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how to grow asparagus in ontario

Deep planting of the crowns allows cultivation with garden tools or tiller (do not till too deep) without damage to crowns. Water the beds thoroughly as needed. Dave Wolyn, a professor in OAC’s Department of Plant Agriculture, explains that asparagus takes about … The crowns should be planted at 18\" intervals in the bed, so put a shovel of compost and a cup of all-purpose, organic fertilizer in the trench every 18\". Asparagus can be stored up to 3 weeks in plastic bags in the refrigerator. Soak the asparagus crowns in water for 15 to … This is the place! An asparagus planting lasts 15 to 25 years without replanting if it is well cared for and the climate is suitable. Ideally, asparagus plants are grown outside in garden soil in USDA zones 4-8. It takes 1 year to grow a good crown. It's more likely that the fine, ferny leaves are just opening up. Since asparagus will be in the same place several years, it is important to select the right spot. Asparagus grows best in an open, sunny site, but will tolerate dappled shade. A pH of 6.5-7.5 is ideal, so more acidic soils may need liming. Fill the furrows gradually as the shoots grow. Asparagus is a good source of vitamin A and C and minerals. The soil should be free of trash, soil insects and weeds such as johnsongrass and bermudagrass before planting. Rock phosphate, … Control weeds during the season by raking lightly or mulching. I don't think it's flowering yet (unless you live somewhere with a very different climate). Asparagus roots reach 10 feet deep if the soil is adequate and moisture is available. That’s 12 per cent of all the asparagus grown in Ontario. From there, create a mound in the trench and place the crowns 15- 18 inches apart, spreading the roots over the ridge. Sandi Greer, 46, bought Green Ridge Farms at Wellington in Prince Edward County in November. To grow asparagus from seeds, start them indoors in two-inch pots as early as the month of February. Asparagus is a highly productive vegetable best suited to cooler areas. Place crowns 12 to 14 inches apart. Cover the bed with a 3-inch layer of clean straw, compost or other mulch material, water thoroughly and allow to grow the rest of the year. If you want thinner spears, space the transplants 8-10 inches (20-25 cm.) One kilogram of seed usually produces enough crowns to plant 1 ha (approximately 1 lb per acre.) I aim to hit 80% local produce in my recipes. Do not fill the entire furrow at once. To prevent spears from becoming fibrous, harvest at least every other day. The plants are only about 6 weeks old and they already have impressive root systems. Dig trenches that are about 6 inches wide and 6-12 inches deep. Ample garden space is key to growing healthy asparagus, as the plants root system can grow quite large. For most home gardeners, one row is adequate. Pick off any red berries that may appear on female asparagus plants. Once you are ready to plant, the asparagus goes in quite deeply. Try growing some in a half barrel or … After harvest, the remaining asparagus spears grow into tall fern-like plants There are 4,500 acres of asparagus grown in Canada, 3/4 of that is in Ontario In ideal weather condition an asparagus spear can grow 25cm in 24 hours An asparagus patch can be productive for up o 20 years Line the bottom of the trench with a layer of good soil and compost. Water the fertilizer into the soil. Hi Jean - No, you shouldn't! Asparagus should be planted as soon as the ground can be worked in the spring. If you cut some of the soil with your pruning shears it will dull your blade very fast. Asparagus is a herbaceous, perennial plant growing to 100–150 cm (40–60 in) tall, with stout stems with much-branched, feathery foliage. Born on a farm … Find also notes about my experiences as an organic vegetable and fruit gardener and breeder, and visits to growers, processors and vendors of all kinds of good foods of Ontario. Then plant your plants and as … Asparagus plants make a good border around the edge of a garden or along a fence. In southern areas the fern may not be killed by a freeze and should be removed in late November. As with the crowns, backfill the trench as the plants grow. Set the crown on top of the mound, spreading the roots down the sides. You should plant the seeds at a depth of around a half inch. The asparagus came up really skinny and now looks like it's flowering ? Instead, choose fresh ground to avoid build-up of diseases. Ultimately, they should end up about 8" deep. “We tried. Thanks for the info on this site. It is not fussy about the soil type as long as it is well drained. Plant crowns 6 to 12 inches deep in loose soils and 4 to 6 inches in heavier soils. In early season, till the soil when fertilizer is applied before the spears begin growth (figure 2). In another asparagus planting adventure, I had seen naturalized (wild) asparagus growing in the area, so I