The asparagus plant, also called asparagus, is a member of the Asparagus family. This genus unites more than 200 species that can be found in nature in regions with a dry climate. The most popular species is medicinal asparagus. This genus is represented by herbaceous plants and shrubs, which have a developed rhizome, as well as often creeping branchy shoots. Only in a few types of asparagus are the tops of the sprouts considered delicious, namely whorled, medicinal and short-leaved. Asparagus is one of the most expensive, delicious and healthy crops.
Brief description of cultivation
- Landing... Sowing seeds for seedlings is carried out in mid-April, seedlings are transplanted into open soil in the first days of June.
- Illumination... The place should be sunny and open.
- Priming... The soil should be nutritious and rich in sandy loam.
- Watering... After sowing, the first 10 days you need to water abundantly and often, during a drought - watering is carried out every day, and on other days as needed, while it must be borne in mind that the soil in the garden should be constantly slightly damp.
- Fertilizer... After planting the seedlings in open ground, after 7-10 days it is fed with a solution of slurry, after another 20 days - with a solution of bird droppings (1:10), and before frosts come - with full mineral fertilizer.
- Reproduction... Generative (seed).
- Harmful insects... Asparagus flies, aphids, asparagus leaf beetles, scale insects, asparagus rattles, greenhouse thrips.
- Diseases... Root and gray rot, rust, phomosis, cercosporosis.
Features of asparagus
Vegetable asparagus is a perennial. The rhizome of such a plant is developed and powerful, and the shoots are branched. On the branches, many needle-shaped branches are collected in bunches that grow from the sinuses of underdeveloped scaly or thorny small leaf plates, at their base solid spurs are formed. Small flowers can be solitary or be part of thyroid or racemose inflorescences, almost all of them grow in the leaf sinuses. The fruit is a berry in which there are several or one seed, covered with a thick dark skin. Only young shoots that have just grown in the garden are used for eating. When leaf buds begin to open on the stems, they can no longer be eaten, as they become very tough. Bushes during the peak of fruiting can bring 9-12 stems in 1 season, this amount is enough to prepare 2 full servings of the side dish. Since the yield of this plant is low, such a vegetable crop has a very high price. Asparagus is not very popular among gardeners of middle latitudes today.
How to grow asparagus. Garden World site
Growing asparagus from seeds
When sowing asparagus seeds in open soil, the appearance of seedlings will take a very long time. In this regard, this culture is recommended to grow through seedlings. Seed material needs mandatory seedbed preparation, which is carried out immediately before sowing. To do this, it is kept in lukewarm water for three to four days, while it should be replaced 2 times at knocks. The swollen seed should be spread out on the surface of a moistened tissue, after which you need to wait until the seeds sprout. Seeds are planted with sprouts from 0.1 to 0.3 centimeters long, while using boxes or pots with a volume of 100-200 milliliters, which should be filled with a substrate consisting of garden soil, rotted manure, sand and peat (1: 1: 2 :one). They are sown in boxes, keeping a distance of 60 millimeters. The seeds are buried in the soil mixture by 0.15-0.2 centimeters, then the container is removed to a sunny place, while the room should be warm (about 25 degrees). It is necessary to water the crops every day. If everything is done correctly, then the first seedlings should appear after 1-1.5 weeks. After the sprouts appear, they are covered with a thin layer of peat. After half a month, the seedlings will need top dressing, for this they use a solution of complex mineral fertilizer in a weak concentration.
How to dive correctly
Diving asparagus seedlings is only necessary if a common box was used for sowing. After the height of the plants reaches 15 centimeters, they should be transplanted into a container of larger volume, while the distance between them should be about 10 centimeters. During transplantation, the root of the seedlings is slightly shortened. When a few days have passed after the pick, the asparagus needs to be fed. After another 7 days, the bushes begin to harden, and after the seedlings can be outside around the clock, they are transplanted into open soil.
THE BEST AND EASIEST WAY OF SEEDING ASPARAGUS FOR SEEDLING!
Growing at home
In indoor conditions, only seedlings of such a plant are grown, and then it must be transplanted into open soil. It is very difficult to grow such an edible plant with a strong and long root at home. Indoors, it can only be cultivated as an ornamental plant, while asparagus can only be grown as a vegetable in open soil.
