Asparagus Ferns in Autumn

We have a small plot, about 1 square meter, that was planted up with 5 asparagus crowns (Eclipse) some 3 to 4 years ago. This year was their first productive crop and we enjoyed fresh asparagus from mid-April to the end of May.  I'm guessing a yield  of about 2 kg over the 6-week harvesting period; sufficient for the two of us to enjoy twice a week.

At the end of May, no more spears were cut and the ferns were allowed to develop in order to build up the crowns ready for cropping in 2021.

It is now the beginning of November and the ferns have taken on their autumnal hue. In the next week or so I shall cut back the ferns to a couple of inches, remove any weeds, feed the soil with homemade garden compost and await next year's crop.

Modern asparagus varieties are much easier to grow and do not require the specially-prepared raised bed systems of the past. A sunny level bed with good drainage is fine. A little patience is needed because it takes 3 years or so for the plants to establish themselves before you get your first crop. On the plus side your asparagus bed could be productive for the next 20 years!

In the background, you can see the sign for William Earp & Son discovered in our cellar. William Earp was a local nurseryman in the 1890s who went bankrupt. Apart from the fact our garden was once part of his nursery, we know very little else about him.


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