|First sign of spring.|
|Asparagus fits nicely into a woodland area, |
that receives at least part-sun.
Plant asparagus crowns, purchased from a reputable nursery, around the same time that you would plant peas and potatoes; in other words, when soil can be worked in spring, before days grow long and warm. Recommended cultivars for Virginia are Jersey Knight, Jersey Giant, Jersey Gem, and Purple Passion.
Keep the bed weed free and evenly moist. A two-inch layer of mulch will help with temperature and moisture control. Apply a balanced fertilizer in late winter, before spears emerge.
Unfortunately, harvesting asparagus in the first year is not recommended. The plants need energy to fully mature. In the second year, take just a few spears. The third year will be the most productive. Snip spears when they're no bigger than a pinkie finger, before the tips begin to flower.
|Asparagus Salade Nicoise|
Asparagus recipes abound on the internet. When you only have a small harvest, try a few of these suggestions:
- combine the tender spears with fingerling potatoes, garlic, and lemon;
- slice them lengthwise and bake on pizza;
- lightly steam spears and toss into Salade Nicoise
- combine with other veggies on a credite platter