Many growers are familiar with different plants like asparagus. Its leafy twigs with soft needles are often used to create bouquets. There are many varieties of this fantastic plant. Some of them even have their characteristics of vegetative development and cultivation. Asparagus has juicy shoots that have high gastronomic value. Also, they are low in calories, tasty, and very healthy. Not surprisingly, recently, asparagus has been increasingly seen in garden beds. If you decide to plant these crops on the site, it will be helpful for you to find out how asparagus grows.
Varieties of Asparagus
- Argentella early
The tops of the stems emerging from the ground in this asparagus are white, slightly pink in color, and greenish-purple in the light. Young stems are juicy, large, thick, low-fiber, and do not boil during cooking.
- Mary Washington
Mary Washington is a fruitful mid-season variety with large, thick, tender shoots with red-purple heads. The pulp is yellowish with low fiber and excellent taste.
- Early yellow
This is an early ripening variety with delicate, long, greenish-yellow shoots and a dense yellow head. It can be used when fresh and for canning.
- The snow-head asparagus
The snow-head asparagus is a mid-season variety with pointed shoots of medium size and a dense head that retains its white color for a long time. It is intended for fresh use and canning.
- Yielding 6
Yielding 6 is a mid-season variety with thick white shoots and a pink head. Aerial shoots become violet-green. Typically, the pulp is a white and pale yellow, tender, and high taste. This variety is suitable for fresh consumption and canning.
What Does Asparagus Look Like?
Asparagus is reasonably tall grass, although it mostly looks like a bush. Its height can reach 1.5 m, and it consists of many thin and highly branched stems. The lower part of the shoots is bare, but the bush forms a lush and pleasant to the touch crown from above. But the primary value of asparagus is hidden underground.
The above-ground part of the bush (the one with a lush head of leaves) is of no nutritional value. Florists will be more interested in it. But the root system is a real storehouse of vitamins. It consists of a thick horizontal root that feeds the plant and the vertically growing shoots. Their upper part, which tends to come out of the soil, is the very asparagus. It is the latter that is a benefit for a gourmet.
How Does Asparagus Grow?
As we have already found out, asparagus grows in the herbaceous bush with a developed rhizome. Here is how asparagus grows.
1. Through seed propagation
In early spring, as soon as the snow melts, dig up the soil again, make beds 1 m wide at a distance of 40 cm from each other. If the site is high and dry, it is unnecessary to make ridges; otherwise, take care of good drainage. Soak the seeds in warm water, then place them in wet sand and soak in it for 7-8 days at a temperature of about 25 °C until they bite. Winter sowing is also possible, but in this case, the seeds are sown dry.
Seeds are sown in late May to early June when the soil warms up nicely in open ground. The seeding depth is supposed to be 3 cm and the sowing rate being 10-15 g per 1 sq. m. The crops are sprinkled with earth and rolled a little, then mulched with humus, straw, or other loosening materials. After the emergence of seedlings, the plants must be thinned out, leaving 15-20 cm between them.
2. Growing the seedlings
You can also grow asparagus through seedlings. To do this, in March, you can sow seeds in a 6×6 cm pot, which must be placed in a bright and warm place. Seedlings grown in this way are planted in open ground in early June and watered regularly.
Several dressings are carried out over the summer. You can alternate mineral fertilizers with organic fertilizers. By early August, good seedlings should have 2-4 stems. Before the very frosts, all shoots are cut off, and the roots are covered with a layer of humus (5-8 cm) or soil to protect them from freezing. In April next year, the plants can be transplanted to a permanent place.
3. Vegetative propagation
Growing asparagus by vegetative propagation is done by choosing small but thick horizontal rhizomes with well-developed roots. In early spring, they are cut into two or three parts so that each has several developed buds. Each cut is planted on the prepared garden bed. After three to four weeks, you need to carefully loosen the soil without damaging the roots when the plants take root.
How to Properly Prepare the Soil When Planting Asparagus
Asparagus can withstand extreme cold and does not require special care. It is often compared in appearance to a fern. Before you start growing this crop, you should start preparing the soil. Asparagus needs fertile soil, and it can also develop on sandy stones.
Soil preparation and planting differ depending on which season the crop is planted. This can be done in early spring. But planting should take place when the buds are not yet growing. Initially, fertilizer is applied to the ground. For this, ordinary humus is suitable. The roots of asparagus must be laid carefully in a trench that is 30 centimeters deep.
Once the asparagus has been planted, it is worth watering. It is worth remembering that over time, the bushes grow, so they need to be grown at a distance of at least 0.3 m. There should be about 0.6 m between the rows. In other words, there should be 3-4 bushes on one square meter.
What Should be the Care Immediately After Planting?
The most important thing after planting asparagus is not to forget about watering, loosening, and fertilizing. It is necessary to loosen the soil systematically. This should be done in the usual way. Typically, this procedure is carried out immediately after watering, as it accelerates water absorption into the soil. The soil must be clean and free of weeds. Therefore, as soon as they appear, they are removed.
Also, do not forget about feeding. Experienced gardeners advise one of the best techniques for asparagus. To do this, mullein is added to the soil, which is bred in water. For 5 liters of water, 1 liter of this fertilizer is needed. The amount of solution depends on the size of the bed. Fertilize the beds in this way when three weeks have passed after planting.
After another three weeks, you need to do the next feeding. But this requires another fertilizer, mainly bird droppings. It is also diluted with water, which should be ten times more than the droppings. Before the first frosts are predicted, it is worth carrying out the last top dressing. This requires complex fertilizers.
Asparagus is a vegetable with high nutritional value. Its growth is not complicated at all, for it can be grown in both the north and the south and vegetable gardens and balconies. Planting and growing it on the lawn has become popular due to its rich vitamin and mineral composition. This can be done through seed propagation, growing the seedlings, and vegetative propagation. Once this is done, you will get the asparagus plant.