Plant asparagus (lat.Asparagus), or asparagus, belongs to the genus of plants of the Asparagus family, numbering about 200 species, growing in dry climates around the world. The most common type of asparagus is medicinal. Asparagus can be a herb or shrub with a developed rhizome and branched, often creeping stems. The upper parts of the sprouts of some types of asparagus - medicinal, whorled and short-leaved, are considered delicacies.
Asparagus is one of the healthiest, most delicious and expensive crops.
Read more about growing asparagus below.
Asparagus is a perennial vegetable plant. Her rhizome is powerful, developed, branched stems. On the branches, bundles of numerous needle-shaped branches are collected, growing from the axils of small, underdeveloped thorny or scaly leaves, at the base of which hard spurs are formed. Small flowers of asparagus, single or collected in racemose or thyroid inflorescences, are also found mostly in the leaf axils. Asparagus fruit is a berry with one or more seeds, clothed in a thick dark rind.
They eat young asparagus shoots that have just emerged from the ground. If leaf buds have already begun to bloom on the shoot, it becomes tough and is no longer suitable for food. Asparagus produces 9 to 12 shoots per season during peak fruiting - that's just two full servings of a side dish. It is such a modest yield that explains the high price of this vegetable. In our gardens, where from year to year we grow such familiar and healthy vegetable crops as carrots, beets, peas, beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, zucchini, squash and pumpkins, asparagus is still a rare guest.
For those who decide to grow this healthy and tasty vegetable on their site, we suggest using the information collected in our article on how to grow asparagus from seeds, how to plant asparagus in open ground, what are the conditions for growing asparagus and can asparagus be grown at home conditions.
Since asparagus seeds germinate outdoors for a very long time, we suggest that you first grow seedlings from them.
Before planting asparagus, the seeds are kept in warm water for 3-4 days, changing the water twice a day. Then the swollen seeds are laid out on a damp cloth and waited for sprouts to hatch from them. In mid-April, seeds with sprouts 1-3 mm long are planted in boxes at a distance of 6 cm from each other or in pots with a capacity of 100-200 ml with a soil mixture of the following composition: 2 parts sand, garden soil, peat, rotted manure - one at a time parts. Seeds are covered to a depth of 1.5-2 mm and the containers are placed in a well-lit place.
The room temperature must be kept within 25 ºC. The soil needs daily moisture. If these conditions are met, in 7-10 days you will be able to see the first shoots. The sprouts that appear are lightly sprinkled with peat. Two weeks later, the seedlings are fed with a complex mineral fertilizer in a weak concentration.
Picking seedlings is required only if you grow them in a common box. When it stretches up to 15 cm in height, transplant the seedlings into a large container, keeping a distance of 10 cm between them and slightly shortening the asparagus root when transplanting. Seedlings are fed only a few days after the pick. After another week, they begin to carry out hardening procedures, and as soon as the asparagus can be in the fresh air for a whole day, it is planted in open ground.
You can only grow asparagus seedlings at home, which are then transplanted into open ground. Keeping an edible plant with such a long and powerful root in the house is very inconvenient. Asparagus can be grown in an apartment as an ornamental plant, and vegetables have a place in the garden.
Asparagus is planted outdoors in early June. Where does asparagus grow best? In well-lit, windless places, preferably near a wall or fence. Since asparagus does not tolerate waterlogging in the soil, do not plant it in places where groundwater is high. Take responsibility when choosing a site for asparagus, because this crop can grow in one place for 20-25 years.
The optimum soil composition for asparagus is rich, fertile sandy loam soil. The plot for asparagus begins to be prepared in the fall: it is cleared of weeds and dug to a depth of 40-50 cm with the introduction of 15-20 kg of compost, 70 g of superphosphate and 40 g of potassium sulfate per 1 m². After the snow melts, the site is harrowed with the simultaneous introduction of 20 g of ammonium nitrate and 60 g of wood ash for each m².
Before planting, holes are made on the site with a depth of 30 and a width of 40 cm at a distance of a meter from each other. The bottom in the furrow is loosened to a depth of 15-20 cm. Then a pile of loose soil is poured onto the bottom of such a height that it reaches the edge of the hole. A seedling is placed on the mound, after having shortened its root to 3-4 cm, the hole is covered with soil, compacted and watered. After the water is absorbed, the hole is mulched with dry earth.
Asparagus is a non-capricious plant. Caring for it consists of procedures familiar to any gardener-gardener: watering, loosening the soil around the plants and in the aisles, weeding, fertilizing with fertilizers. Loosening is carried out to a depth of 6-8 cm, trying not to damage the roots of the plant. And in the aisles for the first two years, it is advisable to grow green crops.
