in heavier soils. Never cut asparagus spears above the ground and allow stubs to remain (figure 4). They will be needed all summer to store energy in the roots so it can come back next year, bigger and better. Water the beds thoroughly as needed. The "leaves" are in fact needle-like cladodes (modified stems) in the axils of scale leaves; they are 6–32 mm (1 ⁄ 4 – 1 1 ⁄ 4 in) long and 1 mm (1 ⁄ 32 in) broad, and clustered four to 15 together, … Do not replant an old asparagus bed with new asparagus plants. Control weeds during the season by raking lightly or mulching. It’s not hard to grow asparagus from seed; it just adds an extra year onto the wait period until you can begin to harvest. If digging more than one trench, space the trenches at least 3 feet apart. Fortunately, for those o… Ultimately, they should end up about 8" deep. In southern areas the fern may not be killed by a freeze and should be removed in late November. A pH of 6.5-7.5 is ideal, so more acidic soils may need liming. Instead, choose fresh ground to avoid build-up of diseases. Since your plants will start out as miniature versions of their more mature selves, it's best to dig a bit of trench to start them off in, and fill it in as they get to look more robust. Asparagus loses quality very rapidly after harvest; sugar content declines and the amount of fibrous material increases.