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When we put the garden to bed for the coming winter, there are quite a few things that need to be done. If we spend some time now in getting things ready, it’s better for the perennial plants and easier on us come Spring.
Here’s the Asparagus bed, the fronds are falling over and there is also couchgrass in there. Time to get in there and clean it all up.
I got in there and cut down the year’s stalks and weeded as best I could. Everything that comes out of here will go into the chicken’s run. There will be parts of the plants they won’t want to it, and that’s OK.
The chicken run makes for a good compost area, we can just throw weeds and garden bits in there and what doesn’t get eaten will turn into compost for the Spring.
I mulched the whole bed with about 5 inches of straw. Asparagus is pretty hardy and I have no worries that it won’t come up again in the Spring. I am mulching it just to give it some protection but also to try to combat the grass getting in there.
Come early Spring, I’ll pull the straw back and use it as mulch between the 2 rows of plants. I’m hoping next year we won’t need the plastic there, but we will see.
Come next Fall, there won’t be anything left really of the straw. I’ll just let it break down where it is.
Asparagus is one of the very early treats in our garden. By the time it’s ready in June, we’re itching for fresh greens from the garden. And nothing can beat the taste of fresh Asparagus! Steamed very lightly for maybe 4 minutes tops, it’s one of our favourites from the garden.
There’s all the old stalks that I tossed out of the garden.
We planted these 1 year after we moved here, and they were 1 year old crowns when we put them in. Once planted, you’re supposed to leave them alone the first year, and not cut any at all. You want as much energy as possible going into feeding those roots.
Then every year, you can cut a few more and by the sixth year you can pick as many as you like. Even before that, you will be having your fill of Asaparagus.
We don’t cut any after mid-July. At that point, we just let the stalks grow for the remainder of the year. Every year, more and more stalks come up.
An Asparagus bed can thrive for many many years. It’s important (and hey, take a lesson from me here) to keep the bed as Weed Free as possible! This is where I continually seem to fall down on the job.
We’ve got lots of that dreaded couchgrass, and it is a real chore to get it out and keep out. We have ended up running black plastic between the two rows and also outside of the rows. We don’t like to do that, but we have got to get that grass out of there somehow.
(originally published 2010 – updated Jan 2021)