Frost won't be a problem: how to grow asparagus at home
Asparagus is one of the most useful vegetable crops. This perennial plant is easy to care for, but the first harvest can be done only in the third year after planting.
Asparagus can be grown in two ways: by sowing seeds into the soil or by planting seedlings. Regular watering, removing weeds and good nutrition are the three basics for healthy asparagus growth. The crop usually ripens in April and May. The young shoots taste delicate, full of vitamins, minerals and fiber. They are steamed, grilled or cooked in the oven. Better Homes and Gardens tells how to grow asparagus at home.
How to Grow and Care for Asparagus
Asparagus grows in a variety of climates, but it grows best in moderate climates. Frosty winters are not a danger, because the plants die off during the cold season to give new shoot growth in the spring. You should choose a sunny bed for asparagus.
Asparagus comes from the Mediterranean, so it prefers light soil with free drainage. The plant has a branched root system that can extend 1.5-2 meters. Before planting asparagus, compost, manure and lime should be added to the bed, as they will raise the pH level and make the soil more friable. Add a little gypsum to clay soil.
Water asparagus regularly, especially in summer.
How to plant asparagus for the first time
Dig a trench about 20 cm deep and 20-30 cm wide. Place asparagus crowns about 30-50 cm apart. If you plant seeds, soak them in warm water in advance.
Fill the seedlings with about 5 cm of soil. Consolidate and water well. The best time to transplant the seedlings is at the end of May and beginning of June. The first sprouts should appear in a month.
Water the asparagus regularly and periodically fertilize in the summer with a nitrogen-rich fertilizer to stimulate top growth. In winter, cut off the dry yellow base just above ground level. You can protect the plant with a 5 cm layer of peat or sawdust. In late winter, fertilize again to encourage shoot growth. In the first year after planting, it is not necessary to cut off the crowns. Clean the bed of weeds regularly.
With proper care, asparagus can produce crops for 15-20 years.
The benefits of eating asparagus
- Asparagus does not contain fat and cholesterol, so it is good for a healthy diet.
- Asparagus is rich in fiber, B vitamins like thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, B6 and biotin.
- The plant is an excellent source of folic acid, which is important for expectant mothers and useful for reducing the risk of heart disease.
- One serving of asparagus provides about a quarter of our daily vitamin C needs.
- Asparagus has an excellent array of bioactive compounds such as antioxidants, rutin and beta-carotene.
- Asparagus contains potassium and the nicotianamine compound, which help maintain blood pressure.
Previously OBOZREVATEL told you how to choose, store and cook healthy asparagus.