Asparagus

Chicago, IL(Zone 5b)

I have an asparagus bed which I planted over ten years ago in my city garden in Chicago. The variety is Jersey Knight. The shoots last year and worse this year are very weak and spindly. Has the bed run its course and should be replanted or does it need fertilizing and if so what is a good type of fertilizer. Bear in mind I have a large garden but close to the city center.

Thank you for any help or information

Madras, OR

Asparagus needs some fertilizer every year, I add an inch of compost every fall, and some mineral source like greensand every two or three years. It needs plenty of water but not soaking wet. It should not be harvested later than July, to allow the root to gather strength from the fern. Fern should not be cut down until late fall after it has begun to dry out.

I do add new plants occasionally, if I notice I am becoming sparce.

Homeworth, OH(Zone 5b)

Quote from RTilley :
I have an asparagus bed which I planted over ten years ago in my city garden in Chicago. The variety is Jersey Knight. The shoots last year and worse this year are very weak and spindly. Has the bed run its course and should be replanted or does it need fertilizing and if so what is a good type of fertilizer. Bear in mind I have a large garden but close to the city center.

Thank you for any help or information


At this point I would get a good soil test, and follow the reccomendations. asparagus uses a lot of nitrogen and phosphorus to grow the large spears we all love. The good news is you should be able to rejuvenate your bed, and you can always plant a few new shoots to thicken up the bed if needed.

Tiskilwa, IL

Something to check on--could it be overcrowded? Old asparagus beds do sometimes get overcrowded with new plants and production goes down. If that happens they need to be thinned, preferably by digging up the extras and giving them to someone who has room for them. A good article on this:
http://www.motherearthnews.com/Organic-Gardening/1983-09-01/Transplanting-Asparagus.aspx#axzz2JiGpBP3t

I transplanted a bed of asparagus last fall, it's kind of fun. Overcrowding may not be your problem at all but it's good to know about.

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