Asparagus: Early, Easy and Excellent

Seven steps to growing superior asparagus spears, year after year.

Growing Asparagus
Check out "Best Asparagus Varieties & Sources" for tips on choosing the best varieties of asparagus.
Photo courtesy DAVID CAVAGNARO
Purple Asparagus
Purple asparagus.
Photo courtesy DAVID CAVAGNARO
Summer Asparagus
Here's a nifty trick for stretching your asparagus harvest a couple of weeks longer into late spring or early summer. Harvest your crop as usual for the first two weeks of the season. Then, select two or three sturdy spears from each plant, and allow them to grow undisturbed, while you continue to harvest the newly emerging spears. The leafy growth of the unharvested "mother stalks" will collect enough solar energy to stimulate the growth of additional spears for at least two weeks longer, according to researchers at Cornell and Rutgers universities. If weather is dry, water the plants to minimize stress. And to begin harvesting spears up to two weeks earlier in the spring, use black plastic mulch to warm the soil, conserve moisture and prevent weeds.
Asparagus With Hollandaise
Steamed asparagus smothered in hollandaise sauce is a rich addition to any meal.
Photo courtesy ROSALIND CREASY
Asparagus Beetle Control
Jeff Cantara of New Roots Farm in Newmarket, N.H., uses chickens to control asparagus beetles in his garden.
Photo courtesy JEFF CANTARA

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