Read the previous part: Asparagus - biological features and healing properties
Asparagus in general, an unpretentious plant, however, in order to get delicate and tasty shoots, it needs to create certain conditions.
• It grows well on loose sandy loam soilrich in nutrients. On poor soils, shoots become fibrous and tough. Asparagus grows poorly on heavy clay and cold soils.
• Does not tolerate acidic soils, does not like even slightly acidic soils.
• Does not tolerate close standing groundwater, however, during growth it requires sufficient moisture. With a lack of moisture, the shoots turn out to be tough and bitter, with an excess of moisture, the roots rot.
• Very fond of the sun, grows well also with little shade.
Propagated asparagus mainly by seeds, through seedlings in an open ridge or in a greenhouse, breeding ground... In addition to seed, reproduction is possible in spring by dividing old bushes into several parts. In the fall, this method is not always successful, because delenki sometimes die in winter, especially if they are taken from bushes that are not their first youth.
Seeds can be sown for seedlings at home in March-April. However, there will be less hassle, and the seedlings are of better quality if they are sown in a seedling bed or in a warm place specially allocated in the garden. In this case, the best sowing time in the Leningrad region is the first decade of June. To accelerate the emergence of seedlings before sowing, the seeds are soaked for 2-3 days, changing the water daily, then put on a damp cloth on a platter for 7-8 days until the seeds hatch.
Then the hatched seeds are sown in a prepared place to a depth of 3 cm in rows with a distance of 20 cm between them, in a row - 5 cm.Immediately after the emergence of seedlings they are thinned out, leaving a distance of 15-20 cm. plants, the roots grow strongly, and it will be very difficult to pull them out of the ground without disturbing the neighbors.
Seedling care is weeding, feeding, loosening the soil. In dry weather watering is required... They are fed immediately after the emergence of shoots with ammonium nitrate and three weeks after the first feeding - with slurry.
By the fall of the first year, well-groomed seedlings have 2-3 stems and a developed root system. For the winter planting mulch a layer of peat or compost... At the same time, they begin to prepare the ground for planting seedlings in a permanent place.
For good growth and active formation of shoots, all perennial rhizomes of weeds must be removed from the planting site. The soil must be loosened to a depth of 30-40 cm. Then deacidify it with lime or chalk until it is almost neutral. For each future plant, add 3-4 shovels of rotted manure or humus, or a bucket for each square meter of plantings, add complete mineral fertilizer - according to the instructions for it. You can try adding fertilizer AVA and see what happens, because so far there is no such experience.
An excellent planting option is to dig a hole under each plant with a diameter and depth of up to 40 cm, put a layer of rotted manure 15-20 cm on its bottom, sprinkle a heap of garden soil 10 cm high on it.Place a plant on this heap, spread the roots over it, cover them with a layer of soil with humus 5-7 cm thick. As the shoots grow, this layer is increased to the edges of the dug hole.
In the spring of next year, seedlings with a strong root system and three shoots are selected and planted in a permanent place. If the seedlings are weak, then you can leave them in the nursery until the next fall. By this time, with good nutrition, the seedlings will have time to bloom, and it will be possible to select male or female specimens among them - whoever likes what better. On the female specimens, berries are formed.
The best in our area the timing of planting seedlings to a permanent place - first half of May ... It can be planted in the second half of August (dates are indicated without taking into account climate warming).
If you propagate asparagus by dividing the bush, then the rhizome is cut with a knife at the dug out bush (they are clearly visible), which are planted in a permanent place in the same way as seedlings. The next spring, the plants are spud up to a height of 25-30 cm (or throw a pile of hay on them). When the tops of the head appear, the shoots are cut off and carried to the kitchen. Thus, when breeding asparagus by dividing the bush, we save a couple of years.
When planting in a permanent place, you need to remember that we plant the plants for 15 - 20 years, and over time they will grow strongly. Therefore, the planting does not need to be thickened, but 35-50 cm should be left between the bushes.
In the first two years after planting in a permanent place, the plants are huddled two or three times during the summer, fed with mineral and organic fertilizers, weeded, loosened the soil. For the winter, the stems are cut, the soil is loosened and covered rotted manure.
