Asparagus is a great crop to have in the garden because once it it established, a well maintained bed can produce for 20 years. Asperagus likes well drained soil and does not compete well with weeds. Weeding is generally done by hand because any deep cultivation can damage the asparagus crown and reduce the harvest. Asparagus spears are mostly produced in the spring, making now the optimal time to fertilize, weed and mulch your asparagus patch.
Asparagus plants have three parts, the top (fern), the crown (just under the surface where the buds form), and the roots (below the crown). The ferns produce energy and store it in the crown. Each spring, the energy stored in the crown from the prior year, is used to produce the spring crop. The more energy and nutrition stored in the crown in the summer and fall, the larger your harvest the following spring. You can help your spring crop with a little care now, during the cold months.
Once your asparagus ferns have fully turned brown from thecold you can get them ready for spring by cutting them back to about 2 inches above soil and pulling any weeds.
Then cover with a good 4 to 4 inches of composted mulch. I like to you composted wood chips (chipped at least 1 and a half years prior to use). They are free and have no weed seeds and do wonders for your soils water holding capacity. They are also a good source of nitrogen and other nutrients.
Be sure you use aged wood chips though, as fresh chips can actually absorb nitrogen out of your soil. Each year the bed does get a little more raised from adding the mulch, but this make your plants stronger. It improves drainage which is important for the asparagus roots.
Enjoy your harvest in the Spring
The maintained bed is weed free, fertilized and ready to bear it’s spring harvest.