Gardening

How to plant asparagus in the garden

The planting and cultivation of asparagus reflects a commitment in the medium/ long term, as this is a vegetable that takes a long time to grow. Learn how to plant asparagus in the garden and add one of the most luxurious and protein-rich vegetables to your meals.

Types of asparagus

If you have a vegetable garden or are going to plant a vegetable garden , consider sowing asparagus, which is one of the most succulent, delicate and delicious vegetables in the food circle. They are rich in fiber, vitamin C, vitamins B1 and B2, vitamin E, folic acid, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc and potassium and are especially used in weight loss diets, as they are low in calories and have no fat, neither cholesterol. Asparagus is a perennial plant that belongs to the Liliaceae family and, although there are more than 300 different varieties, only 20 are edible. Its production is divided into four main varieties. Are they:

Green asparagus

Green asparagus is the most common variety on the market and is characterized by its tender and juicy flavor. They are widely used in the preparation of salads, especially in summer, and combine very well with cucumbers and tomatoes .

White asparagus

These are the most delicate and sweetened asparagus and are grown underground, in order to prevent the development of chlorophyll, thus creating its white color. Usually, white asparagus is preserved, but it can also be fresh when purchased at some specific gourmet stores, but always at a higher price than the green variety, since their production is more laborious and exhausting.

Violet/ green asparagus

This type of asparagus has a mixture of colors between violet and green and is distinguished by the production of fleshy shoots that provide a fresh, pleasant and exclusive flavor.

Violet asparagus

This variety of asparagus is smaller than those of a green or white color (usually only 2 to 3 centimeters in height) and has a sweeter and more intense flavor than the others. The violet color of these asparagus is due to the action of anthocyanins that change the color of plants and have the function of protecting them against the ultraviolet light of the sun’s rays.

Regardless of their variety, asparagus is an easy-to-prepare vegetable, however, care should always be taken to remove the woody parts that cannot be eaten beforehand.

Growing asparagus

Asparagus can be grown using three different methods:

  1. Direct sowing;
  2. Seedling transplantation at 10 to 12 weeks;
  3. The planting of crowns (set of roots) at 1 year old.

It is advisable and will be more successful if you plant 1 year old crowns, as the planting process is much simpler. It is a specific method that unfolds in 3 years of cultivation:

The first year of cultivation: In the first year of cultivation, unlike lettuce , asparagus should never be harvested and only cultural operations should be carried out to maximize the vegetative development of the leaf mass, as well as phytosanitary treatments necessary to maintain asparagus. free from pests, diseases and weeds.

The second year of cultivation: In the second year of cultivation, cultural operations are carried out similar to those of the first year, in order to maintain a good development of the culture so that the root system can develop and accumulate reserves for growth in the following years. In some cases, as of the second year of cultivation, asparagus can be harvested, since shoots, the edible part, also known as aerial stem, are ready to be consumed.

The third year of cultivation: In the third year the care for the culture is maintained and the asparagus harvest begins, which can go on until the seventh or eighth year of culture. Although asparagus can reach more than 7 or 8 years of continuous production, its production in recent years has been decreasing due to problems of diseases , pests, weeds and also the effect that crops after crops have on plants, leading to a decrease in their productive capacity.

The asparagus planting process

To plant asparagus correctly in your garden, you must carefully follow the following steps:

Choosing the planting location: You must select a location where you have never planted any type of plant in order to reduce the possibility of fungal contamination in the soil. The ground must be clear of weeds, as their existence can stifle the growth of asparagus.

Fertilize the planting site in advance: It is necessary to fertilize and manure the place where you are going to plant your asparagus in a timely manner so that the land is as fertilized as possible. You should open a hole about 20 centimeters deep and make a ridge below ground level. Then, place the crowns in the ditches spaced at a distance of 20 to 30 centimeters and spread the ditches at a distance of 1.5 meters. Finally, cover the crowns with about 5 centimeters of soil.

Growing asparagus: Asparagus should be grown in deep, well-drained soil with a good percentage of sand. The soil pH must be between 6.2 and 6.7 and phosphorus and potassium must be introduced into the soil before planting asparagus. In spring (March), you must fertilize the plant with nitrogen and other nutrients and do not forget to fertilize after the harvest (May/ June) after about 3 months, for the plant to replace the reserves that have been consumed.

Letting asparagus stand: Asparagus is a plant that adapts to a wide range of climates, but prefers temperate and mild climates. You need a vegetative rest period of at least 90 days, which generally coincides with the winter period (low temperatures).

The asparagus harvest

Asparagus is harvested in the third year of the crop, namely in spring, at a time when shoots are still young and low in fiber, as the later the harvest is, the higher the fiber content and, thus, the more quickly asparagus lignifies and hardens, making its taste more bitter. Shoots are harvested from 18 to 25 cm in length. When shoots start to get thin, the harvest needs to stop, so that the root system does not deplete, which can cause the plant to die in your garden .

Asparagus is consumed mainly when natural, after being cooked, in the form of soups, salads, preserves and powder for soup, having rejuvenating, tonic and diuretic properties that bring many health benefits. An asparagus diet guarantees an excellent condition of the arteries, skin, nails, hair, bones, eyes, stomach, heart and nervous system and that is why asparagus is considered a luxury vegetable.

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