Then it is time to stop and let them grow, gaining strength for next spring. When to Harvest Asparagus Experts recommend refraining from harvesting stalks during the first season and easing into a full yield over the following two years to prepare the plant for a decade—or more— in your garden. Stop harvesting spears when the diameter of the spears decreases to the size of a pencil. Asparagus is a great garden plant but there are a few tricks to taking care of it. In the third year of growth, after planting one year old crowns, spears of plants will be ready for asparagus harvesting. The delectable spears are not of edible quality until the fourth year after planting seeds. Asparagus is one of the earliest vegetables from the garden in spring. Today, I talk about the correct way to harvest asparagus. Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes. You can start asparagus from seeds in a greenhouse or other protected area. Using a sharp knife with a serrated edge (you can buy special asparagus knives) cut the asparagus cleanly 2- 10cm (1"-4") below the ground. Active Time 1 hour. In warm weather, harvest every two to three days for up to four weeks. Female plants devote much of their energy to seed production and can be identified when red berry-like seeds appear later in the season. Harvesting Mature Asparagus . Harvest asparagus by snapping off the green spears at soil level. Use this guide on how to properly weed, harvest, and care for your asparagus to ensure your patch remains healthy. Also, the ferny growth is an attractive addition to the garden. Spears should be harvested when they are 5-7” in length and just before the tips begin to get loose. How to Harvest. Continue harvesting for six to eight weeks, but no later than July 1. You can also start from plants, though those can be harder to find. But if you have planted the crown correctly, fertilized appropriately, and cared for your asparagus for two years, in the spring of your third year you will start to have an ongoing crop that will provide you fresh asparagus each year from early spring until July 1 for about 15 years or so. Keep your asparagus bed weeded by lightly cultivating around the plants. Asparagus may sound one of the more difficult vegetables to grow but in truth the main drawback is simply that it takes time to get from planting or sowing it to harvest, three years from planting asparagus crowns. To promote a vigorous, healthy and long-lasting root system it is important that you do not harvest any spears during the first year. In the third year, start cutting the spears in mid-April when they are 18cm tall. Newer varieties of asparagus are available that offer only male plants not needing pollination. Get over that hurdle and asparagus is very simple to care for and rarely attacked by pest or disease. Unlike other vegetables, asparagus takes considerable patience because it will not be until the third year after planting that you can harvest it. When you plant from crowns, you can start harvesting the spears after 2 full years, when they are about 6 to 10 inches above the soil level. Any spears that reach a height of more than 10 inches should be allowed to continue growing to build root systems and energy for next year. Cutting with a knife can spread diseases from plant to plant. This will allow the plants to develop and store food reserves so they can produce a bountiful harvest in the third year and for many years to come. Find the plant. Asparagus is most commonly planted in spring using dormant two-year-old crowns. Asparagus plants are heavy feeders, so be prepared to amend your soil and fertilize regularly. The fourth-year spread the harvest out over 8 weeks. To harvest asparagus, simply cut the spears with a sharp knife or scissors at ground level. After harvest, fertilize your asparagus in early summer. The old rule of thumb is to harvest until the diameter of the spear decreases to the size of a pencil. Asparagus requires some patience until harvesting time comes. In the second year you may harvest no more than half of the spears, leaving any that are less than 1cm in diameter. The asparagus need to focus their energy on growing deep roots. When harvested by right-click, the plant doesn't break, and yields 1-2 Asparagus. In warm weather, harvest every two to three days for the best quality spears. Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis), one of the most delectable treats available for spring harvest, develops bright red berries in fall. Male plants, who devote no energy to seed production, offer thicker and longer spears which are what one desires when harvesting asparagus. Asparagus stalks shoot right out of the ground. Asparagus … How To Harvest Asparagus . Don’t harvest any asparagus for the first 2 years they are placed in their permanent bed. In warm weather, harvest every two to three days for the best quality spears. Do not fill in the entire trench yet. Harvesting Asparagus - here's how. Asparagus plants are either males or female. Knowing when to pick asparagus will result in the most flavorful experience from your crop. Snapping will break spears cleanly at a tender point. Harvest and storage. Once you know how to pick