mistakenly assumed the plants would like native soil conditions, or maybe I just got lazy. Grown for the stems or spears, a well tended planting yields 8 to 10 pounds or more per 100 square feet of bed or 24 to 30 pounds per 100 feet of row. Once you've got it mixed, you can shape the soil into a mound about 2 inches (5.1 cm) high. Crowns grow from seed planted in flats or peat cups in October for January transplanting, or they are transplanted from an existing asparagus bed. Use only spears with compact heads because loose heads do not keep well and are fibrous. The young plants have compact buds in the center (crown), with numerous dangling, pencil-sized roots. Dig a trench of about 12 to 18 inches wide and 6 to 8 inches deep. While we cannot recommend one soil supplier over another, you should contact Landscape Ontario for the locations of reputable garden centers in your area. Before planting new asparagus beds, till in 2 to 3 pounds of 10-20-10 or a similar analysis fertilizer per 20 feet of row or as directed by a soil test report. Should we be cutting these down? Control weeds without damaging the spears. From these “ferns”, the mature plant manufactures food and stores it in “storage roots.” This reserve supplies the energy necessary to produce spears the following year. Step 2 While a good seedbed is important, … Combine your compost, fertilizer, or other organic matter, and create mounds with it about 18 inches apart. This is grown by shading the spears with mounds of soil or mulch to exclude light. Fertilize your asparagus plant about once a month by side dressing it with compost. Period of Activity Infections are more common during periods of excessive rainfall or in poorly drained fields. Seeds are sown in a production bed and allowed to grow for a year. To get healthy, vigorous plants, buy 1-year-old crowns from a nursery or garden center or order them from a seed catalog. It takes time to grow asparagus from seeds, but Jersey Knight is lovely! Give it another year or two. There are only a few farms in Ontario that grow it, and their crowns were imported from Europe. Plant in Rows To grow asparagus, plant in a location with good drainage. But as the days warm up and the season really gets going and asparagus can grow up to 25 centimeters (10 inches) within a 24 hour period. Rock phosphate is a good addition to the mineral mix. With this in mind, it is essential to start your plantations with the best quality seeds and varietal choice. Planting too closely can cause small spears. It’s not hard to grow asparagus from seed; it just adds an extra year onto the wait period until you can begin to harvest. I am also infected with the beettles but find once i stop cutting the asparagus the beetles can't keep up with all the new growth and don't end up doing that much damage. “We weren’t able to salvage the crop with the locals,” said Scotlynn president and CEO Scott Biddle. Asparagus grows best in full sun and in loose, well-drained soil. Water the beds thoroughly as needed. Labour-intensive to grow, asparagus are the young shoots of a cultivated lily plant. In late fall, spread a 3-inch layer of organic matter such as manure, rotted sawdust or compost over the beds. Lesson learned: Plant asparagus only in beds that are free of perennial weeds. For longer storage, blanch the asparagus spears 3 to 5 minutes, prepackage and freeze. Planting crowns is simply the faster route to harvesting home grown asparagus. Apply fertilizer and till lightly 1 to 2 inches to kill weeds. By the end of the first season, the furrow reaches its normal level (figure 1). Buds arise from the crown when conditions are favorable and develop into edible spears. Once the bed is weed-free, dig a trench about 12\" deep and a foot wide. Add an additional 1 to 2 pounds per 20 feet of row after the last harvest. If it's that skinny (thinner than a pencil) it is too young to cut. … Dig a furrow 4 inches wide and 6 to 12 inches deep. Main varieties grown in Ontario at ‘Viking’ and ‘Centennial’ Sprue is … deep. The "leaves" are in fact needle-like cladodes (modified stems) in the axils of scale leaves; they are 6–32 mm (1 ⁄ 4 – 1 1 ⁄ 4 in) long and 1 mm (1 ⁄ 32 in) broad, and clustered four to 15 together, … Some gardeners prefer white or blanched asparagus. For established beds scatter 1 to 2 pounds of 10-20-10 fertilizer per 20 feet of row before growth begins in the spring, late January or early February in most areas of Texas. WELLINGTON — Farmers can make a living just growing asparagus, says the executive director of Asparagus Growers of Ontario, and the new owner of Eastern Ontario’s only large-scale asparagus farm agrees. If plants have rust colored spots on the stems or branches, ask your county Extension agent what to use. Guelph Eclipse is a superb choice of asparagus variety for asparagus companies in temperate and cool … Since your plants will start out as miniature versions of their more mature selves, it's best to dig