In the 3rd year (i.e. the 4th year after sowing the seeds), you can start harvesting the shoots. Plants, covered with humus or highly huddled, form white shoots, because such shoots grow only in the dark. They are called bleached, or etiolated. Usually in the spring, plants are high hilled for the purpose of bleaching. I manage to get white shoots easier: in the spring I throw heaps of hay or cut weeds on the asparagus bushes that have not yet woken up. Then I remove the hay and cut off the shoots that have grown under it.
Green shoots do not huddle and are harvested at a length of 15-18 cm, when they have a dense head. Shoots are cut daily as needed. This must be done carefully so as not to damage the roots with buds.
The youngest bushes are harvested within 2-3 weeks. With older plants, this pleasure can be extended for a month and a half. Then the asparagus is fed with mineral fertilizer. After that, the plant is given complete freedom of growth and the opportunity to make food reserves for the next season. It is imperative to feed the asparagus, otherwise it will quickly become depleted. Once every 3-4 years, you need to give organic fertilizer, better - rotted manure.
Usually in our region the first harvest is ready in the second half of May. Under a film cover, you can get a crop even earlier, it all depends on the weather.
Cut shoots that did not immediately hit the kitchen counter can be stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks.
So, I don't want to plant asparagus - it seems that it will not grow soon. However, in reality, three or four years will pass quickly and imperceptibly. And then it turns out that luxurious asparagus bushes are growing in your garden. Three bushes are enough for a small family.
Now on sale there are seeds of many varieties of asparagus, differing in bush height, early maturity, color of young shoots, etc.
One female specimen can be planted. Over the years, it grows into a powerful, multi-stemmed, spectacular bush. It looks very beautiful, especially in autumn, when the bush is strewn with beads of red berries, and the needles turn yellow. If one stalk with berries is left uncut for the winter, then in the spring they will self-sow. Self-seeding grows wherever asparagus seeds come in. Sometimes it happens that the compost heap is overgrown with tender bright green fluffy asparagus.
Caring for ornamental asparagus is the same as for asparagus planted as a vegetable. It can be fed less and watered less, it will still grow and bear fruit, only the shoots will be thinner, and the bush will grow less lush. An adult bush will not be able to defeat even the most vicious weeds.
Asparagus sprigs can be used not only in bouquets, but also to remember ancient ancestors. For example, the ancient Greeks revered asparagus as one of the plants of Aphrodite herself and decorated the newlyweds with its twigs. The Romans considered the branches and roots of asparagus miraculous and wore them on the body as an amulet. What if there really is something in this?
Read the next part: Asparagus Dishes →
The passionflower plant is a heat-loving plant that requires frequent hydration, both of the roots and the deciduous crown. It grows well and bears fruit in open, sunny places, at temperatures from 20 degrees Celsius. Passionflower, its main varieties, grow like houseplants all year round. Only a few varieties out of 400 bred and successfully cultivated can be left to winter on the street, nevertheless, having built a shelter. The bulk of the varieties require digging up the entire bush and carrying it indoors for the autumn-winter, cold period.
Yucca elephantipes is a tree-like evergreen plant from the Asparagus family, native to Guatemala and Mexico. One of the main differences of this species is the trunk, which resembles an elephant's leg. Under natural conditions, the plant reaches a height of about 9 m, and the diameter at the base of the trunk is about 4.5 m.
The upper part of the plant consists of several straight, densely growing shoots, covered with leathery bright green leaves with a glossy surface. They are about 10 cm wide and more than 1 m long. In the summer months, the yucca begins to bloom. On long (90-100 cm in length) peduncles, inflorescences of large white bell-shaped flowers appear, after which oval-shaped fruits are formed with a length of 2 to 2.5 cm.
Asparagus is one of the most delicious and healthy vegetable crops, but the cost of the product is not always available. Therefore, it is worth knowing how to grow it yourself.
The plant has many attractive properties, the presence of a large amount of amino acids and vitamins makes it indispensable in the diet. In addition, the first crop can be harvested as early as April, so the crop is an early product.
Doctors recommend using this vegetable for diseases of the kidneys and vascular system. Because it contains substances that have a diuretic and blood-purifying effect. Young, green shoots are suitable for food. Once the leaf buds open, the plant becomes unusable due to its density. Then asparagus is used for decorative purposes - flower arrangements are often decorated with Christmas trees with orange berries.