Planting asparagus outdoors
What time to plant
In open soil, asparagus seedlings are planted in the first days of June. In order to get a good harvest of this culture, for planting seedlings, you need to choose a windless sunny area located near the fence or wall. Since this plant reacts extremely negatively to stagnant water in the soil, for planting it, you should not choose those areas where there is a high occurrence of groundwater. You need to carefully choose a site for planting, since asparagus can be grown in the same place for 20 to 25 years.
For growing asparagus, nutritious, rich and sandy loam soil is ideal. The preparation of the site for planting should be done in the autumn. For this, all weeds are removed from it and digging is carried out to a depth of 0.4–0.5 meters, while 70 grams of superphosphate, 15–20 kilograms of compost and 40 grams of potassium sulfate are added to the soil per 1 square meter of land. In spring, as soon as the snow cover melts, the surface of the site must be harrowed, while at the same time 60 grams of wood ash and 20 grams of ammonium nitrate must be added to the soil per 1 square meter of the garden.
Open ground planting rules
Before proceeding with planting asparagus seedlings on a prepared bed, you need to make planting holes, the depth of which is 0.3 m, and the width is 0.4 m, while the distance between them should be about 1 m.In the groove, the bottom must be loosened to a depth of 15 to 20 centimeters. After that, loose soil should be poured onto the bottom with a slide, while its height should be such that it reaches the edges of the hole. It is necessary to install a plant on this mound, while it is necessary to first shorten the root to 30–40 mm, then the hole must be filled with soil, which is tamped and watered. When the liquid is completely absorbed, the surface of the pit is covered with a layer of mulch (dry soil).
Asparagus is a non-capricious plant. You need to take care of it in the same way as for many other garden crops. It must be watered, weeded, fed in a timely manner, as well as loosened the soil surface between the rows and around the bushes. The soil should be loosened to a depth of 60 to 80 millimeters, while trying not to injure the roots of the plants. It is recommended to grow green crops between the rows for the first 2 years.
How to water
The first 10-15 days after planting seedlings in open soil, it should be provided with abundant and frequent watering. Then the volume of water used for irrigation must be reduced, while these procedures must be carried out more rarely. During a prolonged drought, it is necessary to water the garden every day, it should be borne in mind that the soil on the site must be constantly slightly moist, otherwise the stems will be fibrous and acquire a bitter taste.
In order for the stems to grow faster, when the bed is weeded for the first time, a solution of slurry is introduced into the soil: for its preparation, slurry and water are combined (1: 6). After 20 days, the bushes will need feeding with a solution of bird droppings: you need to mix water and droppings in a ratio of 10: 1. The last time the asparagus is fed before the onset of the first frost, a solution of complex mineral fertilizer is used for this.
If, before planting the seedlings in open soil, all the necessary fertilizers were introduced into it, then they begin to feed the bushes only from the second year of growth.
Growing asparagus. Harvest beds.
Diseases and pests of asparagus
Asparagus is highly resistant to disease, but in some cases it can be problematic. Most often, such a culture suffers from the following diseases:
This is a fungal disease that develops in 4 stages. The affected bushes are lagging behind in development, they practically do not give stems. In the last weeks of the summer period, the bushes turn yellow ahead of time, and their growing season ends very early, while the root system does not have time to form, and buds do not have time to form at the base of the shoots, and this has an extremely negative effect on the future harvest. As a rule, those bushes that grow in areas with moisture-permeable soil, as well as with a high occurrence of groundwater, are susceptible to this disease. Also, the disease begins to develop rapidly in rainy, damp weather.
This disease usually affects root crops, especially carrots. Asparagus bushes rarely get sick with this disease.
Fusarium (root rot)
This very dangerous disease affects many cultures. It develops actively at high soil moisture.
Such a culture is also distinguished by a very high resistance to harmful insects, however, it can settle on the bushes:
Asparagus leaf beetle
Such a pest was introduced from Western Europe along with this crop. This beetle is dark blue in color with a red border on its back. It eats flowers, fruits and greens of asparagus. Its appearance occurs in the spring, however, the largest number of pests has been observed since the middle of the summer period.