The first one and a half to two weeks after planting, the asparagus is watered often and abundantly, then the amount of water is reduced, and watering begins less often. In dry weather, daily watering of the site may be necessary - the soil must be slightly damp all the time, otherwise the shoots will become fibrous, and bitterness will appear in their taste.
To accelerate the growth of shoots, after the first weeding, add a slurry solution to the soil on the site - 1 part slurry to 6 parts water. After three weeks, the asparagus is fed with a solution of bird droppings - 1 part of droppings to 10 parts of water. The last dressing is applied before the onset of frost, and it consists of a complex mineral fertilizer. If you fertilized the area before planting asparagus, fertilizing begins only in the second year of growth.
Asparagus is quite resistant to diseases, but sometimes there are problems with it. Asparagus is most commonly affected:
Rust - a fungal disease that develops on asparagus in four stages. As a result, the affected specimens lag behind in development and almost do not give shoots, and at the end of summer they turn yellow prematurely and stop growing before they form the root system and lay buds at the base of the stems, which will definitely reduce the next year's harvest. Usually, the disease affects asparagus growing in areas with moisture-proof soil and with a close occurrence of groundwater. Contribute to the development of the disease and frequent rain;
Rhizoctonia - a disease that usually occurs on root crops, especially on carrots. Asparagus is infrequently affected by rhizoctonia, but there have been such cases;
Root rot, or fusarium - the most harmful disease that affects many plants. It occurs on asparagus under the same conditions as rust - with too high soil moisture.
Asparagus in the garden is not exposed to the invasion of pests, but it has two enemies in the insect world:
Leaf beetle, imported from Western Europe along with asparagus. It is a dark blue beetle with a red border on its back, feeding on berries, flowers and asparagus tops. It appears in the spring, but the maximum number of beetles can be observed from the middle of summer;
Asparagus fly - a small brown insect with yellow limbs, a head and antennae, feeding on asparagus shoots and making holes in them. As a result, the shoots are bent, wither and die off.
Spring and autumn preventive spraying of plants with Bordeaux liquid or other fungicides - Fitosporin, Topaz, Topsin M.
In the fight against insects, reliable results are obtained by treating asparagus with Karbofos, a low-toxic, odorless preparation or some other agent from this series that can be purchased in stores. Process the asparagus as soon as you notice the appearance of pests. However, this is not enough: it is necessary to regularly inspect the beds and, if egg-laying is found, remove and burn them. Keep weeds out of the area and destroy dead parts of the asparagus.
You can cut off shoots only from the third year of growing asparagus - it will take two years to allow the root system to grow stronger. Edible shoots are cut off in May, before their heads open, carefully shoveling off the soil from them in the place where a crack has formed in the soil, and leaving hemp in place with a height of 1-2 cm.This is done in the morning or in the evening, every other day or every day. It is not recommended to remove more than 5 shoots from one plant in the first year of cutting, as this can weaken the bush. As the asparagus bushes mature, it will be possible to remove up to 30 shoots from each one annually.
Store the asparagus in the refrigerator wrapped in a damp cloth from two weeks to four months, depending on the variety and storage conditions. Do not keep foods with a strong smell in the refrigerator at this time, otherwise the asparagus will quickly absorb them. Shoots are stacked vertically, since they are deformed when stored horizontally.
There are three varieties of asparagus:
Asparagus varieties also differ in terms of ripening. We offer you a choice of several varieties that you could plant in your garden, at least in order to see how the asparagus grows:
Asparagus in the country is not only a delicacy product, but also a source of vitamins K, A, C, E, PP, group B, as well as folic acid, dietary fiber, copper, sodium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, selenium, potassium, manganese and other items.
How is asparagus good for you? It is an ideal, low-calorie product for fasting days. The substances contained in asparagus form connective tissue, strengthen bones, take part in the hematopoietic process, and help the kidneys, liver and heart function. Due to the content of folic acid in asparagus, it becomes an indispensable product for pregnant women.
An asparagine diet is recommended for patients who have had a heart attack, since asparagine, which is part of the product, dilates blood vessels, stimulates the work of the heart muscle and lowers blood pressure. The benefits of asparagus are also in the coumarins it contains, which stimulate heart activity, cleanse the blood and prevent blood clots from forming in the vessels.
The beneficial properties of asparagus stimulate the processes that free the body from toxins and toxins - phosphates, chlorides and urea. They have a tonic effect on the bladder, kidneys and the entire excretory system.
