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The Story of Asparagus

Photo courtesy of Mika Karjalainen at Flickr.com.

Asparagus is a plant that has been places, with a history that dates back to the dawn of man. Primitive hunter gatherers seeking something fresh after a long winter were likely the first to chance across asparagus spears. Now, anyone from the health conscience to people looking for a quick, delicious meal can enjoy asparagus straight from the supermarket.

Photo courtesy of izatchu at Flickr.com.

But why settle for store-bought spears when you can grow highly ornamental and nutritious plants in your own yard? On this site, you’ll find information about how to:

  • Select the appropriate asparagus varieties
  • Determine an appropriate location for your asparagus bed
  • Prepare a bed for planting
  • Care for asparagus until they mature
  • Control pests and diseases
  • Harvest and store your asparagus
  • Find tasty asparagus recipes
  • Learn about a few of the more interesting aspects of asparagus and its history
  • Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis) is actually an offshoot of the lily family and related to several of our best garden vegetables (onions, garlic and chives) and favorite ornamentals (Easter lily, Asiatic lily, belladonna and amaryllis). While the focus of this text is mainly on the varieties of asparagus you can actually eat, we’ve also included a few ornamental varieties for those who simply want an attractive container plant.

    Photo courtesy of Spinning Away at Flickr.com.

    1 comment

    1 Liz { 10.31.09 at 1:40 pm }

    I live in the Northeast and planted asparagus for the first time this spring (June to New Englander’s). I am worried about how to ‘winterize’ these tender babies. Should I leave them tall? Prune them back? then mulch? or just mulch the growth that is there.
    Great article, just didn’t address winterizing this delicious veggie!

    You can do either, actually. Some growers will cut them back after frost, when the ferns turn brown, and then mulch to protect the soil during the winter months. It you are in a region where you get a lot of snow, like the Northeast, you can leave the ferns. The tops will catch snow and help with soil moisture as the snow melts. Here’s more information on asparagus fern management.

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