btrowe1
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Location: South Glens Falls Ny,Zone 4B

asparagus question, fall cutting

Hello,
I've followed all the first season growing instructions, planted 40 crowns in trenches, added dirt as they grew,watched them grow, was tempted to eat, ok tried one or 2 spears, the season has changed to fall the plants all grew quite large i must say.

Now the question, I need to cut them back, just how close to the ground do you go, to the dirt? about 2 to 3" above the dirt??

I know I mulch them after cutting. Do I go as deep a layer as I do my garlic?? Presently garlic has a 6" to 8" cover I will be adding more to it as I mow up my leaves..

Thanks in advance as always, Played this to the beginning of the first real sustained cold snap that will probably last the rest of the season..

imafan26
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Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: asparagus question, fall cutting

I usually do not cut the ferns the first year, but I live in the tropics. The second year I will get one harvest in Spring and I will only harvest if the shoots are thicker than a pencil. After the second year, I can harves once in the Spring and again in the fall. The ferns do not die back for me, but I use rebar at 4 ft intervals and string to keep the fern upright.


Anywhere else cut the ferns a couple of inches above the soil , weed the bed and add some compost and composted manure since you will not taking any aparagus until Spring. Lay the ferns on top of the bed and cover with mulch for the winter.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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rainbowgardener
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Location: TN/GA 7b

Re: asparagus question, fall cutting

Once the ferns have all gone yellow, I would cut them off near the ground and compost them. To me in my climate, leaving the ferns lie in the bed invites pest problems.

Some years my asparagus has had the witches broom malformation, which is caused by aphids:


Asparagus aphid, Brachycorynella asparagi.
This blue-gray aphid overwinters as eggs on fern residue left in the field. When the eggs hatch, the aphids feed on spears and then the fern. Aphid feeding causes a bushy "witch's broom" growth and a blue-green color to the fern. When present in large numbers, these aphids can damage or kill the plants.

https://www.ct.gov/caes/cwp/view.asp?a=2823&q=377540
(bold added)

But because I don't leave the ferns lie where they are, I have succeeded in not having the problem the next year.
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jal_ut
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Location: Northern Utah Zone 5

Re: asparagus question, fall cutting

I just run the lawn mower over them, then mulch. You can cut them right to the ground. Those old ferns will do nothing more. Remove them to the compost heap. Its a good time to remove any grass or weeds growing in the bed. The crowns are deep, or should be if planted deep, and you can lightly cultivate the area without hurting the crowns.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

imafan26
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Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: asparagus question, fall cutting

Good to know Rainbow. I have not had any problems with aphids on the ferns, so it is good to know that they would probably be better used in the compost pile.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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Lucius_Junius
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Location: Nova Scotia - Zone 6a

Re: asparagus question, fall cutting

I cut mine off pretty much level with the ground, cultivate, then add about four inches of seaweed to the whole bed. I'll probably put something else over it before it gets seriously cold, but they seem to do fine whether I do or not.

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GardenRN
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Location: Chesterfield, Va

Re: asparagus question, fall cutting

I too just hit it with the lawn mower or weed whacker. don't bother mulching here in Va
Jeff

USDA Zone 7a, Sunset Zone 32.

Failure is only a fact when you give up.



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