Asparagus is an excellent cosmetic product: its juice cleanses, nourishes and softens the skin, and also removes calluses and small warts.
As indisputable as the medicinal properties of asparagus are, the evidence for its harm is contradictory and doubtful. It is argued that with prolonged use of asparagus, oxalic acid salts accumulate in the body, and this, allegedly, can, in the presence of a genetic predisposition, provoke urolithiasis.
Other experts believe that asparagus, being a diuretic, prevents urolithiasis. In addition, the saponin in asparagus can irritate the gastric and intestinal mucosa in patients with exacerbation of gastrointestinal tract diseases. Asparagus is not recommended for articular rheumatism, cystitis, prostatitis and individual intolerance to the product.
Sections: Garden plants Asparagus Plants for C Escaping Dessert
Wild representatives of this culture are very diverse, but scientists have managed to cultivate only a few of them: Peruvian heliotrope, g. The most widespread was the Peruvian heliotrope (Heliotropium peruvianum), also known as tree (N. arborescens).
The plant is a densely leafy bush up to 60 cm high and decorated with blue or purple inflorescences about 10-15 cm in diameter during the flowering period. They have taken root in our household plots and every year they find an increasing number of fans.
Among them, it is worth highlighting the undersized variety 'Mini Marine', which is distinguished by the compactness of the bush and reaches a height of 30-35 cm. The leaf rosette of this variety has a rich dark green hue, and the large fragrant inflorescences are bright purple-blue in color.
Arboreal heliotrope, variety 'Mini Marine'. Photo from parkseed.com
No less beautiful is the popular variety 'Black Beauty', reaching a height of 40 cm and strewn with catchy corymbose inflorescences, colored in a rich purple hue and thinning the delicate aroma during the flowering period.
Very interesting variety 'Fragrant Delight', reaching a height of 35-40 cm. It is distinguished by unusual inflorescences, composed of flowers, the central part of which is painted in a delicate lavender color.
Heliotrope Peruvian, cultivar 'Fragrant Delight'. Photo from plants.thegrowingplace.com
You should definitely pay attention to the miniature variety 'Regal Dwarf'. The shoots do not grow higher than 30 cm, but this does not prevent them from forming very lush fragrant inflorescences of an incredibly attractive dark blue color during the flowering period.
No one will be left indifferent by the delightful variety 'White Lady', which forms a compact spherical bush with a height of about 40 cm. During the budding period, the bush is covered with large inflorescences with numerous pink buds, which, when blooming, turn into snow-white caps.
Heliotrope Peruvian, variety 'White Lady'. Photo from the site dachanaladoni.ru
With proper care, none of the heliotrope varieties will go unnoticed. This plant will help to decorate the garden bed in the best way and create a spectacular accent on the site, and the delicate aroma will add a sense of coziness and tranquility to the overall picture.
The exotic outfit of this plant should not make you think of its capricious and fastidious nature. On the contrary, kokhia is absolutely unassuming in care and is distinguished by innate modesty, therefore it does not require special attention from you.
Kohia is a versatile decorator. Photo from the site ra9snj.ru
This plant feels great in hot dry summers, so it will be an excellent choice even for weekend summer residents who have the opportunity to water their green pets only on Saturday and Sunday. But Kokhia, on the contrary, is very afraid of cold weather and may die under the influence of returnable spring frosts. Therefore, it is necessary to plant it only with the onset of stable warming.
Cochia is easily propagated by seeds, which show excellent germination and give friendly shoots within two years after collection. Due to the rapid growth rates of this annual, the seeds can be sown directly into open ground in May-June, when the threat of return frosts has passed. The seeds are laid out in shallow moistened grooves and only lightly sprinkled with earth or simply pressed into the soil with the palm of your hand.
Broom grass should be planted in a well-lit place, the maximum that she will agree to is light partial shade for several hours a day. But the site where water accumulates after precipitation, the plant will absolutely not stand it.
Young sprout of kochia. Photo from the site commons.wikimedia.org
Kochia can accept any type of soil, but it will form a particularly lush crown with juicy bright greens when planted on loose fertile soil. Therefore, it makes sense to once spend an extra hour of your time in order to properly prepare a bed for planting this plant, well filling it with humus and mineral fertilizers, and you are guaranteed a great aesthetic pleasure from contemplating beauty.
And if you want such unusual "koloboks" to decorate your summer cottage early, you can sow seeds for seedlings in April and plant hardened "teenagers" in open ground with the onset of favorable weather conditions.
