Is salt advised on asparagus for weed control?
No, it is not recommended because of its negative effects on the soil. I'm not recommending them, but extension lit recommends end-of-season herbicides over salt. With hand weeding and mulch, there should be little need for either.
Agree with all planatus said above.
Four years after I put in my asparagus bed, it became clear that it had fusarium crown rot-- very low yield,ferns falling over and dying back as early as August. A little research revealed that although asparagus beds had been salted for hundreds of years to prevent weeds, that it also prevented fusarium crown rot, which began to appear in commercial beds when the practice stopped and chemical pre-emergents began to be used. Test plots, some salted some not, had fusarium crown rot introduced. It took in the unsalted plots, not in the salted.
So I began to sow food grade rock salt in late winter. By the third year I had great production, strong ferns and no early die back. I've been doing it for some 10 years now. No soil problems, my groundcover thymes still grow right up to and into the bed and have to be pulled out. And I get great asparagus.
Can't argue with that, LV, but in the interest of responsible decision-making, let's note average rainfall in your area of 40-45 inches per year. In climates with less leaching, the salt cure would need careful handling. It works because of the high salt tolerance of asparagus. Dianthus tolerates salt, too, might look pretty.
While some people can get away with using salt, if you go "too far" it's very hard to reverse the newly created problem.
Would a broadleaf weed control harm the gus?
Mulch would be better for weed, water & cold weather /freeze control.
I have never salted or fertilized my asparagus, but one patch is only 10 years old & the other is 12 months old.
My greatest fear in salting would be the critter response. Many animals, I fear, would be digging out the crowns in search of the mineral--deer especially.
I have asparagus beds that I have been harvesting for decades. Years ago they recommended using salt for weed control because the asparagus was salt tolerant. The problem with this was that for the deer it became a giant salt lick. Don't ask me how I know this! The old timers used to also use potash on the beds also to control weeds. For some reason the powers that be back then recommended NOT using mulch for weed control on asparagus. I think this was because of mulch harboring the asparagus beetle.
I have used organic wheat straw mulch and a rabbit manure compost for years and do not miss the salt additions. I find that the mulch works much better than salt and I have no problems with wilt or beetles. The deer do miss it though : )
From My Vegetable Gardens
Oh what a beautiful asparagus harvest! I was just browing in some antique gardening journals and ran across a chapter of asparagus culture. They drowned the beds in salt and pidgeon poop. LOL
I tried growing asparagus in OK. Couldn't control the bermuda. The Bermuda grew right over the top of any mulch. Any recommendations for Bermuda control?
I don't grow asparagus, but friends do. For Easter, we had the most wonderful asparagus for dinner from their patch in SW Missouri (out in the country, with deer all around). They line the edges of the asp bed with rock salt to keep the bermuda back, and it has worked beautifully.