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Reclaiming asparagus

Updated: Jul 22, 2023

Asparagus is one of those perennial plants that bring many health benefits to the table. For instance, it is full of many vitamins and minerals including vitamin A and E which help with antioxidants which helps in preventing cancers. Vitamin A is great for eye health. It is also loaded with vitamin K which helps with the blood and clotting properly And anemia. It is full of fiber which helps with hemorrhoids and good digestion, this in turn, helps cholesterol and heart health. It is high and folic acid which helps during pregnancy. The list goes on.

It is easy to grow and a hardy plant for the colder zones. The problem with asparagus though is that over the years grass creeps in and then you have a sod patch that asparagus tries to grow up through. This leads to the asparagus being choked out and impossible to maintain eventually losing the patch over to the wilds of nature.

When we moved here there was a whole edging of asparagus around the field in front of the house. Maybe 300 plants that were in sod and I don't care how much time you spent digging and trying to free the plants, it wasn't going to happen. It was discouraging to know that this one patch was going to take so much maintenance and not feasible to keep up and reclaim.

At this time, I also was learning about no-til gardening and the back to Eden method. I decided to take a step outside the box and either fix my problem or kill it... one or the other, but I was not about to keep fighting with this. If I had to create a whole new bed and try to maintain it from there, then so be it.

In the fall I cut the asparagus off at the ground and covered the whole garden with cardboard, then about 6 inches of mulch, then waited in anticipation to find out the results in spring. Would these have enough strength to poke thru the layers in spring? Would the cardboard “melt” enough” for them to get thru? It was an experiment, but if it worked would make my life so much easier!

The result.... success! In the spring they poked through and had a summer of NO competing with grass! There is a certain level of weeding, but it is minimal, and weeding is attainable.

Once the initial 5-6 inches of mulch was on, I try to put a new layer on top each fall or spring to keep it deep enough.

The beauty of using the wood chips is that as they break down, they give nutrient dense and loose dirt. This makes weeding so much easier because the roots cant really anchor in the loose dirt and pull right up.

All of these plants were saved IN place! NO digging up and moving to start all over only to end in a sod garden with asparagus poling up through again.

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