If we consider the main varieties of asparagus, then two types are proposed for cultivation - royal and argentel. The first type has a high yield. Asparagus shoots grow in mid to late May. The product of the second type is characterized by delicate pulp and pleasant taste.
The plant also has a division into male and female specimens. A feature of the former is the yield, the latter is the softness of the trunk, they are much tastier. Asparagus is a perennial crop; a full harvest is obtained only in the fourth year after planting. With proper care and regular soil cultivation, up to 15 harvests can be obtained per season, while the duration of fruiting is about 20 years.
In the photo you can find green asparagus, or the so-called soup. The culture is widespread due to its ease of care and unique properties. It is rich in nutrients and contains many more B vitamins than bleached asparagus. Therefore, this type is used for preparing first courses and side dishes.
The green variety is planted in shallow grooves so that the buds of the apex do not reach the surface of the earth by 8 cm. The soil should not be cold, with normal acidity. Shoots that have reached a length of 20-25 cm are cut with a depth of 2 cm. The finished product is stored in the refrigerator.
Argentel asparagus is difficult to grow from seed on your own and requires a lot of space to ensure proper development. During the season, one specimen gives 9-12 shoots, which is enough only for the preparation of two portions of the side dish. The high cost of a vegetable is due to the need for large areas for cultivation, manual harvesting and a short shelf life of the product.
In order to ensure the growth of asparagus from seeds, it is necessary to prepare the soil. The plant grows well in dry climates. It is important to fertilize the soil with manure in the autumn, and use compost in the spring. If the soil is characterized by high acidity, then liming is carried out. Directly in the process of planting the culture, superphosphate and potassium salt are used.
Asparagus seed growing can be done in two ways:
The first option is carried out in late April - early May. Then the soil is carefully prepared, for which humus, ash with superphosphate are placed in the dug grooves. The next layer should be manure, foliage and sod. After the fertilizer is buried, the soil is loosened. Asparagus is sown in such a soil, for which the prepared grains are deepened by 3 cm, while the distance between the specimens should be at least 5 cm.
The second situation allows you to create the most suitable conditions for the nascent sprout, then the cultivation of asparagus from seeds is most efficient. With the help of greenhouse conditions, you can correct the lack of light or the presence of drafts. Therefore, indoor cultivation is often carried out by residents of the northern regions. But, as a rule, the greenhouse serves only as a place for receiving seedlings, and the matured plants are transplanted into already prepared grooves.
Seed preparation and planting
At the end of February, asparagus seeds are soaked in warm water - this will speed up the germination period of the culture. The temperature of the water must be controlled, the optimal indicator is + 30 + C. The specimens are soaked for five days, while the water is changed daily. Next, the seeds are wrapped in a damp cloth, constantly moistened. In a week, sprouts should appear.
After planting, the second period of plant development begins - in a month the asparagus should stretch 10-15 cm. It is important to regularly water and loosen the soil. In addition, you will have to thin out the plants when they reach a length of 15 cm.As a result, only strong and healthy shoots are left, the distance between the specimens is 15 cm.
When growing asparagus seeds on a windowsill, you need to plant a couple of seeds in peat pots. It is important to turn the seedlings towards the light in different directions, then the specimens develop normally. Approximately in mid-May, the sprouts reach a length of 15 cm, they are transplanted to a permanent place. After that, to get the first harvest, you will have to take care of the plant for two years.
Planting asparagus seeds can be carried out under a film - this will speed up the process of plant development. To do this, at the beginning of April, frames are placed on top of the asparagus, on which polyethylene is pulled. Thanks to this, the soil quickly warms up and thaws. Then the plant begins to grow back. With proper care, the crop is harvested earlier, by about 10 days. When the environment heats up, the average daily temperature reaches + 10̊C, the film is removed.
Shoots are formed in a month, in May they begin to be cut. After the ends of the head reach the edge of the comb, the asparagus must be harvested. To do this, they dig out each shoot, cut it off with a special knife at the base. In this case, it is important not to damage nearby specimens. Then the ridge is again filled with the removed earth, compacted.
