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A couple of years ago I finally took the plunge and planted an asparagus bed. Its a crop I’d never appreciated until a few years ago, but now I love it (especially lightly steamed, with a little salty butter). Now I’m all of a flutter, because the time to eat my asparagus is getting closer.
For best results, you should grow asparagus in a nutrient-rich bed with good drainage. I made a raised bed, packed it with a mixture of soil, well rotted manure plus a little sand to ensure good drainage, and planted the asparagus crowns. It’s also advised to avoid harvesting asparagus for three years after planting, as this is the time the plants are getting established. Each year I’ve had to watch those succulent looking spears appear and resist the temptation to harvest them.
I’ve just come in from cutting back the delicate frondy asparagus foliage. It has turned completely yellow, indicating that the nutrients in the foliage had been returned to the crowns. This year the foliage turned yellow several weeks later than last year, and the crowns have been growing well and have produced masses of foliage, so I’m hoping for a decent first crop. I’m now wondering whether I shouldn’t go and get myself a few more crowns, as the whole family now loves asparagus and I need to ensure there’s enough to go round! Perhaps I’ll try one of the purple varieties, such as ‘Purple Passsion’.
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