Giant Autumn Roundup: Asparagus

asparagusMy allotment is far from closed for the winter, but going up there yesterday I realised that it’s definitely slowing down. Now is a good time to take stock, take a virtual wander around the plot and be honest about what worked and what didn’t. I’ll do it bit by bit to avoid tedium…

The Asparagus was in its second year of planting one year-old crowns, so I had to resist temptation to try some. It grew well, but was plagued by beetle. Both grubs and adults were laboriously picked off, which saved it turning into a skeleton like most on the site, but I eventually had to admit defeat – at which point something interesting happened. My eyesight’s not what it could be and I often fail to wear my glasses, but I suddenly realised the bug-shape had changed. Ladybirds were now populating the fronds and, or at least so it appeared, eating the larvae.

Beetle is still a problem and, I suspect, always will be, but I figure if I can keep up patrol until the ladybirds get going, it can be controlled. I’ve been cutting down and burning the fronds when they go yellow to stop the beetles overwintering, but as of yesterday, it was behaving like a naughty child and much of it was still green. I gave it a thick mulch of manure and will dispose of the rest as and when.

Next year is the big one – the year I start to harvest – albeit very, very sparingly.

So in the big box of ticks and crosses, this is a tick.

Score: 7/10 – though of course I’ve not tasted it yet.

asparagus-1

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