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Asparagus

Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis) is a hardy perennial native to Western Europe. This perennial can remain viable for 10-20 years, so choose your garden site carefully. Asparagus needs a fertile, well-draining soil. There’s no trick to growing asparagus from seeds, just be patient soil temperatures for seed germination should be between 21-29 C. Soak the seeds for a couple of hours, then plant each seed 2.5cm deep, sprouting should take between 2-8 weeks from planting seeds. Seedlings are ready to transplant when they are 10-12 weeks old. Space the transplants 45cm apart in rows set 6cm inches apart. For thinner spears or thicker spears adjust spacing and planting depth slightly. Consider planting your new asparagus near tomatoes as asparagus repels nematodes that attack tomato plants while tomatoes repel asparagus beetles. A very symbiotic relationship indeed. As the plant grows, cover the crown with soil and keep it moist (2.5 cm of water per week). Fertilize in the spring with 1-2 cups of complete organic fertilizer. Remember, don’t harvest the plant until its third year; allow the plant to set ferns and redirect its energy back into the plant. Cut the ferns down to 2 inches tall in the late autumn. In the plant’s third year, you can begin regularly harvesting the spears. The season usually lasts around 8-12 weeks. Cut the asparagus spears 1-2 inches below the ground and at least 2 inches above the crown using a sharp knife or asparagus harvesting tool.