Within the vegetable garden often gardeners are looking for a quick return on their time. They are looking for vegetables which you can sow in spring and will be harvested from mid-summer to the end of autumn. And while things like salad leaves, peas, runner beans and carrots (to name just a few) are perfect at doing this, you sometimes simply can’t reap the rewards of all vegetables as quickly. Rhubarb or globe artichokes are good examples where they require a season or two after planting before you can harvest a substantial crop. Both of these are rather overshadowed by asparagus which does require a three or four year investment before you will get a proper harvest from them. In our opinion it’s well worth the wait as you cannot beat the taste of asparagus fresh from the garden!
Once the trench was dug I incorporated a six inch layer of well-rotted farmyard manure at the bottom to offer the young plants a good start. It is important however to place a layer of topsoil directly on top of the manure and plant into this as the manure can sometimes be too strong and damage the very young roots of the new plant as it establishes.
How to Plant
Once the preparation is done you can plant the asparagus in the ground. You are aiming for a distance of about two feet between each of the crowns. Then back fill with top soil and make sure to water them in well.
Pruning & Harvesting
Make sure to prune the plant as the crop grows to be certain that all the energy that is necessary gets to the right places. May is the month to harvest your asparagus, to ensure that your plant has enough energy to keep producing the crop. Cut from the base of the asparagus root, as close to the soil as possible on a regular basis in May to ensure the asparagus doesn’t turn woody.
Try placing two bamboo canes at either end of the trench and loop some twine between the canes to keep the plants tidy during the year.The canes will also act as good reminder in winter months of where exactly your trench runs so you do not disturb the plants unintentionally!
Courtesy of Glanbia.
After your hard work growing asparagus why not impress your friends and family with this easy recipe:
Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus
500 grams asparagus
180 grams prosciutto, sliced in half lengthways
1 tbsp olive oil
Wrap each asparagus spear with the sliced prosciutto, making sure to cover the entire asparagus spear.
Heat olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the wrapped asparagus and fry for 3-4 minutes until the prosciutto is crispy and the asparagus is tender.