asparagus, you will delight in spring asparagus harvesting in future years. Harvest the ripe seeds as soon as possible and store in a cool, dry location until ready for use. Cut asparagus off at ground level with a sharp knife. Cut or break the spears from the point closest to their attachment to the fibrous roots. To store asparagus, clean the crops and use the refrigerator. Harvest asparagus spears when they are 3/8 to 1 inch (0.95 to 2.54cm) thick. Filling In The Trench To establish strong roots, the trench will be filled in slowly as the asparagus grows. To farm the Asparagus, you plant and grow the seeds (or the Asparagus itself) on tilled soil, once they're fully grown you can right-click them, harvest the Asparagus and let them grow again. Part of the allure of asparagus is that this perennial vegetable is the first vegetable harvested in the spring. Pick spears for only two weeks the third year (which is the first harvest); let plants continue to establish themselves; over-harvesting can weaken plants and cause future harvests to be small. What Do the Letters NPK Mean on a Fertilizer? Keep in mind not to overharvest since the plant still needs to replenish its energy for next year. Fresh asparagus is in premium demand, and a gardener with a good patch of asparagus can save a notable amount of money at the grocery store. Because the edible part of the plant is the stems rather than the leaves, the nutrient most required is phosphorus, not nitrogen. Do not harvest yet on the first spring year. As a rule, you will harvest every other day when the spears are between 4 and 8-inches tall and usually for a period between 6 and 8 weeks, depending upon your geographical location, and also depending upon the weather for that particular year. Planting asparagus from seed allows one to grow any variety of the vegetable, but growing from one year old crowns allows for harvesting asparagus more quickly — three years after planting crowns. When the spears appear in spring, harvest them when they are 6 to 10 inches above the soil line, but before the flower buds are open. How to Harvest Asparagus Harvesting Tips. During this time the plants spread their roots deeper through the plantation beds. Simply cut or snap off the spears at ground level. Asparagus spears can be cut with a knife, but it is important to clean the knife between cuts. Cut the spears from the plant using a sharp knife, or simply snap the spears off at ground level using your hands. Here are the asparagus harvest do’s and don’ts. This takes some discipline, as the spears will appear in the first and second year, but if you harvest them, then you will very likely kill the plants—or at least seriously stunt their production for future years. Learning how to harvest asparagus ensures the life of your asparagus bed. Apply 1 pound of granular fertilizer per 100 square feet. Here are some tips on how to harvest asparagus: Harvest spears before the flower buds are open. How to Harvest Asparagus. Hotter weather will shorten your harvesting season, while cooler weather will extend it. You will be able to harvest your asparagus in the 3rd year (more about that later) but … This is the hardest part. Excessive disturbance of the area can result in damage to spears which have not yet broken ground. To harvest, cut individual spears with a sharp knife 2.5cm (1in) below the soil when they are no more than 18cm (7in) tall. Of course, the width will vary from male to female plants. If you notice decreased production and vigor in your asparagus plants, stop harvesting and let the plant store energy for next season. Print Prep Time 30 minutes. If you have grown asparagus from seed don't harvest any spears until the third season as the plants need to mature and establish their root systems. Do not harvest any spear in the first two seasons. "Since they are such a long-term producer, it's going to take them a while to get settled," says Brandeisky. Length may dictate when to pick asparagus, but you will want to get it early enough in the season that it is tender. Planting asparagus from seed allows you to grow any variety of this vegetable, but growing from one-year old crowns allows you to harvest asparagus faster – three years after planting the crowns. After watering, place a thin layer of compost over the crowns, and finish by covering the top of the crown only with soil. Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! Asparagus spears should not be harvested the first year and only lightly harvested during the second year. Harvest asparagus spears around every 3 days during early spring and increase the frequency to twice per day during summer to keep up with production. Harvest asparagus grown from crowns after two seasons. Asparagus beds need to grow without being harvested for the first two full growing seasons when planted from crowns, and they must grow for an additional year if started from seed.Do not harvest any shoots during the first year of growth … Learning how to harvest asparagus includes knowing the difference between the male and female plants, which is easily discovered once the delicious vegetable appears and grows. Start harvesting from the third season in every 3-4 week