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Asparagus


Plant 12-18 inches apart in spring or fall. Prepare an 18-inch trench filled with 6 inches of compost followed by 6 inches of rich topsoil. Spread the roots over this and cover them with 2 inches of soil. Gradually fill the trench with soil as the plants grow. If planting in fall, fill the trench in completely. Each spring, apply 3-5 pounds of fertilizer per 100 square feet. Work into the soil before growth starts. Repeat after the harvest is complete. Cut the tops back and mulch in late fall to help prevent deep freezing and sudden changes in soil temperature. Limit the first harvest to 1 or 2 cuttings by mid-June. A full crop can be harvested the third year after planting, when spears are 6-10 inches tall. (If planting 2-year crowns, you should harvest a good supply the second year.) Harvest for 6-8 weeks only, or until about the first of July in the North. When harvesting, snap off or cut shoots just below ground level to avoid injuring new growth.


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