With the cold of winter, these fronds will turn brown and die off. Use straw, wood chips or another organic mulch to protect the asparagus crowns from colder winter temperatures.
Frequently asked questions about how to prepare asparagus for winter.
How to store asparagus crowns over winter. Allow the asparagus fronds to grow into a mass of feathery green goodness over summer. After improving the soil, dig a hole the same size as your pot. The spears grow off the buds during the growing season.
New asparagus fields are typically planted from small crowns rather than from seed. The asparagus crowns need to go into the ground as soon as possible because the foliage they develop this spring and summer will direct energy to the roots, and help them store the energy for next year's growth. One of the most important parts of maintaining a productive asparagus bed is winterizing the asparagus plants.
If you're only going to store your roots for a week or two, you can just put them in the refrigerator in whatever sort of packaging they were shipped in. Instead of storing asparagus with the other veggies in the drawer, place it in a cup or bowl of water in the fridge. Color can be green, purple, or white, depending on the variety.
Otherwise, you risk weakening the crowns. During the dormant season (winter) the crowns store energy in the form of carbohydrates that allow the plant to keep growing from year to year. Spread 2 inches of mulch over the bed after you cut back the old stalks.
You want to choose an organic material to throw over your crowns, keeping them warm enough to allow a resting period and prevent the cold from having too much of an impact on the plant. Let the crowns develop plenty of ferny foliage so they can become strong and established. This article originally appeared in the 3/26/2004 issue.
Asparagus that's past its prime gets smelly fast. And if you really want to maintain the most freshness, cover the top of the stalks with a plastic bag. If needed, support with a string or stake to stop breakage in the wind.
Spread a bag of agricultural salt from canterbury's lake grassmere (available at rural supply stores) over your asparagus patch. Asparagus plant that includes roots, rhizomes and buds. The snow insulates the asparagus crowns and also provides moisture.
What can i use to cover my asparagus crowns in the winter? No matter where you put them, they will sprout, so you might as well plant them temporarily while you prepare the permanent bed. The dead (brown) tops can be cut back in late fall.
The tips have the best flavor, so make sure they are firm and unwilted. If you can’t get through all your harvested asparagus, it can be frozen and defrosted as needed. Treat asparagus like cut flowers or fresh herbs and give them some water to keep them hydrated.
Starting plants from seed requires an extra year before harvest. Cover with a plastic bag then refrigerate them for up to 4 days. Removing spent foliage to eliminate overwintering pests and covering the asparagus crowns to prevent cold damage is necessary to maintain a healthy asparagus bed.
To avoid the stems breaking in windy weather and damaging the crown, support plants using stakes and twine to make a ‘fence’ either side of the row. The dead growth will catch and hold snow. Asparagus plants are dormant over winter, which is when the mature crowns can be divided and replanted.
You'd only have to store them in sand (sphagnum peat moss would be another option) if you were going to. Asparagus can be grown from seed, potted plants or dormant crowns (bare roots available in winter). A properly maintained bed can easily produce for 15 to 30 years.
Potted asparagus should be planted around 40cm apart in full sun, in a soil enriched with compost and manure. Change the water as it gets cloudy to keep the asparagus perky and fresh. Do a sniff test, too.
You then have the choice of leaving the asparagus bed bare like that, if you get enough snow to cover and insulate the crowns all winter, or mulching the bed. Stalks should be plump and firm, and tips should be tightly closed. However, it's generally recommended that the dead top growth be allowed to stand over winter.
In autumn, allow the foliage to turn yellow before cutting it down to soil level. In the second or even the third year, asparagus produces mature. Mulching is a better option as it’ll protect the crowns from frost heaving if you get an early.
These organic materials can include wood.