Asparagus officinalis is among the most favorite vegetables which can be grown at the comfort of your own home and garden. You’ll need a lot of patience for it (3 years, to be more precise), but it will supply you with harvesting crops for the following 30 years. It is a perennial plant with a top resembling a long feather. It becomes golden during the period of autumn. It is an amazing addition to every garden.
It originates from Western Europe. It has the best results when you plant it in areas which aren’t full of dry seasons or whose ground can freeze during the winter period. It also doesn’t grow well in areas which are very moist.
How Can You Grow Asparagus Using A Seed?
Seeds can be bought anywhere, even online.
The best period would be from the middle of February to May when you’ll plant it in a greenhouse. The temperature of the soil has to be from 70 to 85 degrees. The area has to be full of bright light. Before you decide to plant the seeds, you’ll need to soak them for several hours.
Take several pots of 3.5 inches and apple some sterile soil in them.
Apple 3 seeds inside every pot.
Then, put some sifted sand over the seeds (thin layer).
All of the pots should have their bottom filled with water. Put some pans on their sides.
The pots should be kept on a heated table because the soil needs to be warm all the time.
The pots shouldn’t be dried!
Let the seedlings grow for a period of 3 months and then transplant them when you’re sure that there is no frost.
The transplants should be in rows which are 4 inches apart. Every transplant should be away from the other for 18 inches. If the spears are thinner, they should be about 4 inches deep and from 8 to 10 inches apart. If the spears are thicker, they should be from 6 to 8 inches deep and from 12 to 15 inches apart.
Apply a light layer of soil on the growing seedlings.
They should be supplied with about 1 inch of water every 7 days.
The plant shouldn’t be harvested for a period of 3 years. Let it grow during the summer and when autumn arrives, cut it to about 2 inches.
How Can You Grow Asparagus Using Crowns?
You can order crowns online, so they’ll arrive in your mail, but choose them from someone who is reputable. Another important thing is to know your growing zone so that you can choose the best variety.
The bed needs to be prepared before you receive the crowns. Use a sandy and pH neutral soil. It should be loose and be able to drain well. Make sure you put them in the west or north side of your garden if you combine them with other vegetables, because the other vegetables mustn’t be in a shade.
The soil has to be made with compost.
Start digging and prepare 2 furrows which will be 12 inches deep.
Every furrow should be combined with 1 cup of organic fertilizer.
The bottom of the furrow has to be mounded up with some loose dirt that you’ll apply into cone-shaped piles with the height of 6 inches. There have to be about 18 inches between every single cone.
The asparagus crown should be applied on every dirt pile which is in the furrow. Let the roots hang over the dirt pile towards down.
Apply 1 inch of soil on the crowns.
The soil has to be moist, but not too much.
With the process of growing you need to add more soil.
The furrow have to be filled with soil to their ground level.
Let the plant grow for 2 years. The plants have to be ferny with deep roots.
If You Want Your Harvest To Be Better As Well As Bigger, Follow These Tips:
The best plants to accompany asparagus seedlings are tomatoes, because they are able to repel the asparagus beetles while the asparagus repels the tomato-attacking nematodes. It is good to use a companion plant, since it can really help you a lot.
When the third year passes, harvest the new asparagus crops using a period of 4 weeks. During year 4, you should harvest them from 6 to 8 weeks etc.
You can find female and male plants. If you want more productive plants, choose all males.
Suppress weeds using mulch.
You can have your own crowns filled with energy if you soak them in some compost tea and plant them later.
Plants should always grow well even after you’ve harvested them, so that they could regain nutrients. During the period of autumn, the foliage will become yellow and brown which is a sign for you to cut them to 2 inches.
Use organic compost or fertilizer to fertilize your already established crowns during the period of spring. It should contain seaweed, fish, dairy, fruits, bread, vegetables etc.
Before you decide to plant new crowns every year, make sure you add some rock phosphate to the trenches.
How To Harvest And Store Asparagus?
When the plant is good for harvesting, the new spring shoots should be cut off as soon as their height reaches 8 inches. The knife should be sharp and clean. The cutting should be made just below the soil line. When foliage is developed, the spears mustn’t be harvested. It would be the best to harvest the plant on 2 days. Plants need to be strong and mature, but they will need from 2 to 8 weeks. The harvesting should stop when the diameter of the spear becomes like a pencil.