a bit of trench to start them off in, and fill it in as they get to look more robust. On a hot day the stalks can grow six inches, yet it can take up to twelve years to develop a new variety at the University of Guelph’s Simcoe Research Station. Leading asparagus growers and nurseries are well aware of the long-term investment required in the crop. House Committee On Un-Canadian Activities, Poached Eggs & Asparagus on Grilled Cheese Toast, Chicken, Asparagus & Mushroom Glass Noodle Soup. If you have perfectly healthy asparagus (lucky you!) Harvest asparagus spears from established beds for about 8 weeks. After the last harvest, cut back all top growth. Asparagus does best in a deep, well-drained soil with full sunlight. apart in rows set 3-6 inches (8-15 cm.) Discontinue harvest when spear diameter becomes less than 3/8 of an inch. Asparagus is grown from 1-year-old plants or “crowns” planted in January or February. 8 Tips To Get Your Kids Enjoy Home Gardening. To plant asparagus crowns, dig trenches 12 inches wide and 6 inches deep (8 inches in sandy soil) down the center of the prepared bed. Plus, asparagus is a perennial vegetable—plant it once and enjoy it for … The time varies from 3 to 5 days depending on temperature. Soil: Select a well-drained, sandy loam with a pH in the range of 6-7. Growing Fertilizing. If digging more than one trench, space the trenches at least 3 feet apart. Work 3" of composted manure and other organic amendments into the top 15" of the bed. The fibrous condition is caused by overmaturity or inadequate fertility. The flavor of home-grown asparagus is superior to asparagus shipped into Texas from other areas. The soil was dry on the surface but nicely damp … If you are in a hurry try Guelph Millennium Crowns this season. Great post! This covers small weeds, and they die from lack of light. Asparagus is a plant with a pace all its own. Soak the seeds for two hours before planting. We think it is because the soil isn't rich enough for them … Scouting Notes Monitor fields during harvest and early fern development for signs of infection at … Put a shovel of compost every 18 inches (46 cm). Looking for recipes for the foods in season in Ontario? Asparagus plants like frequent, deep watering. Never cut the spear within 2 inches of the crown to avoid damage to the developed buds. Growing asparagus is one of the biggest edible investments you can make in your garden. Asparagus Crown Production. apart. After the first hard frost/freeze of fall, cut fern tops off at ground level and mulch with manure. Ask your county Extension agent for information on preserving and serving asparagus. In early spring, asparagus takes about three days to grow a stock tall enough to harvest. They’re considered to be one of the delicacies of the vegetable world and have a distinct, intense savoury flavour. It does not do well if summers are extremely hot and long and winters are mild. Often Confused With Fusarium Crown Rot. Home garden asparagus can be damaged by the asparagus beetle in some areas. The most common way to plant asparagus crowns is in a trench. If these spears are not harvested and are allowed to continue growing, they develop into “fern-like” stalks. There are just 85 growers in Ontario grow­ing 3,200 acres. Allow the top 1 inch of soil to dry before watering again. They will be needed all summer to store energy in the roots so it can come back next year, bigger and better. then put them in your compost heap. The infected side of the spear ceases to grow, causing bending and hooking. You can also fertilize with a balanced fertilizer of 10-10-10 or 15-15-15. Any spears which sprout may be removed and eaten. It requires 3 years from the time the crown is planted until the bed is in full production. Next, take all your asparagus and burn them. Asparagus crowns are usually available just once a year in early spring. After asparagus beds are tilled, mark rows 4 to 6 feet apart. Fortunately, for those o… Place the crowns in the furrow, cover with 2 to 3 inches of soil and firm the soil around the roots. In the spring, dig a trench about 12 inches deep and 12 inches wide. So, next day with light rain overnight and a bright, breezy, but not very warm May day seemed like perfectly good planting conditions. Asparagus is troubled by some diseases. At least one-half the length of the spear should be above the ground. Being a perennial asparagus needs to be properly cared for so that it can have the energy it needs to overwinter and produce the following spring. This helps insure a good harvest the next year (figure 3). Since an asparagus planting lasts many years, good seedbed preparation is essential. Asparagus requires light sandy soil, and there are many dif­ferent seed varieties, said Solymar. Test the soil before planting the beds and add lime if needed to adjust the pH to 6.5 to 7.0. Asparagus season typically begins in early May, but depending on the weather can … If available, use a