Asparagus is commonly known as sparrow grass. Another name to this plant is Garden Asparagus. If you plant asparagus, in fall the red barriers are also grown on the plant. Leaves are relatively small, and flowers are greenish-yellow in colour.
It is a widely cultivated plant which has been used by people as a vegetable and medicine for years. It is also known as a spring vegetable. Regarding its taste and flavour, it has a unique taste. It has bitterness with an earthy grassy flavour.
Most commonly, it has three common types concerning its colour. Green Asparagus, White Asparagus and Purple Asparagus. In comparison with green Asparagus, the taste of white Asparagus is slightly more bittersweet and has less grassy flavour. Asparagus is very rich in nutrients, including proteins, vitamins, and fibres.
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Being a perennial plant, Asparagus can live for several years, and it can grow by itself year after years. The plant takes the time of almost two to three years to grow in its full form, but once it becomes established and mature, it remains productive for decades.
Asparagus shows better growth in colder regions and the winter season. It is the very first plant that we can have at the start of the spring season.
There are two parts from which the plant can grow. One is a seed, and the other is a one-year-old plant commonly called crowns. The young stem shoots are the edible parts of the plant which emerges out of the ground when the temperature of the soil is 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Asparagus is planted in early spring when the soil can be feasible for the plant to grow. Soak the seeds in water before 24 hours of sowing. After sowing the seeds in peat cups or seed-starting soil, wait for the plant to grow 10-12 inches. After the plant reaches that height, place them outdoors for almost a week. Then, transplant them into the garden bed, and they are good to become mature.
For the better planting of Asparagus, the plant must have the least sunlight exposure. The plant bed should not be wet, and there must be a proper drainage system around them. The soil must be free of any obstacles and weeds.
- Keep an eye on the weed growth around the plant as weed hinders the process of growth of asparagus.
- First two years of plantation are very crucial. The soil must have to be moist. Slight rainfall is enough to fulfil the requirement but in case of zero rainings, use irrigation technique.
- During the growing season, add organic fertilizers. It will help the plant to fulfil its needs.
- Adding Mulch is very beneficial as it helps the soil to retain its moisture and stops the weed growth
In the first year of plant plantation, do not harvest the plant because the time is required by the plant to grow its system. The cutting of dead foliage is enough. In the second year, you can harvest the plant only for 3-4 weeks. During the third year, the plant can be harvested throughout the season as it must be in its full production.
Asparagus cannot be stored for so long. It must have to be eaten within the two or three days after its harvest.
In case of storage, remove the dirt and any visible particle from the spears to avoid any mould growth.
To store, make a bundle of spears together and wrap the stem in a soft, moist towel and place it in the drawer section of the refrigerator.
The simple weed can be of the primary concern in the plantation of the asparagus plant. In early spring or summer, hand pulling of weeds should be done.
Asparagus Pests or Diseases
Following are the pests/diseases which can cause damage to asparagus plant:
- Asparagus beetles
- Fusarium Crown Rot
- Asparagus Rust
Asparagus Beetles They are the insects that attack the asparagus plant. The spears of the plant turn brown, and then they bend in the hook shape. They damage the seeds and fruits of the plant. To avoid such insects, remove them off my hands.
Cutworms They are also insects. It cut the stem of the plant just above the soil and cause wilting of the plant. To prevent the plant from cutworms, keep an eye on them and remove them by hands and clear the weeds and other matter.
Fusarium Crown Rot It is a fungus. It affects the plants by turning them yellow and prevent them from growing. There is the appearance of reddish-brown spots on the different parts of plants. The only way to get rid of the fungus is to cut the affected parts of the plant and wait for almost five years before new plantation.
Asparagus Rust It is also a fungus. It turns the plant yellow or orange with the appearance of constricted rings. Reddish-brown blisters can be seen on the plant, and it can cause the defoliation.
Types of Asparagus
Asparagus plant has the following varieties based on its colour.
- Green Asparagus
- White Asparagus
- Purple Asparagus
Green Asparagus is the most common one. It has a grassy taste and some taste of broccoli as well.
White Asparagus is less grassy and sweet bitter in taste. It grows in the absence of sunlight.
Purple Asparagus is the one with thicker spears, and upon cooking, the purple colour turns green.
Uses and Benefits
Asparagus is almost 93 per cent of water. It is rich in antioxidants and used as an appetizer and vegetable side dish. In the domain of health, it is used to help in lowering blood pressure. It is also used in the treatment of joint pains, AIDS, cancer, dryness of lungs and throat.
It is also helpful in weight loss and to slim down. It has potential benefit in healthy pregnancy outcome. It improves the digestion system. It fights with the parasites and used in the treatment of diseases caused by parasites. It improves the mood and makes a person happy.
It reduces the risk of depression. Since it has potassium, fibres and other antioxidants, it improves the health of the cardiovascular system and reduces the chances of stroke. It can be cooked in many ways, and each way has its good taste. It is a brain booster and good for brain health.
Asparagus is a beneficial plant. This plant has an immensely positive effect on the life of human being. Once it starts giving fruit, it can go on for many years of harvest action. The successful planting and growth can lead the plant to be active and fruitful for a minimum of 15 years to a maximum of 30 years.
The process is relatively easy and affordable. It just requires a little patience and care for the first 2-3 years after planting asparagus, and then the one can enjoy its fruit without any effort and work for the rest of his life.