Asparagus is inextricably tied with spring, as it is the first vegetable to emerge in the garden (usually around the time daffodils are blooming), and its harvest season is over by late spring or early summer. While asparagus plants may only produce for a few weeks a year, they need care all summer and fall if you want to harvest tender stalks the following spring. One of the most important parts of maintaining a productive asparagus bed is winterizing the asparagus plants. Removing spent foliage to eliminate overwintering pests and covering the asparagus crowns to prevent cold damage is necessary to maintain a healthy asparagus bed. A properly maintained bed can easily produce for 15 to 30 years.
Things You'll Need
- String trimmer or lawn mower
- Compost or well-rotted manure
- Straw or chopped leaves
Allow asparagus foliage to die before winterizing your asparagus plants. Asparagus foliage will turn brown or yellow and begin to fall back to the ground when it is dead. This usually happens after the first or second hard frost. In frost free areas the foliage will die in late winter.
Use a string trimmer or lawn mower to cut the asparagus foliage back to 2 to 3 inches tall.
Spread 2 to 3 inches of compost or well-rotted manure around the asparagus plants.
Cover the crowns (the place where growth emerges) of the asparagus plants with 4 to 6 inches of straw or chopped leaves.
Remove the straw or chopped leaf mulch in early spring before the spears emerge.