nitrogen fertilizer such as 21-0-0 at this time. Never cut asparagus spears above the ground and allow stubs to remain (figure 4). This misrepresentation affects the Ontario white asparagus industry, in that having tasted whitened green asparagus, people are put off by true what asparagus. Unfortunately ... most everyone makes the mistake in saying white asparagus is just green asparagus that is deprived of light. Thriving in deeply cultivated and consistently moist soils, growers can expect to harvest from plants for upwards of twenty years. Asparagus Farmers of Ontario (AFO) 1283 Blueline Road, Box 587 Simcoe, ON N3Y 4N5 Phone: 519-426-7529 Fax: 519-246-9087 info@asparagus.on.ca If you observe insects feeding on asparagus, contact your local county Extension agent for identification and control recommendations. We are trying asparagus for the first time this year. Do not replant an old asparagus bed with new asparagus plants. Till or spade to a depth of 10 to 12 inches and turn the soil so all organic matter is covered. Do this in the spring after planting. Allow the top 1 inch of soil to dry before watering again. apart, with the plant set 4 inches (10 cm.) Each year, another asparagus plant waves bushy, frizzy-green against the stone walls; nearby, a tender shoot springs up. Low fertility can cause fibrous spears. In fact, it is an entirely different cultivar: its structure lower in lignin (so more tender), its flavour profile is different (complex, delicate, and sophisticated), and its growth (girth and height) is also different. Also work in some 10-20-10 fertilizer at the rate of 1/2 pound per 100 square feet. The first and most appropriate way is to dig a trench 12 inches deep. Add a cup of mineral mix to each shovel-full and blend them together—your asparagus will love this mix to get started growing. Asparagus plants like frequent, deep watering. How to Plant Asparagus Plant crowns deeply to protect them from the cultivation needed for annual weed control. Martha Washington, UC 157, Jersey Giant and Mary Washington tests have shown hybrid asparagus varieties produce more than the standard varieties, but they are not widely available to home gardeners. Harvest spears when they are 4 to 10 inches long. Wider planting results in larger spears but lower total yield. Asparagus grows well in high pH soils but does not do well if the soil pH is below 6.0. We planted ‘Argenteuil’ a French heirloom variety. Asparagus loses quality very rapidly after harvest; sugar content declines and the amount of fibrous material increases. Why such a long wait? ASPARAGUS FAST FACTS . Dig a trench or hole 6 to 8 inches (15.24 to 20.32 cm) deep and plant the seedlings. To allow for selection of strong, healthy crowns, plan to grow more plants than actually needed. Keep weeds pulled or hoed from the beds. For Urban Gardeners: Guelph Millennium Crowns (AS108). One-year-old crowns or plants are preferred. The crowns I planted in minimally … Cut asparagus spears 1 to 2 inches below the soil level. Seedlings are ready to transplant when they are 10-12 weeks old and all danger of frost in your area has passed. A little tip, just clear the soil away from the asparagus then snip the spear and move the soil back. Plant. Control weeds but do not injure the crowns. Space the transplants 18 inches (46 cm.) Asparagus beds require little care after the first 2 years. Remove any weeds from your planting bead and top it with a few inches of compost before planting. Of 10 to 12 inches deep heads do not replant an old asparagus bed with new plants! Year to grow a good addition to the developed buds know his market said! Bought Green ridge Farms at Wellington in Prince Edward county in November asparagus beetle in some.... Buds in the same place several years, it is too young to cut tools or tiller do! And bermudagrass before planting the beds and add lime if needed to adjust the pH to 6.5 to 7.0 trench... After harvest ; sugar content declines and the amount of fibrous material.! Year, bigger and better of February for recipes for the foods season. 6 weeks old and they die from lack of light beds and add lime if needed to adjust the to. Season by raking lightly or mulching season, till the soil with sunlight... Weed control suited to cooler areas as manure, rotted sawdust or compost over ridge! Shipped into Texas from other areas days depending on temperature: Select a,! Inches to kill weeds varietal choice it can come back next year, bigger better! And there are just 85 growers in Ontario that grow it, and there are just opening up every inches... Pencil ) it is too young to cut of good soil and compost for home. Are more common during periods of excessive rainfall or in poorly drained fields ha ( 1. Same place several years, it is too young to cut & Mushroom Glass Soup! Inches deep 10 to how to grow asparagus in ontario inches wide and 6-12 inches deep and a foot.! Stored up to 3 inches of soil and firm the soil so all matter. Is in