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Beginner Vegetables: Asparagus ferns falling over

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Forum: Beginner VegetablesReplies: 9, Views: 43
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montanadolphin
Columbia, VA
(Zone 6b)

June 22, 2013
10:16 AM

Post #9568627

Almost all of my asparagus ferns are falling over. They are so top heavy they just...timber! Now they are laying on the ground, and I've lost two to snapping at the base where it meets the soil.

What can I do, and is this normal? This bed of asparagus was here when we moved in, so I don't know if this is what's expected. A lot of the ferns have berry looking things on them.

Thank you!!

trackinsand

trackinsand
mid central, FL
(Zone 9a)

June 22, 2013
1:06 PM

Post #9568761

edible asparagus is a very different plant than the ornamental "asparagus fern" you have...and yes, they will flop over and new sprouts will come up and replace the fallen ones which eventually die.
montanadolphin
Columbia, VA
(Zone 6b)

June 22, 2013
2:34 PM

Post #9568862

ok, I'm confused.

I know you can't eat asparagus ferns...but...it's a bed of edible asparagus. I've been taking sprouts from the bed for almost 2 months now. I'm talking about the ones that went to fern before I cut them...sometimes it was because they started ferning out in a day, but the big ones are because I didn't even realize I had asparagus until I saw the ferns.

trackinsand

trackinsand
mid central, FL
(Zone 9a)

June 22, 2013
6:25 PM

Post #9569144

i'm confused too. asparagus and ferns are two different plants. asparagus don't have ferns on them. maybe you could take a picture?

okay, i think i understand what you mean now. i pulled a really nice picture of pirl's asparagus bed off of PF. you're talking about the stems/stalks with the "ferny looking" foliage. http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/showimage/333406/

i think you're supposed to leave the ferny foliage on to feed the roots and then cut them to the ground in fall. if they are snapping off, i don't think it will kill the plants though.

hopefully someone will come along who has actually grown asparagus and will give you better pointers. i think that once the foliage is there though, you can't harvest any longer.


This message was edited Jun 22, 2013 10:01 PM
Jim41
Delhi, LA

June 22, 2013
6:34 PM

Post #9569157

There is asparagus, which is edible. My mother grew it for the foliage in her flower beds. There is an asparagus fern which is a potted plant. My wife loves them so we have several. Some or so big that I have to have a two wheel dolly to move them. We also have many voulenteer ones around our car port that came up from seeds. The winter kills them down and up they come in the spring.
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

June 22, 2013
6:52 PM

Post #9569178

Asparagus fern: http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/1850/#b

Edible asparagus grows fronds if it isn't picked. After enjoying them for 6 to 8 weeks they go to rest and they do form fronds, which are not cut down until they are yellowed by frost - late November to early December. Then the beds are cleaned, compost is applied on top of each asparagus plant and they sleep until April. We do not grow the type that comes from the red seeds.

We have never had them snap off at the base so I don't know the problem.

Thumbnail by pirl
Click the image for an enlarged view.

trackinsand

trackinsand
mid central, FL
(Zone 9a)

June 22, 2013
7:04 PM

Post #9569190

lol while i was doing dishes, i remembered that i hadn't finished editing my post...and what do you know? here is pirl giving good advice.
steadycam3
Houston Heights, TX
(Zone 9a)

June 22, 2013
7:16 PM

Post #9569209

I grow asparagus and my fronds flop over too. I stake as many as I can but there are still some that flop. I doubt one broken frond will matter much. Mine get very tall ~5-6 ft so they are too heavy to stay up right.
Diana_K
Contra Costa County, CA
(Zone 9b)

June 23, 2013
11:58 AM

Post #9570014

Edible Asparagus will grow a fern-like phase.
If these fall over, snap off then I would stake them, or add tomato cages.
A few bamboo sticks around and through the bed, then some twine that will decompose (cotton twine) zig-zagged between the bamboo will add enough support. When the ferns die naturally, and you compost them, they are so tangled with the twine that you will simply toss twine and all onto the compost bin. That is why I use cotton twine. It will compost just fine.

kittriana

kittriana
Magnolia, TX
(Zone 8b)

June 23, 2013
7:27 PM

Post #9570515

Asparagus was moved so is allowed to fern out, the mater cages are around the eggplants- the bungee cords will contain loosely the fronds as they grow against the wires. Let them grow, they nourish next years shoots, and are there since the thin shoots were left to grow. Last year got a little untended...#5 is by common name asparagus fern, invasive, roots will break glass pots and has thorns

Thumbnail by kittriana   Thumbnail by kittriana   Thumbnail by kittriana   Thumbnail by kittriana   Thumbnail by kittriana
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