Sunday, 11 November 2007

attractive asparagus

How beautiful asparagus ferns look at this time of year.

The tasty asparagus spears have been cut until midsummers day and then the delicate fern tops are left to grow on and build up the strength of the underground 'crowns' ready for next year's harvest.

The ferns are not frost hardy and take on these lovely yellow shades at this time of year.

My usual advice is leave the untidy tops of plants overwinter. This is a great way of supporting birds and insects until the spring arrives. the tops provide home or food! An exception has to be asparagus.

Our enemy is asparagus beetle (Crioceris asparagi) which can cause a lot of damage to spikes and fronds.

The tops of the asparagus pictured will be cut off soon and burnt to kill overwintering beetles, their larvae and eggs. I will also remove mulch from around the base of the plants so that birds can pick over the ground and remove any of the enemy at ground level.

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