should I cut back my asparagus

grandprix1(6)August 26, 2010

My asparagus plants were planted in 2008. I planted both roots and seeds. Both root and seed plants are now big and bushy. I did not cut any asparagus in 2008, 2009 or in 2010, as I understood there should be no cuttings the first three years. What should I do now? I live in Pennsylvania. I have never cut the plants back and simply left them to grow. Should I just let them go? Should I cut them down? Next year will be the 4th year for these plants and I have never done anything to them. I'm anxious to harvest them next year! Thanks for any help.

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ltilton

Cut them down when the ferns turn brown. It sounds like you can start harvesting next spring. Be sure to stop cutting them in time for new sprouts to grow up into ferns. Give them some nice fertilizer then.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2010 at 11:08PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Agree. Wait until they turn brown and die and then mow them off at ground level and mulch them well.

I use a good 3" layer of manured compost for my fall mulch so that feeds them well until late winter/early spring when they get a good feeding again. But if you don't have that then give them a good feeding of your choice with whatever mulch you use and another good early spring feeding.

Dave

    Bookmark   August 26, 2010 at 11:36PM
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nancyjane_gardener(Zone 8ish North of San Francisco in the "real" wine country)

You guys say a good feeding. Of what? I typically have a good batch of compost by about March and shovel some on each of my beds. That's the only "fertilizer" I've used so far.
I'm on my 3rd year and also ready to start eating!
I have raised beds and origionally planted about 20 crowns. It looks like about 10 came back.
I am dedicating this 4x8 bed to mostly asparagus with some shade tolerant things planted in between.
I'm thinking of planting another 10 this year.
What fertilizer besides my compost would do best in this bed? NT

    Bookmark   August 27, 2010 at 1:13AM
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glib(5.5)

Here, with the soil being acid, I give them large amounts of wood ash, maybe three cups per plant per year. I then give them some urea, maybe four ounces for 36 plants. Their bed is organic matter (mulch in various states of decay), so the timing of fertilization is not so crucial, there is a lot of binding and releasing.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2010 at 9:02AM
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plantbliss

You can cut back your Asparagus Fern but make sure you have at least one or two green branches. Without leaves the plant may die. With mine I don't give them fertilizer after October and they do just fine. I feed mine fish fertilizer...it makes them more lush and darker green in color.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2010 at 6:08PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

FYI plantbliss, It isn't an ornamental asparagus as a houseplant being talked about, it is edible asparagus in a garden. :)

    Bookmark   September 1, 2010 at 1:23PM
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