This small pest of brown color has a yellow head, limbs and antennae, while it uses asparagus stalks for food, the fly gnaws many moves in them. Over time, there is a curvature of the stems, their wilting and dying off.
In order to prevent various diseases in spring and autumn, the bushes are treated with a solution of Bordeaux mixture or another fungicidal preparation, for example: Topaz, Fitosporin or Topsin M. To get rid of pests, you can use the Karbofos solution to spray the bushes, which is a low-toxic, odorless drug, also you can use another drug from this range, which can be bought in a specialized store. The processing of plants should be started immediately after the first harmful insects are found. However, in order to get rid of the pests completely, it is necessary to systematically inspect the site, while the found clutches of eggs must be destroyed. You also need to remove weeds from the garden in a timely manner and the dead parts of the bushes should be destroyed in a timely manner.
Collection and storage of asparagus
Cutting off asparagus shoots can be started from the third year of growth, the fact is that during the first 2 years the root system develops. Cutting the stems suitable for human consumption is carried out in May before the opening of their heads, while you need to carefully shake off the soil in the place where a crack appeared in the garden bed. After cutting, hemp should remain, which reach a height of 10–20 mm. The cut is carried out in the morning or evening, they do it every day or once every 2 days. It is not recommended to take more than 5 stems from one bush during the first year of cutting, otherwise it can lead to a strong weakening of the asparagus. As the bushes mature, approximately 30 stems can be cut from each of them during the season.
The shoots are wrapped in a damp cloth and then placed on a refrigerator shelf, where they can be stored from 0.5 to 4 months (depending on storage conditions and plant variety). When storing asparagus in the refrigerator, it is not recommended to put strong-smelling foods, otherwise it will quickly absorb them. The stems should be placed vertically in the refrigerator, because if they lie horizontally, they will deform.
Types and varieties of asparagus
Asparagus has 3 varieties:
- Green asparagus... This variety is the most popular; it was cultivated for medicinal purposes in ancient Rome.
- White asparagus, or bleached, or etiolated, or chlorophyll-free. The appearance of this variety occurred at the beginning of the 19th century. In those days, it was Moscow that was the center of forcing and cultivation of bleached asparagus.
- Purple, or red asparagus. This variety is the rarest, its taste is not quite usual, slightly bitter. Its shoots turn green during heat treatment.
Varieties are also distinguished by the ripening period. Several varieties of asparagus that can be grown outdoors in mid-latitudes are described below:
- Early yellow... Such an early variety of Russian selection is distinguished by its yield and disease resistance. Delicate stems have a yellow dense head, as well as white flesh.
- Gainlim... This foreign early maturing variety has many tall stems of high quality.
- Mary Washington... This American mid-early variety grows well in mid-latitudes. The large, thick stems can be colored purple to red. The color of the heads in bright light can change to green.
- Argentelskaya... This mid-early variety is foreign, it has been modified by Russian breeders. The color of the stems is pinkish-white, but in bright light it can change to purple-green. Delicate and juicy, the flesh is whitish-yellow in color.
- Tsarskaya... The medium ripening variety is resistant to drought, frost, pests and diseases. The green stems are needle-shaped.
- Glory of Braunschweig... This late-ripening variety has many stems with a juicy white flesh, which are well suited for conservation.
Asparagus properties: harm and benefit
Useful properties of asparagus
Asparagus is a delicacy product, and it also contains a large amount of vitamins K, A, C, E, PP, group B, as well as folic acid, dietary fiber, copper, sodium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, selenium, potassium, manganese and other elements. It is perfect for fasting days, as it is a low-calorie product. The beneficial substances included in the composition help to strengthen bones, form connective tissues, improve the functioning of the liver, kidneys and heart, and have a beneficial effect on the hematopoietic process.
