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Growing Asparagus

Plant it right the first time and you’ll be harvesting these delectable spears year after year

Fine Gardening – Issue 156

As a perennial, asparagus requires more up-front investment than any other vege­table. But the long-term payoff is that, once established, an asparagus bed can, with minimal maintenance, produce for 15 years or more. Its harvesting window is short, but asparagus freezes so well that the ancient Romans deployed runners to bring spears from the Tiber Valley up to the Alps, to hold them in glaciers there until the Feast of Epicurus. Asparagus is not just delicious, it is also rich in fiber, B vitamins, antioxidants, vitamin K, and folates—the latter of which are especially helpful in brain development and may provide some protection against Alzheimer’s disease.

My current asparagus patch has been going strong for six years now, and I am happily picking asparagus in amounts exceeding the reported expected yields—with scandalously minimal maintenance. Here are some tips and tricks that I’ve learned along the way that can…

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