intervals. Removing the spears for more than a month during this important year of growth will weaken and possibly kill the plant. Simply cut or snap off the spears at ground level. To catch the seeds, place the plant tops in a brown paper bag. Once the tops fall over they can be collected and hung upside down in a warm, dry position. Knowing when to pick asparagus will result in the most flavorful experience from your crop. The female plant will develop many spears, but when harvesting asparagus one will have the most productive harvest from male plants. Cook cut spears immediately or refrigerate in plastic to raise the humidity and prevent tough fibers from forming at the base of the spear. Asparagus beds should be moist, but not soggy. In early spring harvest spears every 3rd day or so. Don’t harvest asparagus for the first two years after planting. Fertilize your young asparagus in the Spring with an organic 5-10-10 formula. During this initial harvest year (year three), plants should only be harvested the first month … Unless you plan to save the seeds, it’s best to remove them to conserve energy. How to Harvest Asparagus. Take care not to cut the crown of the plant burried beneath the spear. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series. How to Harvest Asparagus. Left in this condition the tops ripen within a week. Harvesting asparagus is worth the wait, and wait you must if you have started a new asparagus bed from seed or crowns. Use a sharp knife, cutting the spears 2.5cm below the level of the soil. Asparagus is one of the earliest vegetables from the garden in spring. How To Harvest Asparagus? Mulch asparagus beds to protect them during the winter months. Asparagus are either male or female. As the plant matures you will be able to harvest about 80 per cent of spears over a 10 week period. How To Plant & Grow Asparagus. First Picking of Asparagus. After the second year, you can harvest for around 6 weeks. How To Harvest Wild Asparagus. Colleen Vanderlinden is a freelance writer and the author of Edible Gardening for the Midwest. In the third year of growth, after planting one year old crowns, spears of plants will be ready for asparagus harvesting. During the third season, pick the asparagus spears over a 4-week period. Snap the asparagus off at ground level, or cut with a knife. Among the tastiest and highly prized of all garden vegetables is asparagus (Asparagus officinalis). How to Harvest Wild Asparagus. Materials. Asparagus harvesting should begin when the stems are 5 to 8 inches long and as big around as your finger. This year is dedicated for root and plant development, so harvest could be done on spring of the second year. They look like they do in the store. Sign up for our newsletter. 6 Best Vegetables to Plant in Early Spring, How to Grow Spinach in Your Home Vegetable Garden. If you plant 2-year-old crowns, you can start harvesting the second year. Continue harvesting for six to eight weeks, but no later than July 1. Asparagus male or female. Asparagus harvesting then becomes more worthwhile each year. You can top-dress with a balanced organic fertilizer, or scatter another inch of rich, weed-free compost over the decomposing mulch. 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However, it will blend in with other green plants—you’re likely going to have to find it in a field of tall grass. The properly prepared and harvested asparagus bed will increase in yearly production for many years, generally for as long as 15 years and possibly up to 30 years, with the vegetable becoming more abundant. However, it takes about 5 years to start harvesting asparagus. To harvest, cut individual spears with a sharp knife 2.5cm (1in) below the soil when they are no more than 18cm (7in) tall. Cut foliage back to ground level. Wait until foliage turns yellow or brown and the plant becomes dormant before pruning. Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. By: Becca Badgett, Co-author of How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden. When the spears appear in spring, harvest them when they are 6 to 10 inches above the soil line, but before the flower buds are open. When is the best time to harvest asparagus? During this initial harvest year (year three), plants should only be harvested the first month of optimum production. Expect to harvest spears every 2-3 d… After the soil settles, fertilize the plants with an all-purpose balanced fertilizer. Learning how to pick asparagus ensures the lifespan of your asparagus bed. Growth of asparagus foliage is an important part of the plant’s life cycle. Let the asparagus grow without harvest and it will produce a ‘fern’, which may be pruned back to the ground in winter after it has yellowed. When and How to Harvest Garden Vegetables. Pick asparagus every other day in the spring: if you wait longer, it will go to fern and you’ll miss out. Begin the asparagus harvest when plants are three years old and fully developed. Cut off the stalk… You won’t be pulling asparagus out of the ground, as you would with a carrot or onion. Some would advise not cuttingbelow groudn but at groudn level to avoid admaging the crown. 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