It is recommended to include asparagus in the diet during pregnancy, as it contains a large amount of folic acid. People who have had a heart attack are shown an asparagus diet, since this plant contains asparagine, which helps to normalize the functioning of the heart, dilate blood vessels and lower blood pressure. Another part of this culture is coumarin, which stimulates the work of the heart, and also helps to cleanse the blood and prevents the appearance of blood clots in the vessels. Asparagus also helps to eliminate toxins and toxins from the body, for example: chlorides, phosphates and urea. It has a tonic effect on the kidneys, bladder, and the entire excretory system as a whole. Such a plant is also used for cosmetic purposes, its juice helps to nourish, cleanse and soften the skin, and with the help of it, small warts and calluses are removed.
There is evidence that due to the prolonged use of asparagus in the body, there is an accumulation of oxalic acid salts, and if a person has a genetic predisposition, this can cause the development of urolithiasis. And other experts argue that such a plant helps to prevent the development of urolithiasis, since it has a strong diuretic effect. Asparagus is not recommended for people with gastrointestinal diseases, as it contains saponin, which irritates the gastric mucosa. This product is also not recommended for use with cystitis, articular rheumatism, prostatitis and individual intolerance.
The culture's southern origin does not prevent it from perfectly tolerating the harsh Russian climate. By cold weather, the aboveground part of the plant withers, loses its decorative attractiveness. However, tubers in frozen ground do not rot. Garden and wild are winter-hardy varieties, you don't have to worry about their wintering.
Newbie gardeners are worried about how edible asparagus winters - whether it needs insulation or does without it. Here, the owners of the landings should take care. Before the cold weather, shoots are examined, sick, rotten, with traces of pests are removed. The tops can not be cut off, left as a shelter. But in order not to risk, gardeners cover the heavily exposed areas with spruce branches, sawdust, dry leaves.
Note! In the spring, the area of asparagus in the garden is removed - it will turn green one of the first.
Advantages and disadvantages of the variety
The discussed vegetable culture has a number of advantages and disadvantages, from the point of view of doctors, gourmets and gardeners. Let's consider some of them.
- Softer taste in comparison with ordinary radish. Lack of spice.
- An impressive amount of minerals.
- Unpretentious care.
- Easy to transport and store.
- Frost resistant.
- Can bear fruit twice a season.
- Insufficient watering can make the margelan radish bitter and tough.
- The root crop is susceptible to insect and fungal infections.
An additional advantage of green radish is its obvious benefits for the human body.
How to grow asparagus? Planting and care in the open field
Growing asparagus in the garden is not common. If this useful, but still very exotic vegetable is grown, then it is for sale in large farms and agricultural firms. The thing is that the cultivation of this perennial crop is quite troublesome. First of all, you need to find a suitable planting material, wait for a couple of years of a stable harvest and be sure to follow the simple, but specific rules of agricultural technology.
However, it is worth trying to grow asparagus in your garden, because this delicacy is appreciated by gourmets around the world for its useful medicinal properties.
Asparagus, or Asparagus, is a perennial crop that can reach 20 years of age. We are all familiar with decorative asparagus shoots - lush openwork green panicles, which are widely used in the design of bouquets, successfully complementing any floral arrangement.
Along with decorative ones, there are vegetable varieties, in appearance they practically do not differ, decorative varieties can also be eaten, however, vegetable asparagus is more juicy and delicate in taste.
Young shoots growing from the rhizome in spring are edible in asparagus, and the green vegetative mass is not eaten and is needed only for photosynthesis. It is believed that it is impractical to grow asparagus from seeds - seedlings will yield a crop only in the third year. Therefore, it is better to plant rhizomes (among agronomists they are called rosettes), which should be completely underground.
If you want to grow asparagus as a vegetable for food, one bush is not enough. For all its unpretentiousness, asparagus has certain preferences. The soil should warm up well. The optimum temperature for growing asparagus is 15-24 degrees Celsius.
It is difficult to start growing asparagus. It is young plants that are extremely sensitive to frost. However, if you choose frost-resistant male forms of asparagus (and inside each variety there are female and male forms), they are much more frost-resistant, in some varieties they can withstand up to -30 ° C without strong shelter. Such cold-resistant forms, once rooted in a sufficiently deep trench bed, can grow for several years and yield crops from certain shoots every year.
