Growing Great Asparagus

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Asparagus is one of the easiest (and earliest) garden crops to grow. You only need to plant it once, then it will produce sweet,
tender spears every spring for decades. To start a new bed, buy
bareroot asparagus crowns at garden centers in the spring. Then try
this harvesting tip to extend your fresh asparagus season by at
least two weeks: instead of the traditional harvesting method — cutting all the
spears when they are 6 to 8 inches long — allow two or three sturdy
spears to grow uncut. Research at Cornell University found that as
they leaf out, these “mother spears” will send solar energy down to
the roots and stimulate the plants to produce more spears than
traditionally harvested ones.

Here are three more asparagus growing tips to try:

  • If you have a dry spring, keep your asparagus bed
    well-watered.
  • When you have more asparagus than you can eat while it’s still
    fresh, just blanch the spears briefly in boiling water and pop them
    in the freezer.
  • Stop harvesting your asparagus once all the emerging spears are
    thinner than a pencil. This leaves the roots enough energy to
    produce foliage that will capture solar energy through the summer
    and replenish the roots for the next season’s crop.