1& • HOME& • SPRING 1998 ApygRTisiyiG SUPPLEMENT TO-THE SALINA JOURNAL Asparagus-Growing: Only for the Patient Kathleen Ward Extension Communications Specialist MANHATTAN-Growing garden-fresh asparagus requires patience. Fortunately, however, the perennial vegetables are long-lived. If started from seed in spring, asparagus requires a year to produce a crown ready for transplanting into its permanent home, said Chuck Marr, horticulturist with K- State Research and Extension. That's why vegetable growers typi- t x cally get their start from purchased 1-year-old "crowns" or roots. In Kansas, gardeners can plant year-old asparagus between March 15 and April 15. But they can't harvest anytime that year. The plant's vigor always depends on the food reserves the roots build up during the previ- Planting Asparagus Crowns Several weeks after planting At end of the first season To Plant Asparagus Select a site to the side of the garden; the planting will be there for years. Generously incorporate organic matter in the soil, as well as 4 to 5 pounds of 5-10-5 fertilizer per 1,000 square feet of garden space. Between March 15 and April 15 in Kansas, dig a trench 8 to 9 inches deep and place one year- old crowns at the bottom, spaced 18 to 24 inches apart. (If planting rows, keep them 4 to 5 feet apart.) Cover crowns with 2 to 3 inches of soil and firm well. As the plant grows, gradually add more soil, covering any small weeds. By the end of the first growing season, have the trench completely filled in. n n Call us, we provide the knowledge and experience to get the job done right! Salina 785-452-9224 1-800-864-4637 FREE Estimates Find us in the Yellow Pages and Feist Areawlde CARROLL HAMILTON Roofing COMPMV ous growing season, Marr said. The following year, the plant can finally yield a limited harvest. Cutting should extend over just two to three weeks—again, to promote plant vigor. "You'll know to stop harvesting when the emerging spears suddenly decrease in diameter," the horticulturist said. By the third year, regular harvesting can begin, extending over six to eight weeks. In addition, gardeners can and should abandon their patience. "Spear growth then will depend on temperature," Marr said. "If the weather is warm, the asparagus may be ready to harvest every three days. If it's hot outside, daily harvests may be necessary. "Most gardeners prefer young, tender spears from 5 to 10 inches long. So, if the spears get too large or no longer have tight tips, you'll want to snap them off at ground level and throw them away. Then new spears will emerge." HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE Knock out wimpy coverage Cover your home with the same reliable protection it gives you. Call me for details today. Quotes CALL JEFF WELLS 1528 E. Iron Salina 827-9339 AMERICAN FAMILY AUTO HOME BUSINESS HEALTH LIFE ooo TEE for satisfaction. It's Lennox rebate time again! Receive an instant $450.00 discount on select Lennox heating and air conditioning equipment. This spring promotion runs from March 30th through May 15, 1998. Call, or better yet, stop by and get all the details. - One Less Thing To Worry About! Heating » Air Conditioning Electrical • Sheet Metal "An Independent Lennox Dealer"
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