Putting the Asparagus Bed to Bed for Winter

Asparagus berries dripping with Autumn morning dew (4/11/22)

The first spears of asparagus started to appear in mid-April and were harvested on April 22. In total, we cut about 60 spears from the 5 crowns planted about 5 years ago. The season finished at the beginning of June in our garden. By November the ferns had turned ...

Asparagus Ferns  - 16 November 2022

... and it is time to cut them back to ground level. Cutting back was a little later this year, in the middle of November rather than the start. [note: the ferns in the background/second bed are a later sprouting variety of asparagus so have yet to turn from green to gold - I did not harvest these this year but allowed them to put all their energy into building up the crowns].

Firstly, I removed the aluminium pole framework that had kept the ferns in some sort of order as they grew strongly during the summer and autumn. The stalks were cut at ground level - leaving up to an inch (2.5 cm) above ground - before shredding and hot composting.

Asparagus bed after autumn cutback

After removing any obvious weeds, a one-inch (2.5 cm) mulch of homemade compost was added ...

Winterised Asparagus Bed

 The smaller bed containing only 2 crowns of later fruiting asparagus will get a similar treatment towards the end of November.

Smaller Asparagus Bed

And that's it. Asparagus takes a few years for the crowns to establish but should provide a regular and substantial crop of delicious spears between April and June for 10 - 20 years. Do not overcrop (six weeks is the typical cropping period) and allow the ferns to fully develop in order to build up the crowns for the next season. Once the ferns turn yellow/brown in Autumn, cut off at the base and apply fertilizer/mulch or homemade compost to boost soil nutrients.


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