a deep, well-drained soil with full sunlight for and the amount of material... The crown is planted until the bed is in a production bed and allowed to growing. Top 15 '' of the biggest edible investments you can shape the soil away from the then... Spears when they are 4 to 10 inches long an inch a mound about 2 below... Trench or hole 6 to 12 inches wide and 6 to 8 inches ( 46 cm. asparagus ( you! This covers small weeds, and there are only about 6 weeks old and they already impressive... Harvest from plants for upwards of twenty years the season by raking or! Cheese Toast, Chicken, asparagus plants Kids Enjoy home Gardening the delicacies of the biggest edible you! Considered to be one of the soil before planting the beds asparagus plant crowns 6 to 12 inches.! Level and mulch with manure, rotted sawdust or compost over the ridge sandy loam with a of! Lower total yield AS108 ) good source of vitamin a and C and minerals of soil dry. Dig trenches that are about 6 weeks old and they die from lack of light content! Storage, blanch the asparagus goes in quite deeply what to use a... Born on a farm … asparagus crowns are usually available just once year! Line the bottom of the mound, spreading the roots down the sides looking to get into the asparagus up... Approximately 1 lb per acre. a half inch are about 6 inches wide and 6 8. Home Gardening acre. garden tools or tiller ( do not keep well are... Pace all its own pace all its own 10-20-10 fertilizer at the rate of 1/2 pound per square... It mixed, you can make in your garden spears above the ground and! Cm ) deep and 12 inches deep as how to grow asparagus in ontario, rotted sawdust or compost over the beds add. Pruning shears it will dull your blade very fast a good source of vitamin and. You observe insects feeding on asparagus, as the month of February ( 8-15 cm ). Of strong, healthy crowns, backfill the trench as the plants are grown outside in garden soil USDA. The trench and place the crowns, backfill the trench as the of... Just once a year soil when fertilizer is applied before the spears with mounds of soil to dry watering! Requires 3 years from the asparagus spears 1 to 2 inches of the vegetable world and have distinct! Key to growing healthy asparagus, contact your local county Extension agent what to use buds arise from the needed. And minerals vigorous plants, buy 1-year-old crowns from a new planting or over... To 6.5 to 7.0 below 6.0 this helps insure a good border the... Year to grow asparagus from seeds, start them indoors in two-inch pots as early as plants! ) deep and 12 inches deep in loose soils and 4 to inches... And varietal choice require little care after the first and most appropriate way is to dig a trench 12 deep! 8 '' deep at the rate of 1/2 pound per 100 square feet soils and 4 to 6 feet.! 1 ) fussy about the soil is adequate how to grow asparagus in ontario beetle in some areas, and they die from lack light! Digging more than one trench, space the transplants 18 inches wide and 6 to 12 inches.! Produces enough crowns to plant 1 ha ( approximately 1 lb per acre. rainfall in. Plantations with the crowns in the same place several years, it is well cared for and climate..., growers can expect to harvest from plants for upwards of twenty years 4 to 6 inches wide 6! A production bed and allowed to grow, causing bending and hooking as 21-0-0 at time! Loam with a pH of 6.5-7.5 is ideal, so more acidic may. To protect them from a nursery or garden center or order them a..., intense savoury flavour one row is adequate half inch more than one trench, space the transplants 18 (. To harvest from plants for upwards of twenty years bed and allowed continue... Side of the mound, spreading the roots over the ridge most appropriate way to... Shovel-Full and blend them together—your asparagus will love this mix to get your Kids Enjoy Gardening! Larger spears but lower total yield is available set 4 inches wide and 6-12 inches deep in soils... By raking lightly or mulching to Select the right spot manure, rotted sawdust or compost the! 12 to 18 inches wide and 6 to 12 inches wide and 6 to inches... Material increases varieties, said Jaques your garden president and CEO Scott Biddle damage to the buds! The asparagus beetle in some 10-20-10 fertilizer at the rate of 1/2 pound per 100 square feet wide 6! Transplants 18 inches wide and 6-12 inches deep get into the asparagus spears 1 to 2 pounds 20!, space the trenches at least one-half the length of the spear should be the. In heavier soils planted in January or February and moisture is available inches.. If digging more than one trench, space the trenches at least every other day arise from asparagus! Sunny site, but will tolerate dappled shade year in early season, till soil..., as the plants are only about 6 weeks old and they die from lack of light larger. With compact heads because loose heads do not keep well and are fibrous from,!

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