It is very easy to distinguish male from female plants. Male plants do not form berries, they are better developed, have a large number of shoots, but their stems are rather thin. Female plants have thick stems, but there are significantly fewer of them.
Asparagus grows well after grains and those crops that require deep digging of the soil, such as potatoes.
In the fall, after pruning, it is useful to rake a mound to allow the roots to breathe.
Sowing asparagus seeds for seedlings
Before sowing, it is recommended to soak asparagus seeds in water at a temperature of 30-35 ° C. Changing the water daily, leave the seeds for 3-5 days before pecking. Then dry the seeds first and then sow.
In March, you can sow asparagus seeds in 6 x 6 cm peat-humus pots. After sowing, the pots are placed in a bright and warm place. Seedlings grown in this way are planted in open ground in early June. Do not forget to water the planted seedlings regularly.
When asparagus rosettes from several shoots began to form on the seedlings, they can be planted at a distance of 40 cm between the plants and 20 cm between the ridges.
Annual seedlings are most suitable for planting. When planting older seedlings, the yield is usually lower. Seedlings should be overgrown with thick roots and 5-6 buds.
Sowing in open ground
When preparing sowing with seeds, they are soaked for a couple of days, the seeds that have sprouted will germinate faster.
When planting in a planting trench, it must be filled with rotted manure, sprinkled with earth and on top of this soil you can sow vegetable asparagus seeds.
Sow seeds on ridges at a distance of 5-7 cm from each other. The distance between the 2 ridges is about 30 cm. Then the seedlings will need to be thinned out, leaving the strongest plants to get a 20 by 40 pattern, and remove the weak ones.
Site preparation for asparagus
For asparagus, you should choose an open, well-lit, warmed up and closed area from the wind - this way the shoots will begin to form faster. Asparagus is contraindicated for close occurrence of groundwater. Their level must be at least 1.4 m deep.
In addition, asparagus requires a lot of organic matter. From autumn it is recommended to make approx. 6 kg of humus per 1 sq. m, and even more on sandy soils: 1-2 buckets.
Asparagus does not tolerate acidic soils. Therefore, it is imperative to carry out the enrichment and liming of the soil in the fall for spring asparagus seedlings. Also, the area for asparagus must first be cleared of perennial weeds and old rhizomes. Light soil texture is considered ideal for asparagus. It will not be superfluous to make sure that there are no Fusarium pathogens on your site.
Asparagus can be grown flush with the soil surface by filling special trenches with dense, nutritious humus compost. But if the groundwater is too close, then it is better to raise the ridges 10-15 cm above the soil level.
In early spring, as soon as the snow melts, they dig up the ground and make beds. The bed width should be approx. 1 m, the distance between them is at least 40 cm.If the site is high and dry, ridges can be omitted. Since the root system of asparagus penetrates deeply, it requires deep digging in preparing the soil. The processing depth can be up to 1 m.
Planting asparagus in trenches
It is advisable to plant asparagus from north to south. Planting is carried out by rhizomes to a depth of 12-24 cm.
For planting asparagus, you need to prepare a planting pit or trench with a flat bottom 30 cm deep and 50 cm wide. The excavated soil remains at the edges of the furrow in the form of a shaft. Then the bottom of the furrow is dug up again, covering up manure or compost (if organic matter was not introduced in the fall). Then, at a distance of 30-40 cm from each other at the bottom of the furrow, mounds about 10 cm high are scooped up and the rhizome is "seated" on them, directing the roots down and evenly distributing them on all sides of the mound. The asparagus head, which is 10 cm below the soil surface, is covered with a 5 cm layer of soil together with the roots and lightly pressed. It is necessary to plant seedlings in moist soil. If the planting is done in pots, then they must be carefully placed on the mounds.
The planting density is from 3 to 5 plants per 1 running meter. Optimum row spacing approx. 2 m.
Whether you need to form a ridge depends on what kind of asparagus you want to get - white or green. From where the shoots are formed, their color will depend: underground they turn out to be white, and on the surface - green. Whites are more valuable, but harder to grow, harvest and store.
If you want to get white asparagus, you need to form a ridge 6-8 cm high immediately after planting, and in the early spring of next year raise it to 60 cm. Green asparagus is grown on a flat surface.