The harvested spears can be kept in the fridge for 1 week and even more or you can cook them right away. If you want to preserve them more, take several spears and blanch them in water which is boiling for 5 minutes. Let them dry and then put them in freezer bags which will preserve them well.
This is among the most beneficial vegetables. It is abundant in vitamin C, K, A, E and B6, thiamin, fiber, potassium and folic acid.
It will help you lose weight: It doesn’t contain much calories as well as fat, but it does contain insoluble and soluble fiber. Fiber is digested slowly, so you’ll stay fuller for a longer period of time. Intake some hard-boiled eggs because they’re healthy proteins.
You have a healthy urinary tract: Asparagine is one of the amino acids that act as a natural diuretic. Urinary tract infections often appear when women don’t feel the need to urinate often. If you consume more asparagus every day, you’ll eliminate more fluids faster, so you’ll be healthier.
Your immune system becomes stronger: It’s full of vitamin E that is known to protect our cells from the damage of the free radicals. It would be better to consume some roasted asparagus with olive oil so that it becomes more effective.
Natural aphrodisiac: It contains folate and vitamin B6 which help you have stimulated sex hormones along with the vitamin E.
Better bone health: The vitamin K asparagus contains can help you absorb calcium better and we know we need them for optimal bone health.
You smile more: It is full of vitamins B which decrease the irritability. It is also full of tryptophan which improves our mood.
These Are Some Of The Best Asparagus Recipes:
Tomato & Asparagus Melt
Use it as a meal or a side dish.
- Sea salt
- ¼ c. of raw honey
- 1 lb. of trimmed asparagus stalks
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 c. of halved cherry tomatoes
- ½ c. of balsamic vinegar
- Extra-virgin olive oil (for drizzling)
- 2 c. of shredded mozzarella
- Basil (for garnish)
The oven should be heated to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
Put some pepper, salt and olive oil over the asparagus.
Use a large baking sheet where you’ll put the asparagus on. The mozzarella should be applied on top.
Take the cherry tomatoes and put some pepper, salt and olive oil on them.
Put them separately from the asparagus, but on the same sheet.
Put it all in the oven and make sure you bake it for about 20 minutes. The cheese should melt and the asparagus should become tender.
Take a saucepan where you’ll combine the honey with the balsamic vinegar for 15 minutes. Leave the mixture to cool down.
Transfer the asparagus on a plate. Put the tomatoes on top of it and apply the balsamic combo. Put the basil as garnish.
Orange & Asparagus Salad
- 2 seedless peeled and then sliced oranges
- 1 large red onion (that you’ll slice in rings)
- 2 heads of torn Boston lettuce
- Fresh lemon juice
- 1 lb of fresh asparagus spears (that you’ll blanche previously)
- Vinegar and oil dressing
Put all of the ingredients on the lettuce. Put the vinegar, olive oil and squeezed lemon in the end.
Summer Lemon Pasta
- 1 lb of gluten-free macaroni
- Sea salt
- 2 tbsp. of butter
- ½ c. of fresh chopped parsley
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 bunch of trimmed asparagus
- ½ a diced red onion
- Extra-virgin olive oil (for drizzling)
- 1 c. of dry white wine
- 2 lemons
- 1 c. of freshly grated Parmesan
- 2 minced garlic cloves
- ½ a tsp. of crushed red pepper flakes
Read the packaging of the pasta and cook it accordingly.
Cover the asparagus with the olive oil. Use a grill pan to grill it 4 minutes on each side, but make sure the heat is medium. Cook it 2 more minutes after you’ve done with every side.
Take a knife to cut it into pieces of 1 inch.
Take the onion, garlic and butter and cook them together until they’re combined well.
Then, combine the pepper flakes, white wine, pepper, lemon zest (from 1 lemon), 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and salt. Boil this and leave it to simmer for 5 minutes.
Remove the pot from the heat. Combine the parsley, cheese and asparagus along with the pasta in the pasta water. Put some cheese for garnish. Add a little bit of parsley, too. Apply some lemon wedges in the end and serve.
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