Most ornamental crops require constant soil moisture in their root layer, but kochia is more hardy in this regard. As a native of arid regions, it is able to do without moisture for a long time.
Cochia is a drought-resistant plant. Photo from the site wikimedia.org
However, this is an extreme measure, so do not forget to water the kochia abundantly at least once a week in the summer heat. But in seasons with sufficient rainfall, you can do without watering altogether. The only thing, do not forget to loosen the soil under the plants - they develop much better from this.
In order for the "bun" to form a thicker crown, it must be pinched periodically - to remove the tips of the apical shoots, which from this begin to branch more strongly. Cochia is fed twice a season - a couple of weeks after germination and again after 3-4 weeks. For this, it is better to use a complete mineral and complex organomineral fertilizer, a solution of which is poured under the bushes on a pre-moistened soil.
The tops of young bushes are pinched for better branching. Photo from the site plantarium.ru
The broom grass shows an enviable resistance to diseases and pests. The only concern can be a spider mite, which damages plants in dry seasons, twisting their delicate shoots with cobwebs and sucking out juices from them. It is possible to rid the planting of the enemy with the help of an insecticide solution (Aktara, Fufanon, Aktellik or biological Fitoverm), the treatments of which are repeated according to the instructions for the selected preparation.
This culture tolerates a haircut very easily and can become the embodiment of the most bizarre fantasies of its owner to the surprise of all guests and neighbors. Therefore, feel free to grab your garden shears and cut out any shape from the kochia - a ball, cube, pyramid or heart.
Kohia easily tolerates a haircut. Photo from overboss.ru
With such a simple care, the kochia continues to delight the eye until the first autumn frosts. In addition, most varieties by the end of the season are painted in spectacular red tones, which is why they become the main accent in a dull autumn garden.
Cochia in autumn. Photo from the site funlib.ru
With the arrival of autumn cold weather, the annual cypress quickly dies, but you should not grieve about this, because the plant reproduces very easily by self-sowing. Therefore, next spring you only need to protect a thick carpet of seedlings with a covering material from recurrent frosts, and with the arrival of stable warming, plant them around the site or simply thin out.
After planting, caring for the black cohosh flower consists in moderate watering, feeding, pruning. Preparation of the plant for winter is also an important point. You will not have to perform any more complex procedures when growing black cohosh.
Black cohosh loves moisture and does not tolerate drying out of the soil, which is clearly signaled by wilting of leaves and peduncles. Overflowing flower beds can also cause bush disease. Growing in places with stagnant moisture leads to the death of plantings.
According to gardeners, it is better to water the plants rarely, but abundantly, giving nutrition to the deep-lying roots. In the heat, the bushes of cimicifugi, even in the shade, are watered every 3 days.
Black cohosh is sensitive to soil fertility, but the correct laying of planting holes completely provides the plant with nutrition for the next 3 years.
Since season 4, black cohosh is fed for lush flowering and decorative foliage. Nitrogen fertilizers are applied in early spring. When laying the buds, complex preparations for flowering crops or phosphorus-potassium mineral compositions are added to irrigation.
Weeds rarely annoy adult plants, because the black cohosh has a lush rosette of leaves, creating a thick shadow under the bush. Therefore, weeding beds with cimicifuga will rarely be required. It will simplify the care of ornamental bushes by mulching or growing short plants nearby in a flower bed.
A layer of organic bulk materials up to 5 cm will protect the flower bed from drying out, keep the soil loose for a long time. Sawdust, foliage, peat are used as mulch.
An adult black cohosh tolerates the winters of central Russia well. Florists near Moscow claim that the cimicifuga winters well without any shelter. In areas with severe winters or lack of stable snow cover, plantings can be covered with a layer of leaves or spruce branches.
Before the onset of cold weather, the stems and leaves of the plant are cut completely flush with the ground. This technique is usually sufficient to prepare the black cohosh for wintering. After pruning, young bushes can be mulched with a layer of up to 10 cm. This technique is especially relevant in areas with severe winters or frequent temperature changes.
Pruning black cohosh at other times consists in thinning the foliage, removing faded shoots and decorative shaping of the bush. Such formation can be carried out at any time of the warm season.
Perennial Arabis is almost not susceptible to disease. Fungal infections such as root rot can result from excess moisture. In this case, you need to take care of arranging good drainage or transplanting the plant to a drier place.
The cruciferous flea feeds on leaves and other plants of the Cabbage family.
Pests also do not favor perennial Arabis with their attention. Occasionally on the plant you can see such insects typical of the Cruciferous family as fleas, bugs, caterpillars. They fight them by spraying with various insecticides.