the asparagusof common name Asparagus officinalis, is a plant much appreciated for asparagus, which are nothing more than the young and tender shoots, which are consumed for their flavor and health properties. White asparagus are those that are harvested before the sun hits them, while the so-called wild asparagus are the wild type, which are green and can be found in many areas of Mediterranean vegetation.
If you want to learn everything to keep them fresh and ecological at home, do not hesitate to join us in this EcologíaVerde article in which we tell you when and how to plant asparagus.
When to plant asparagus
The first thing to say here is that there are two ways to plant asparagus. One is to get or buy the asparagus seeds and germinate them in a seedbed, but this method is not highly recommended, since it implies that we will have to wait two more years to be able to start harvesting our first asparagus.
Therefore, the most used method is the other, which consists of buying the asparagus claws, which is what its rhizomes are called. The best season to plant the claws is between the end of winter and the beginning of spring.
How to plant asparagus
Asparagus is a very durable plant, which can grow in our garden for up to 10 years. Precisely for this reason, it is very important to prepare the soil properly before planting them, since it will take time to release it again. follow these tips and steps on how to plant asparagus:
- Dig a 30 cm wide trench, this will be where you plant the row of asparagus. Do it in a sunny spot on the ground, although if you don’t have it, this plant also accepts semi-shade conditions.
- To ensure that the soil is suitable, it is best to prepare the trench bed yourself. Prepare a mixture of compost, manure or worm humus. Here you can learn how to make earthworm humus. This base will provide the asparagus with the nutrients it needs, as they are very demanding in this regard. Cover the first 10 centimeters of the trench with this mixture and then plant the claws in it.
- It is important that the roots are as spread out as possible, in a circular shape, and with the crown pointing upwards, or the asparagus will not grow properly.
- Separate the claws about 50 cm from each other and, if you make several rows, leave even more distance between them, approximately 70 cm.
- Then cover the remaining 20 cm in the trench with soil. This soil should be rich in organic matter and should be well drained and fairly loose. If the soil you are using is very clayey, you will need to add more compost to the mix.
- After this, water abundantly and do it again once a week until the asparagus start to grow. By the time mid to late spring rolls around, you should start to see them sprout.
Now that you know how to plant asparagus, we recommend you consult the basic asparagus care In order to be successful in your cultivation:
Soil and irrigation of asparagus
As we have said, asparagus needs very well-drained soil as well as being rich in nutrients. This is a plant that supports a lack of water very well, but on the contrary, it does not tolerate excess humidity. Therefore, if you live in a rainy or humid area, you will hardly need to water them once they have sprouted, with the exception of possible very hot summers. In temperate and sunny climates, watering every ten or fifteen days will usually suffice. To prevent it from accumulating too much moisture, try to water the asparagus plant without wetting it, moistening the soil around it instead. Poor drainage or excessive irrigation will cause the appearance of fungi or rotting of the roots, spoiling all the work of your crop.
The ideal temperature for asparagus is between 18ºC and 25ºC, but thanks to its resistance it can even withstand frost, although it is always better to try to protect it well if we live in areas where there may be frost.
Plant tomatoes next to asparagus
We also recommend planting tomatoes near asparagus, as they are one of the vegetables that grow well together. This means that they are species that do not compete completely for nutrients in the soil and that they even protect each other from possible attacks by pests.
If you are interested in putting these vegetables together, we recommend this other EcologíaVerde article to learn everything about How to grow organic tomatoes.
When to harvest asparagus
In the first year, it is advisable to let the asparagus die at the end of the season, without harvesting it. There are some farmers who use alternative methods to be able to harvest from the first year, but unless you are in a hurry, we recommend wait for the second season.
The asparagus harvestwhich takes place in the warm months, consists of leaving two stems uncut to allow the plant to carry out good photosynthesis, and cutting the tender stems at ground level for our consumption, as they grow. It is also advisable to let the plant rest for a month so that the roots recover from the effort.
To finish, we give you information about the nutritional composition and properties of asparaguswhich are used much more if they are organically grown and consumed fresh, either with dressings, grilled, in the oven, etc.
- Vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, B9, C, D and E.
Health properties of asparagus
They are considered a food that helps lose weight, as long as their consumption is accompanied by good eating habits and exercise, because they fill you up with a small amount, help with digestion, eliminate retained liquids and because they have what is known as negative caloriessince more is spent on the process of digestion and assimilation of its nutrients and elimination of waste than the amount of calories that each asparagus provides.
In addition, thanks to the amount of vitamins and certain minerals they contain, asparagus are great antioxidants, so they help maintain good health by fighting free radicals that oxidize cells and age them and, also, thanks to folate ( folic acid or vitamin B9) that they contain, are highly recommended for pregnant women.
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