Shoots are cut every 2 days, in the first fertile year, the collection lasts 20 days, in the next - 1.5 months.At the same time, to preserve the fertility of asparagus, a maximum of 5 shoots are removed from one plant for 3 years, in the future it is allowed to increase their number to 16 pieces.
The harvested crop is sorted, the ends are necessarily cut off. To preserve the original taste and appearance of the culture, it is necessary to store it in the refrigerator at t 0-2̊ С.
It is easy to care for the seedlings, it is enough to water and loosen the ground. Young plants are fed immediately after the first weeding with either mullein (diluted with water in a ratio of 1: 6) or ammonium nitrate (20 g per 1 m2). During the summer, the same formulations are used for feeding, only 40 g of superphosphate are added to a bucket of fertilizer.
To save plants in the cold season, the surface of the soil is covered with rotted manure or straw compost. With proper care, seedlings should be healthy, have a developed root system and 5-7 shoots.
After transplanting asparagus in the summer, the soil is loosened only 2-3 times, regularly weeded and watered. If necessary, treat the area from pests. The same feeding as in the case of seedlings will help to speed up the growth of plants. In late autumn, the stem is cut at the root, burned with pathogens. Humus or compost is poured into the remaining furrows with a layer of 5-8 cm.
In the second year, after the shoots rise above ground level, saltpeter is scattered and the area is leveled, removing the soil from the row spacing into the furrows. The remaining space can be planted with a compacting crop. This can be vegetable beans or celery. Due to the peculiarities of these crops, the soil is additionally enriched with beneficial bacteria. In the fall, the stem is again completely cut off and burned, and the soil is covered with humus.
In the third year, in the spring, in the direction of the rows, they equip ridges with a height of up to 30 cm. To accurately determine the location of the asparagus, it is necessary to drive in pegs at the beginning and end of the furrow in advance. The furrows are piled up, gaining soil from the row spacings. It is important to compact the soil a little, then in the places of cracks on the surface there will be shoots ready for harvesting.
Once every 3 years, lime or chalk is added to the soil, then the manure should be replaced with composted peat.
Before growing asparagus from seeds, it is worth knowing the main lesions of asparagus. The enemies of this culture are:
Asparagus can often be seen in the gardens of summer residents and homeowners. But many are engaged in its cultivation only for decorative purposes, not knowing that the young shoots of this plant are edible. This vegetable crop has a unique composition and excellent taste, and there are quite enough varieties of asparagus. In addition, caring for it does not cause any particular difficulties, and planting a plant is possible with seeds directly into the open ground.
Since marigolds are picky plants, they can grow anywhere: in the shade or in partial shade, but best of all, the flowers will be lush in those places of the summer cottage, where sunlight gives its life-giving energy all daylight. For comfortable and fast germination of pre-grown seedlings of decorative marigolds, the recommended temperature is 20-26 degrees Celsius and well-moistened soil. The seeds of flowering bushes of marigolds appear after about 35-40 days from the moment of planting. Seed ripening occurs gradually.
Be aware that marigolds grown from mother seeds may be different in color, height and other decorative qualities. It is not worth collecting seeds from hybrid plants, since when planting there is practically no chance of getting good seedlings of annual flowers for the garden.
Although the flowers are resistant to pests, the parasites can harm your plants.
Asparagus is available in nearly a hundred different species and hybrid varieties, including herbaceous plants, shrubs and dwarf shrubs. Only the tender upper part of the plant is used for food and is considered a special delicacy. The surface of the shoot is covered with tightly pressed leaves, similar to small scales, which gather at the base into one bundle. Their height can reach 50 centimeters.
When choosing a variety of asparagus for cultivation in a summer cottage, it is recommended to pay attention to frost resistance, yield and resistance to pests and diseases. For example, the male species of this crop have thicker stems, produce large yields, but do not produce seeds. In the female varieties, the stems are softer and thinner, and the yields are much more abundant.
Growing asparagus shoots requires loose and fertile soil, possibly with a high percentage of sand. The plant develops well when the spring warmth (more than 10 degrees), at summer temperatures - up to 30 degrees Celsius, but small night frosts in spring can destroy the culture. The plant gives the first useful and nutritious shoots in late June - early July.