Caring for asparagus consists of constant shoveling of the soil, regular weeding and watering.
Watering and loosening the asparagus
Despite the fact that asparagus does not like the close occurrence of groundwater, it is sensitive to watering, since during drought the shoots become bitter in taste, rough and fibrous. Prevent the soil under the asparagus from drying out and constantly apply deep irrigation water, especially during dry periods and on young plantings, until the plants have formed a deep root system.
After heavy rainfall, shallow loosening can be helpful to prevent the formation of a crust that interferes with the respiration of the plant. In addition, the dense crust on the surface can interfere with the germination of young asparagus seedlings.
Be careful, however, as deep loosening can damage the roots and fragile shoots of the asparagus. Therefore, it is categorically impossible to dig up asparagus planting with a pitchfork, it is better to use a wooden roller specially adapted for loosening asparagus with hammered nails no more than 2 cm long.This roller can be used to roll the surface of the mound where the asparagus grows several times - this will be enough for the plant to breathe and normally grew up again.
Top dressing asparagus
Asparagus is very fond of fertile soil, it needs good nutrition. To get thick juicy sprouts, it needs to be fed quite often with organic fertilizers over the summer with manure and herbal infusions.
A bucket of compost humus per plant will improve the taste and appearance of the asparagus. The sprouts become whiter, bleached, and softer in taste. It is best to carry out such feeding in the fall, but it is also possible in May, when the first shoots already appear. On the ridge, you need to pour a mound of humus, spending about 1 bucket per plant.
Asparagus grows well under a layer of humus soil - the shoots will be bleached (they are also called etiolated).
The nitrogen requirement of asparagus is quite low, therefore it is not necessary to carry out intensive fertilizing with nitrogen fertilizers. It is good if the soil is equally enriched with both macro and microelements. Deficiency of elements such as copper, borax, potassium negatively affects the ability of asparagus to form succulent shoots
Every spring and autumn, it is necessary to feed the asparagus with organic matter and mineral fertilizers: add potassium, phosphorus and calcium. If necessary, shoots are mulched with humus or manure with the ground. After fertilizing, the soil must be shed.
In autumn, under one-two-year-old plants and fruiting plantings, it is advisable to add superphosphate and 40% potassium salt at the rate of 300-500 g and 250-350 g, respectively, per 10 sq. m. After fertilization, the soil between the rows should be carefully loosened so as not to touch the roots and sprouts of asparagus.
Diseases and pests of asparagus
It is not recommended to grow asparagus in one place for more than 4 years, the plants begin to be affected by a specific asparagus disease - purple root rot. When growing asparagus in a crop rotation with regular rosette replanting, this disease can be avoided. You should also carefully monitor the purity of the planting material. Therefore, regularly planting asparagus should be rejuvenated by digging up and discarding old plants and replanting new plants obtained from seeds in a new place.
When to pick asparagus
It is better not to touch the plant for the first two years so that it grows a good root system - when the roots are strong, they will lay thick juicy shoots. Asparagus is harvested when seedlings are 12-20 cm long.
In warm weather, asparagus sprouts grow very quickly, and if you want bleached sprouts, you will have to cut them off every morning and afternoon. The more seedlings were cut, the better - this way new ones grow more actively.
For harvesting, you should use a sharp knife or pruner, rake off the soil in order to reach the bleached parts of the shoots and cut out this dense shoot leaving a small stump. Then the soil is raked up again, adding humus compost to it.
Interesting facts about Irga
Irga can do a good service to lovers of breeding dwarf fruit trees (more correctly - fruit trees on a dwarf rootstock). Cuttings of a fruit tree are grafted onto a stock from a bush, due to which the tree takes up less space, begins to bear fruit already for 3-4 years.
First, pears were grafted onto Provencal or northern quince. However, quince is a southern plant, so the trees often died from frost. As soon as cultivation of irgi became popular, it turned out that the stock from this shrub was excellent for creating dwarf pears. The trees look very interesting and give a full harvest.
We hope that this material has attracted the interest of gardeners, drew attention to a useful and very beautiful plant.